A pioneering working group consisting of 35 signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) has been formed to innovate at the cutting edge of nature target-setting for banks, aligning an existing industry-first guidance with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) adopted last December, as well as other latest market developments such as the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).

Nature is declining globally at an alarming and unprecedented rate. Yet with 55% of the world’s GDP – around $58 trillion of economic value generation – being moderately or highly dependent on nature, inaction to address nature and biodiversity loss is a significant material risk for businesses including the financial sector. It is for this reason that 35 signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking spanning from across 24 countries have decided to further the work of a former working group that authored the Guidance on Biodiversity Target-Setting in June 2021 — the first and only existing guidance for banks to set and achieve biodiversity targets using a systematic approach. With engagement and support of key stakeholders such as the Science Based Targets Network (SBTN), TNFD, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, they will also ensure alignment and consistency with existing finance approaches, and be building on previous work conducted by UNEP FI, such as the PRB Biodiversity Community and the UNEP FI-led TNFD pilots, to provide guidance and high-level recommendations on how banks can set PRB targets to align their portfolio with the GBF, helping to reverse nature loss by 2030 and living in harmony with nature by 2050.

Participating banks of the working group will be involved in activities including the development of a Theory of Change for nature that considers the relationship between banking activities and the natural world, exploration of the meaning of the GBF to banks and how banks can contribute to the Framework’s goals, analysis of resources currently available and needed to close the biodiversity financing gap, and suggestion of measures to encourage and enable nature-friendly businesses. Members of the group will also explore how to integrate the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in their nature targets, as well as ways to leverage their existing climate mitigation and net-zero targets towards addressing biodiversity loss.

The updated guidance to be produced by this working group will allow PRB signatories – now constitute around half of global banking assets – that are interested in tackling the loss of biodiversity and nature to apply a holistic and systematic approach to set and achieve nature targets. It will also help forge a new path for the whole banking sector to take urgent action on the topic, supporting the implementation of the goals set out in the GBF.

For more information, contact Oualid Rokneddine and Kavita Sachwani.

Co-Leads of the Working Group
  • Crédit Agricole S.A.
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • UBS Group
Working Group Members

(updated in June 2023)

  • ANZ
  • Areti Bank
  • Banco Santander
  • Bank J. Safra Sarasin
  • Bank Julius Baer Ltd.
  • Bank of Ireland Group
  • BMO
  • Barclays
  • BBVA
  • BNP Paribas
  • BTG Pactual
  • CIB (Commercial International Bank)
  • Commerzbank
  • Crédit Agricole S.A.
  • Credit Mutuel
  • Credit Suisse
  • Danske Bank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • Garanti Bank
  • ING Bank
  • Itaú Unibanco
  • NLB Group
  • Nordea Bank
  • Piraeus Financial Holdings
  • Standard Bank
  • Suncorp Bank
  • Swedbank AB
  • The Norinchukin Bank
  • UBS Group
  • UniCredit
  • Woori Financial Group
  • Yapı Kredi Bank