The UNEP FI Property Working Group (PWG) convened virtually for two discussion forums to share information on how institutions are managing the public health and economic crisis from COVID-19, and thoughts on how institutions need to plan and operate for a post-crisis recovery.

There is strong consensus that institutions with deeply ingrained approaches to integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations and that view sustainability as core to asset value and financial performance will weather the present crisis better relative to peers. They will be better positioned to address a range of societal challenges related to health, environment, social connections and norms, and economic equity moving forward. But ‘business as usual’, and even ‘best practice as usual’ will not be sufficient. ESG integration will surely need to evolve and will be even more critical in investor and lender decision-making.

With input from more than 20 financial institutions and external (non-financial institution) advisors to the Property Working Group, the PWG has published a short thought leadership bulletin on how good ESG integration is helping institutions respond to the present situation and will be critical to institutional structure and operations post-crisis. These PWG forums affirm that the response to COVID-19 and ESG integration are inseparable, and offered views on trends that will shape sustainable practices as institutions move forward into an altered risk and value-creation landscape. For more details, please download the bulletin, or contact the UNEP FI Secretariat, Matthew Ulterino or our PWG co-chairs Anna Murray and Calvin Kwan directly.