The businesses that we finance, invest in and insure depend on nature and biodiversity. The world’s ocean, forests and lands provide much of the raw materials, goods and services which underpin the global economy.

At risk from over-exploitation and environmental degradation, there is an urgent need to manage these natural assets more effectively in order to ensure the health and  wellbeing of society, and stability of businesses and the financial system at the heart of the economy.

The financial community has a critical role to play in safeguarding this stock of natural capital, through financing, insuring and investing in companies in the real economy.

UNEP FI works with members and partners to embed sustainable decision-making into mainstream finance. We provide technical research and guidance, working with the financial community on cutting-edge  innovations and frameworks, and developing industry-wide tools linking science, policy, economics and finance, bringing nature to the heart of financial decision-making.

Explore our tools, projects, initiatives and resources below:

Establishing the TNFD

Oceans and land:

Projects with the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA):

How to start Setting Biodiversity Targets:

  1. Read our report to get started
  2. Use our online ENCORE tool to see which sectors impact and depend on natural capital
  3. Explore our Blue Finance and Land Use initiatives looking at ocean and land impacts
  4. For banks: join our PRB sub-working group on biodiversity target-setting

Latest Reports:

Turning the Tide: How to Finance a Sustainable Ocean Recovery

A practical guide for financial institutions to lead a sustainable ocean recovery This seminal guidance is a market-first practical toolkit for financial institutions to pivot their activities towards financing a sustainable blue economy. Designed for banks, insurers and investors, the guidance outlines how to avoid and mitigate environmental and social risks and impacts, as well…

The Rising Tide: Mapping Ocean Finance for a New Decade

The Rising Tide report maps the current state of ocean finance revealing trends in lending, underwriting and investment activities which impact the ocean. It reveals the frameworks and financial instruments that are successfully addressing ocean sustainability and highlights new opportunities and gaps in the market. It looks across five major ocean-linked sectors chosen for their established…

Good Growth Partnership: Year Three Highlights Report

This 3-year progress report provides an update on how the Good Growth Partnership is cultivating sustainability in commodity supply chains, The Good Growth Partnership convenes a wide range of stakeholders and initiatives throughout soy, beef and palm oil supply chains to reduce deforestation and enable sustainable development. It joins forces with national and regional leaders…

Unwrapping the risks of plastic pollution to the insurance industry

Plastic is an increasingly high-profile threat to our climate, ocean, wildlife and human health as it becomes widespread both in the ocean and on land, where it is impacting our ecosystems and threatening lives and human health. Plastics also make a direct contribution to climate change: their energy-intensive manufacture from fossil fuels, recycling and incineration…

11 March 2021

The Land Bank: Our financial sustainability relies on nature

The South African development bank for the agriculture sector is taking action on nature-related risks, as drought contributes to loan defaults in their portfolio. To ensure the long-term success of South Africa’s agriculture sector, Land Bank considers it vital to simultaneously support equitable ownership of land and tackle natural capital risks.

2 March 2021

How to Finance a Sustainable Ocean Recovery – Seminal New Guidance Published

New practical guidance enables banks, investors and insurers to understand their impact on ocean health and immediately take action to accelerate the transition to a sustainable blue economy. Leveraging best practice based on input from more than 50 pioneering institutions and experts, this guidance sets out pathways to sustainable growth across five key ocean sectors, chosen for their established connection to private finance. It presents a detailed breakdown of which activities to seek out as best practice, which activities to challenge, and which activities to avoid financing completely due to their damaging nature.

2 February 2021

UNEP FI Launches New Report Mapping the State of Ocean Finance

This foundational report maps ocean finance, revealing trends in lending, underwriting and investment activities which impact the ocean .It includes survey results across 100+ financial professionals revealing current trends, frameworks and financial instruments that are successfully addressing ocean sustainability and highlights new opportunities and gaps in the market. The report covers 5 key ocean sectors: seafood, ports, shipping, coastal and marine tourism and marine renewable energy, notably offshore wind, chosen for their established connection with private finance.

21 January 2021

One Planet Summit: Biodiversity rises up the Global Agenda

Biodiversity is catching up with climate on the global policy agenda, motivating leading financial institutions to understand their impacts and dependencies on nature. A first step for financial institutions is to look at the impacts and dependencies on nature across the industries they invest in, lend to or insure.

22 December 2020

Why the finance sector needs to catch the blue wave

In this op-ed originally published for The Economist Group’s World Ocean Initiative, Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI, calls for a transformational shift in private finance to regenerate ocean health. A healthy ocean is one of the critical success factors in the global economy. Prior to covid-19, the value of the blue economy was an…

11 December 2020

How the Insurance Industry can Shape a Sustainable Blue Economy

With calls to ‘build back better’ after the COVID-19 pandemic, how can insurance companies take a leadership role in transitioning ocean sectors towards sustainability? The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) assembled a star line-up for a webinar hosting a big-picture discussion on the key ocean-related sustainability trends that affect the insurance business.…

3 December 2020

A Blue Path to Recovery: The Power of Finance to Rebuild Ocean Health

Oceans cover 71% of the world's surface, giving Earth the befitting title of the ‘Blue Planet’. The ocean is a planetary superpower that sustains the lives of billions of people and countless marine wildlife. For instance, approximately 3 billion individuals globally are dependent on protein from the ocean for food security. This pivotal role in the global economy establishes the ocean as a vitally important asset to underwriting, lending and investment activities, in businesses which either depend on or impact the ocean and its services.

20 November 2020

Investment & Pensions Europe: Storebrand Signs UN Healthy Oceans Framework

The Norwegian financial group said it had signed the United Nations-backed Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles, a guiding framework launched in 2018 for financing a sustainable ocean economy. Storebrand – one of Norway’s main occupational and personal pension providers – said the framework aimed to accelerate the transition towards sustainable use of the ocean and its resources by developing practical actions for insurers, lenders and investors to undertake.

12 November 2020

Nature-related Financial Risks gain Urgency in Emerging Markets

Financial institutions in Colombia, Peru and South Africa are beginning to tackle nature-related risks, exemplifying a trend across emerging markets Risks linked to nature loss are rising up the finance sector agenda across emerging markets. According to a recent Swiss Re report, 40 percent of South Africa is now classified as having fragile ecosystems. Zero…

10 November 2020

American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company Signs the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles

American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company announced today that it has signed the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles  joining a growing UNEP FI-hosted community of pioneering banks, insurers and investors working to transition the ocean economy towards sustainability. As a marine insurer, American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company provides hull and machinery services to the international shipping…

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16 April 2021 | Online conference

Sustainable Financing of the Blue Economy

The European Investment Bank, WWF and the partners of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles are delighted to invite you to join an event on the margins of the 2021 virtual Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group: Sustainable Financing of the Blue Economy.

1-5 March 2021 | Online

The Economist Group’s Eighth Annual World Ocean Summit Virtual Week

The Economist’s World Ocean Summit 2021 is going virtual for the first time and for this year only, the event is free-to-attend. The virtual week offers the opportunity to access 30 hours of highly curated content over five days, and the chance to make meaningful connections no matter where you are in the world. The focus continues on high-level conversation and policymaking in plenary sessions as well as industry focus in six dedicated tracks: aquaculture, fishing, energy, plastics, shipping, and tourism.

10 February 2021 | Webinar

Science-Based Target Setting on Biodiversity

Many companies are already setting climate science based targets (SBTs) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Companies are now also considering nature science based targets in order to operate within planetary boundaries. Join a webinar co-hosted by UNEP FI and PRI for more.

10 November 2020 | Webinar

Insuring a Sustainable Ocean Economy: A Deep Dive for the Insurance Industry

Join leading insurers and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) to discuss sustainability challenges and opportunities in the context of the 21st century ocean economy, and find out how to get involved in UNEP FI’s new Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative to develop sustainable finance strategies and approaches to ocean-based industries.

17 August 2020

Webinar: Biodiversity and the Financial Sector (in Portuguese)

The Financial Innovation Laboratory (LAB), the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) will discuss how the financial sector can address biodiversity and natural capital issues.

20 November 2019 | Paris, France

Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Workshop

UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the European Commission are organising a Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Workshop alongside the Sustainable Ocean Summit. Participants will explore what is required for the finance sector to accelerate uptake of finance-related policies, practices, financial instruments, opportunities and initiatives to contribute to a sustainable blue economy.

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Turning the Tide: How to Finance a Sustainable Ocean Recovery

A practical guide for financial institutions to lead a sustainable ocean recovery This seminal guidance is a market-first practical toolkit for financial institutions to pivot their activities towards financing a sustainable blue economy. Designed for banks, insurers and investors, the guidance outlines how to avoid and mitigate environmental and social risks and impacts, as well…

The Rising Tide: Mapping Ocean Finance for a New Decade

The Rising Tide report maps the current state of ocean finance revealing trends in lending, underwriting and investment activities which impact the ocean. It reveals the frameworks and financial instruments that are successfully addressing ocean sustainability and highlights new opportunities and gaps in the market. It looks across five major ocean-linked sectors chosen for their established…

Good Growth Partnership: Year Three Highlights Report

This 3-year progress report provides an update on how the Good Growth Partnership is cultivating sustainability in commodity supply chains, The Good Growth Partnership convenes a wide range of stakeholders and initiatives throughout soy, beef and palm oil supply chains to reduce deforestation and enable sustainable development. It joins forces with national and regional leaders…

Unwrapping the risks of plastic pollution to the insurance industry

Plastic is an increasingly high-profile threat to our climate, ocean, wildlife and human health as it becomes widespread both in the ocean and on land, where it is impacting our ecosystems and threatening lives and human health. Plastics also make a direct contribution to climate change: their energy-intensive manufacture from fossil fuels, recycling and incineration…

Year Two Good Growth Partnership Highlights Report

The Good Growth Partnership convenes a wide range of stakeholders and initiatives throughout soy, beef and palm oil supply chains to reduce deforestation and enable sustainable development. Since its inception in 2017, the Good Growth Partnership has brought together a growing coalition of committed changemakers to achieve greater results throughout its focal commodity supply chains…

Protecting our World Heritage, insuring a sustainable future

World Heritage Sites are recognised for their unparalleled beauty, global significance and/or biological diversity and the important economic, social and environmental benefits they provide to people. They are a source of inspiration and contribute to human well-being.  However, almost half of all natural World Heritage Sites across the globe are threatened by industrial activities and…

Natural Capital Credit Risk Assessment in Agricultural Lending

The report, ‘Natural Capital Credit Risk Assessment in Agricultural Lending’ is a new template that enables financial institutions to conduct natural capital credit risk assessment across different agricultural sectors and geographies, taking into account factors such as water availability, use and quality; soil health; biodiversity; energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The new sector-specific guide…

Integrating Natural Capital in Risk Assessments

The report, ‘Integrating Natural Capital in Risk Assessments’ is a step-by-step guide to help financial institutions conduct a rapid natural capital risk assessment. The guide has already been piloted by five banks, and complements the recently launched ENCORE tool (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure), which enables financial institutions to understand and assess their exposure to natural capital risks. The guide helps banks…

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