UNEP FI, the Chartered Banker Institute, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH have announced the establishment of the Principles for Responsible Banking Academy (PRB Academy). This unique global academy will support the implementation of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and provide mainstream training on responsible banking to the entire sector. It brings together the world’s most established professional banking institute, the world’s foremost sustainable banking framework and one of the largest organizations for international development cooperation worldwide.

Banks have a unique and critical role to play in pivoting the global economic system, using their lending and financing decisions and client relationships to redirect capital for the transition and accelerate the pace and scale of positive change across entire economies. The PRB and the PRB Academy provide an avenue for them to do this by enabling bank employees to align their professional practice, and the strategies and operations of their organisations with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.

As well as building the capacity and capability of the 300 plus PRB signatory banks, which collectively represent nearly 5o% of global banking assets, all banks, regardless of size, will be able to employ the training to build their capacity and capabilities, and address skills gaps and enhance expertise.

“The PRB Academy is a strong enabler of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, providing a professional learning pathway for banks to rapidly upskill their employees on the critical environmental and social issues impacting their lines of business and client engagement. It is a pleasure to partner with the Chartered Banker Institute and GIZ on this path-breaking global resource.” – Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI

The Academy will become available in late October 2022 and over the next 5 years aims to train hundreds of thousands of bankers worldwide with practical approaches to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss, pollution and related social issues, and embedding these within the practice and profession of banking. Building the capacity and capabilities of banks and bankers in this way supports the alignment of banks’ strategies and operations with international sustainability frameworks.

The PRB Academy will be launched as a global online platform to reach as wide an audience as possible. It will make accredited professional training for banks on sustainability issues and the Principles for Responsible Banking widely accessible, including knowledge on implementing net zero Paris-aligned targets.

The curriculum has been created in consultation with banks and courses are exciting and interactive, designed to build from a basic understanding to application and rapidly upskill large numbers of employees. It will also provide learners with a practical understanding of how to apply responsible banking principles and practice in their roles.

“We are delighted to launch the PRB Academy with UNEP FI and GIZ. Together, we recognise that climate change and other sustainability challenges are global issues requiring innovative, collective and collaborative solutions. We will lead the way in ensuring socially purposeful, ethically professional, responsible banking becomes the standard.” – Simon Thompson, Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute

On climate change, as Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance has stated, “every professional financial decision needs to take account of climate change.” The Academy enables every finance professional to have a basic knowledge and understanding of climate change and broader sustainability factors.

In order to see meaningful changes at the heart of organisations, every single bank employee needs to consider responsible and sustainable practices in their day-to-day decision-making. The PRB Academy is a game-changer in creating a global community of responsible bankers.

“The PRB Academy is a truly unique learning offer that will accelerate the transformation of the financial sector towards more sustainable business practices. It provides financial institutions with a consistent framework grounded in international standards while reflecting national context, which is as important to G20 countries as it is to our partners in the developing world. It is a great product of our strong partnership with the Chartered Banker Institute and UNEP FI.” – Axel Klaphake, Director Economic and Social Development, Digitalisation at GIZ

For more information about the PRB Academy please visit the Academy’s official website

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