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UNEP Finance Initiativeinnovative financing for sustainability

Issue 72, June 2009http://www.unepfi.org/ebulletin

Inside this issue
UNEPFI 2009 Roundtable

"The bill [Global Warming] is historic for what it achieves, providing clean energy incentives that encourage innovation while recognising the concerns of sensitive industries and regions."
- US President Barak Obama, 23 May, 2009, Financial Times

June Thoughts______________________

Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of UNEP FI reflects on "The end of sustainable finance and responsible investment... (not)"

On September 12, 2008, the Friday before Lehman Brother's collapsed, a group of financial executives, climate change campaigners and lawyers met More...


Registration OPEN - Register now for "Early Bird" rates

UNEP FI Global Roundtable: Financing Change, Changing Finance
22-23 October, 2009, Cape Town, South Africa

Signatories to UNEP Finance Initiative receive two complimentary registrations. Additional registrations will be processed at regular participant registration rates. More...

June Thoughts

Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of UNEP FI writes:

On September 12, 2008, the Friday before Lehman Brother's collapsed, a group of financial executives, climate change campaigners and lawyers met in a HSBC meeting room 28 floors above Canary Wharf. Despite the gathering gloom associated with the unfolding financial meltdown, the energy and focus on the "what next for finance and investment in the climate change arena" remained robust. The HSBC hosted meeting, ahead of the United Nations climate change summit in Poznan and convened to seek cross finance and investment links fostering better cooperation amongst the different facets of financial services on the road to COP15 in Copenhagen, could have marked an end point to high summer for the sustainable finance and responsible investment community. The six months following the Canary Wharf meeting has seen hundreds of thousands of job cuts globally across financial services and intense pressure levied inside institutions to cut costs to the bone. There's no question that sustainability units within banks, insurers and asset management companies have suffered losses and that teams carefully assembled during the boom years to service emerging environmental markets have disappeared. And yet, anecdotal evidence from the worldwide market-place would suggest that despite the enormity of the financial and now economic crisis, the evolving thinking that flows through sustainable finance and responsible investment is being embedded in the mainstream as it battles with "what's the new model" post crisis of 2007-9. In short, environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are gaining ground with mainstream finance and investment despite the severe downturn. Certainly, the chunky "green" component of the USD 3 trillion dollars plus package of global fiscal stimulus, some estimates suggest USD 750 billion has been tagged "clean, green and low carbon" is enough to capture any serious financiers' interest. So what is some of this anecdotal evidence?

  • Terry Tamminen, the architect of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Green Revolution" and former head of the State of California Environmental Protection Agency, visited Geneva recently and was impressed at the energy and innovation the City's private banking and asset management community is showing in engineering and promoting sustainability focused products for clients whose appetite for real-world, tangible and often resource connected investment vehicles (water funds, sustainable forestry funds, cleantech and climate-related funds) is growing exponentially.
  • UNEP FI's 2009 Global Roundtable ("Financing Change, Changing finance" 22-23 October, 2009) is one of the key fixtures in what is becoming "Cape Town Green Week". During the week of 19-23 October, the South African City will see three major global, African and domestic meetings convened purely focused on the green economics and sustainability agenda. As well as UNEP FI's event, Africa Investor, a media and investment advisory group will convene a climate focused African CEO Summit and the Green Building Council of South Africa will hold its annual meetings. The three events will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) while environmental and sustainability focused training events will be offered in locations across the City.
  • In early June, the Norwegian Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen announced that the country's government would assess the impacts of climate change on strategic asset allocation. The Minister made her announcement at a meeting in Oslo of 120 of the most senior institutional investment executives gathered from around the world to discuss: "Investing for the long run" as part of the Norwegian Government Pension Fund's investment strategy summit.
  • In May in Korea the Green Growth Commission announced that the South Korean government will commit to spending US$ 10 billion to develop environmental technology up to 2012. The Commission was set up in February 2009 year to implement the country's vision for ‘low carbon, green growth'.
  • The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) annual meeting, scheduled to convene in Sydney in mid-July, is over subscribed despite institutional cost cutting and travel bans. The PRI, conceived, incubated and developed by UNEP FI in collaboration with the UN Global Compact - on behalf of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan - is now backed by US$ 18 trillion in assets.
  • In the City of London we are seeing the emergence of a new group of well-backed environment and sustainability focused boutique investment houses, such as Sustainable Development Capital LLP, Earth Capital Partners and Beetle Capital, following in the footsteps of Al Gore's Generation Investment Management and James Cameron's Climate Change Capital.


Registration OPEN - Register now for "Early Bird" rates

UNEP FI Global Roundtable: Financing Change, Changing Finance
22-23 October,2009,Cape Town, South Africa

Signatories to UNEP Finance Initiative receive two complimentary registrations. Additional registrations will be processed at regular participant registration rates.

Now in its 15th year, UNEP FI's agenda-setting Global Roundtable 2009 is built around the theme of "Financing Change, Changing Finance". This two-day conference is the largest global conference on sustainable finance and responsible investments with a genuine focus on long-term considerations and offers a unique opportunity to thought leaders and professionals in finance, government, and civil society to discuss and exchange views on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.

Financing the future and remaking the system Amid the global financial and economic upheaval, the Cape Town Roundtable has become even more timely and relevant as the financial sector reassesses traditional thinking and practices; explores the best way towards achieving sustainable financial markets and to promote robust economies and, critically, how to rebuild trust between financial services and communities worldwide.

A bridge to the Copenhagen Climate Summit The event convenes just six weeks ahead of the landmark United Nations Climate Change summit that takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Cape Town Roundtable, one of the key events for financial services on the road to Copenhagen, will contribute to the discussions on international climate policy that will have resounding impacts on the financial sector and international carbon markets for coming decades.

The UNEP FI Global Roundtable offers interactive panel sessions, in-depth debates, and expert training in the following fields:

  • Responsible investment
  • Sustainable banking
  • Low carbon economy
  • Financing renewables
  • Sustainable insurance
  • Transparency, reporting and accountability
  • Responsible property investment
  • Microfinance
  • Finance and water
  • Valuing natural capital
  • Financing for sustainable development

Don't miss this opportunity, Register Now: http://www.unepfi.org/events/2009/roundtable/registration/index.html

For further information on how to participate or to become a Sponsor please contact: roundtable@unepfi.org

Former UNEP FI staffers launch global bid to green the internet with ".eco"

Trevor Bowden and Jacob Malthouse, both long-time UNEP FI team members, have launched a bid for the .eco Internet extension.

Bowden and Malthouse, along with long-time UNEP FI supporter Anastasia O'Rourke, have pulled together a global team including WWF International, Verité, Pax World, and others to truly green the internet by securing a new Top Level Domain name to follow on from the .org, .net, .com, and others, that we are all familiar with. The bid also enjoys the support of Dr. Ashok Khosla, President of the World Conservation Union and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Chair of Anglo-American plc.

Bowden, Malthouse and O'Rourke's Vancouver based company Big Room Inc. will spend the next year running a global consultation and technical development process to determine how best to run .eco. They are actively seeking representatives for their Stakeholder Council, as well as endorsement and partnership proposals. Their goal is to create a system that will use .eco domain names to display current, detailed eco-information to anyone with a browser, anytime they need it, anywhere on the planet. The system will do this by integrating domain names and existing environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards with the goal of increasing the quality of ESG reporting while at the same time lowering the reporting burden.

More at: http://www.doteco.info

UNEP FI Sustainability Beat

UNEP FI welcomes two new Signatories

Mn Services

Mn Services is an independent organisation, administering pensions and insurance, supporting pension fund managers and managing institutional assets. With 650 employees, it currently administers the pensions of more than a million people in the Netherlands on behalf of approximately 33,000 employers. Mn Services manages assets of US$ 79 billion (€ 56 billion) for a growing number of clients, the largest of which are the industry-wide pension funds for Dutch metalworkers, technicians, and electricians, Pensioenfonds metaal en techniek (PMT) and Pensioenfonds van de metalektro (PME).

Mn Services manages 900,000 square metres of real estate in the Netherlands on behalf of PMT, and is an active supporter of the Dutch Green Building Council. Its International Real Estate Department is exploring ways to integrate ESG issues into its analysis and investment decisions. Mn Services is also currently developing screening tools and monitoring indicators for its listed and non-listed real estate portfolios, and is investigating the company's real estate indicators of sustainability which would enable it to track the extra-financial performance of companies in its American, European, and Asian portfolios.

For further information, please visit: http://www.mn-services.nl/

The Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa LTD (IDC)

The Industrial Development Corporation is a state-owned, self-financing development finance institution. It was established in 1940 and operates in South Africa and across the continent. Its primary objective is to contribute to the generation of balanced and sustainable economic growth in Africa and increase economic prosperity for South African population.

IDC balances a strong developmental focus with the need to invest in ventures that are based on sound business principles. It operates in a broad spectrum of industries and its specialised knowledge and experience offers valid and appropriate financial assistance to a wide variety of individuals and companies.

For further information, please visit: http://www.idc.co.za/

What our Signatories are Doing...

Five UNEP FI Signatories rewarded for Sustainable Banking

4 June, 2009, London: Five of UNEP FI's Signatories were rewarded for thinking and financing green during the fourth FT Sustainable Banking Conference and Awards. Five Awards and one designated runner-up spot were won by UNEP FI member banks. The five wining banks were nominated under two leading categories which are only open to banks and were selected from 165 banks and non-banks representing 42 countries worldwide.

UNEP FI is proud to see selected member banks reaping the benefits of their environmental agendas and extends its congratulations to all the winners and the runner-ups of the following leading categories:

Sustainable Bank of the Year
Winner: Triodos Bank, Netherlands
Runner-up: Standard Chartered, UK

Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year
Winner: Itau Unibanco, Brazil
Regional winner Asia: Industrial Bank, China
Regional winner Eastern Europe: Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB)
Regional winner Latin America: Itau Unibanco

The FT Sustainable Banking Conference and Awards, organised in partnership with the International Finance Corporation, were created to recognise banks and other financial institutions that have shown leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental and corporate governance considerations into their operations.

For further information, please visit: http://www.ftconferences.com/sustainablebanking/

VicSuper Takes the Lead on Low Carbon Superannuation

20 May, 2009, Melbourne: UNEP FI Signatory VicSuper became the first Australian super fund to direct members' retirement savings into an investment portfolio which is designed to achieve the same investment return as the broader international share market - with half of the carbon footprint. With an initial US$150 million in low carbon investment, VicSuper has taken on a well-established journey to incorporate sustainability considerations into all investment decisions.

VicSuper's low carbon investment portfolio comprises 700 companies which collectively emit significantly less carbon emissions than their industry peers. These companies were selected from the 1,700 company strong MSCI World ex-Australia Index, and represent the top 40 percent of each industry for carbon performance. By including all carbon intensive industries such as mining and resources in this portofolio, the fund encourages and rewards better performance because capital is directed to companies which outperform on carbon efficiency.

For further information, please visit: http://www.vicsuper.com.au/www/html/144-latest-news.asp?n=1117

Tools & Training for Sustainable Finance

Environmental and Social Responsibility Observatory (ESRO): What's in it for You?

You need proof that a green economy doesn't mean numbers in the red? Evidence that there is money to be made and saved in environmental and social risk management?

ESRO is an online database of real-life stories compiled jointly by UNEP FI and the Ecobanking Project, which show how financial institutions are successfully managing to align financial and sustainability performance either by channelling funds into activities that have a positive sustainability impact, or by effectively identifying and mitigating ESG risks faced by companies and project developers.

In short, ESRO will provide you with all the evidence you need, but better still it will assist you in your financial decision-making by giving you the real-life illustrations that traditional guidelines and tools lack.

ESRO will be launched publicly at UNEP FI's Global Roundtable in October.

For more information, please contact: observatory@unepfi.org

Environmental & Social Risk Analysis (ESRA) E-Learning Programme

Contaminated land. Endangered species. Water scarcity. Health and safety hazards. Indigenous land. So many risks, so many potential losses. Learn to identify environmental and social risk and stay clear of the damage.

Up-coming courses:
6 - 24 July (English)
3 - 21 August (Spanish)

Target audience: Risk managers and analysts in commercial, corporate, investment and retail banking in or dealing with developing countries and emerging markets.

The ESRA E-Learning Programme is a product of UNEP FI, Capacity Building International (InWent), and the INCAE Business School, and is supported by Ecobanking Project. Since its inception in 2006 over 20 courses have been delivered in English and Spanish.

For further information, please visit: http://www.unepfi.org/training/risk_training/index.html

Spreading Sustainable Finance Across the Globe

Latin America and the Caribbean

UNEP FI Training Workshop and CEO Breakfast on Environmental and Social Risk Management

20-21 May 2009, Panama: This is the first time the Latin American Task Force has convened a training workshop in Panama, although its tenth in the region since LATF initiated its environmental and social risk training programme in 2005. The workshop sought to provide risk analysts and managers across the country's financial sector with a practical introduction on how to identify and manage social and environmental risks and opportunities associated to their lending and investment operations.

Training was provided by Lawrence Pratt, Associate Director of CLACDS/INCAE Business School and Edgar Rojas, Manager of the Ecobanking Project, both associate members of the Latin American Task Force. Participants were also addressed by José Montoya, Head of Environmental Division at Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) and Raúl Preciado, Associate Vicepresident at Banco General. All provided illustrations of environmental risk management as implemented in their respective institutions.

The one-day workshop was followed by a CEO Breakfast. This was an agenda-setting session for the promotion of sustainable finance best practice in the Panamanian financial sector.

Both events were organised in collaboration with, and thanks to, the support of the Panamanian Banking Association, CAF and Banco General.

For further information, please visit: http://www.unepfi.org/events/2009/panama/index.html

UNEP FI & Barbados Group to hold Regional CEO Breakfast on Sustainable Finance in the Caribbean

29 June, 2009, Bridgetown, Barbados: This high-level meeting will follow-up the dialogue initiated with the Caribbean financial sector in 2008 in Barbados on a regional level. Organized by the Barbados Sustainable Finance Group, under the auspices of the government of Barbados, and the Barbados Bankers' Association Inc., and supported by UNEP FI, the aim of the breakfast is to gather key stakeholders from across the Caribbean to further the development of the Caribbean Group, currently part of UNEP FI's Latin American Task Force.

Further details will be made available online at: http://www.unepfi.org/regional_activities/latin_america/index.html


Dutch Young Bankers Seek Sustainable Solutions for the Future of Banking Sector

May, 2009, The Netherlands: A group of young bankers in The Netherlands have organised a series of meetings to discuss lessons learnt for the future of banking sector, and to identify the conditions that this sector must fulfil in order to regain its vitality. Their contribution towards revitalisation of banking industry seeks to actively engage actors on several issues including service-minded service, transparency, sustainability, diversity and dialogue.


UNEP FI - PRI in Emerging Markets' Footprint in Egypt, United Arab Emirates, and Russia

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in Emerging Markets (EM) held the first round of outreach workshops in Egypt in March and in the United Arab Emirates in April. PRI in EM also participated in a panel discussion at the Institutional Investor Conference in Abu Dhabi. During these events PRI's work was presented for the first time to asset owners in the region. Follow up awareness raising workshops are planned for the MENA Region during the fourth quarter of 2009.

In April, PRI in EM was also invited to speak to Russian investors about the principles and materiality of ESG issues in Moscow as part of a bigger event on sustainable finance. The meeting was organised by WWF. PRI in EM invited F&C Investment Management and Norges Bank Investment Management to speak to Russian investors at the workshop. Building on the initial meeting and discussions, PRI in EM is planning follow-up meetings in Moscow the fourth quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010.

Jetfin to hold its first Jetfin Green 2009 Conference
17 September, 2009, Geneva, Switzerland

With President Obama's "Green New Deal", volatile oil prices and global warming, the environment is becoming an important focus for investors around the globe. JetFin in partnership with UNEP FI and the Republic and State of Geneva is convening the Jetfin Green 2009 Conference this September. The conference will help investors to explore issues around renewable energy, climate change, water, carbon trading, agriculture and clean tech funds.

Pierre-François Unger, the Minister of Economy and Health of Geneva and Paul Clements-Hunt, Head of UNEP FI, are among the speakers at this conference which will bring investors and Emerging Markets Green business's Best Fund Managers together to examine the related risks and discuss investment strategies that yield real returns in green investments. This event is an opportunity for investors to present and compare solutions, and to examine the issues that enable them to take right decisions in "Green" investments in emerging markets.

JetFin is a Geneva-based member of AIMA that specialises in alternative investment funds selection. Its area of expertise includes emerging markets, green and commodities strategies. The company advises investors on fund selection and organizes conferences for professional investors.

To receive further information or to participate please contact jetfin@jetfin.com , or visit: http://www.jetfin.com/green2009/eventinfo_en.php


Countdown to Copenhagen: UNEP FI PWG Advances its Green Thoughts on the Built Environment

3 June, 2009, Bonn: Finnish Ministry of the Environment counsellor Harri Laurika sat on the panel of the UNEP SBCI side event organised during the June UNFCCC talks. The UNEP FI Property Working Group (PWG) was represented by Claire Boasson (UNEP DTIE) who presented the financial perspective "Property Investment for a Low Carbon Future", capturing the elements of the PWG's section (Proposal 5) in the UNEP FI Green Paper "Financing a Global Deal on Climate Change".

The PWG perspective focused on three approaches that enable enhanced investment in low carbon buildings:

  • Overcome market barriers to adopting economic and effective technologies (North and South)
  • Increase the impact of carbon finance on behavior in the building sector
  • Establish appropriate public finance mechanisms to scale up the flow of private capital towards EEB in developing countries

View the web-cast of the side event at: http://unfccc2.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/090601_SB30_Bonn/templ/ply_page.php?id_kongresssession=1767&player_mode=isdn_real

Climate Change

UNEP FI launches a Green Paper on what is needed to mobilise the finance sector in the battle against climate change

6 June, 2009, Bonn: During the "June talks" of the UNFCCC in Bonn, Germany (1-12 June), UNEP FI convened a side event to launch and discuss its "Green Paper" on "Financing a Global Deal on Climate Change". The paper outlines six concrete proposals by the financial services industry on what elements the next global deal on climate change should include to effectively mobilise lenders, investors and insurers in the battle against climate change.

Download the "Green Paper" that outlines these proposals from here: http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/documents/FinancingGlobalDeal.pdf

Download the press advisory on the launch of the "Green Paper" here: http://www.unepfi.org/fileadmin/events/2009/bonn/BonnPressAdvisory.pdf

The side event brought together a high-level panel of both finance and insurance practitioners as well as government negotiators with a view to inspire measures under the convention best suited to mobilise the necessary capital for both mitigation and adaptation. Panelists were:

Raekwon Chung, Climate Change Ambassador, Republic of Korea
Carolina Fuentes, Head of Climate Change at the Environment Ministry, Mexico
Peter Höppe, Head, Geo Risks Research / Corporate Climate Centre, Munich Re
Nick Robins, Head of the HSBC Climate Change Centre of Excellence
Karsten Sach, Head of Delegation to the UNFCCC, Germany

View the web-cast of the side event at: http://unfccc2.meta-fusion.com/kongresse/090601_SB30_Bonn/templ/ply_page.php?id_kongresssession=1798&player_mode=isdn_real

Through an intensive consultative process - within and beyond UNEP FI - this Green Paper will be developed into a final White Paper in coming months.

Sustainability Reporting

Three New UNEP FI Signatory Sustainability Reports

ADFIAP, 2008 First Integrated Annual and Sustainability Report http://www.adfiap.org/docs/AR08.pdf

FMO Annual Report 2008 - How do you see the future? http://www.fmo.nl/FMO/documents/AR/FMOAR08.pdf

Social Responsibility Report in the Montepaschi 2008 http://english.mps.it/I+Nostri+Valori/Bilanci+e+Relazioni/2008.htm

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The UNEP FI e-bulletin is a monthly publication of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative.
United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
Economics and Trade Branch
Finance Initiative Unit

Chief Editor: Paul Clements-Hunt
Editor: Careen Abb, Susan Steinhagen

The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of UNEP or UNEP FI, or of its signatories, nor does UNEP FI or its signatories take any responsibility for actions taken as a result of views or opinions expressed in this publication.
Copyright 2009 - UNEP FI