Following the adoption of the historic resolution to forge an international legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution by 2024 endorsed by UN Member States in March 2022, UNEP FI is convening a core group of leading financial institutions who will play an important role in supporting the development of the agreement and implementing it across the global finance sector.

Announced today by ING at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Finance Leadership Group on Plastics will provide input and suggestions to the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) on the desired outcomes for banks, insurers and investors. It will also build readiness in the finance sector to act on plastic pollution through awareness raising, capacity building, and target-setting support.

With one garbage truck of plastic discarded into our oceans every minute and production expected to double by 2040, plastic pollution is a serious global environmental and social threat. Intrinsically linked to climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and public health, it presents both high risks as well as opportunities for the finance industry which has a key role to play in ending plastic pollution.

Convened by UNEP FI and sponsored by the Minderoo Foundation, the group already comprises financial institutions such as Allianz, ING, ProCredit Group, and Woori Financial Group and will grow to around ten banks and insurers who will collaborate with the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), with the objective of mobilising a wider community of financial institutions in the medium-term on this agenda. The group will also receive strategic support from the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership and ensure consistency through collaborating with other initiatives such as the Business Coalition for a Global Plastic Treaty led by Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Financial institutions have an important role to play in financing the systems change needed to end plastic pollution and therefore in contributing to the Plastic Treaty. At ING we are committed to being part of the Finance Leadership Group on Plastics and hope to welcome more peers into this group!

Steven van Rijswijk, CEO, ING Group

Financial institutions interested in learning more or joining the group should contact UNEP FI’s Pollution and Circular Economy Lead Peggy Lefort.