Enhancing energy efficiency not only helps to combat climate change and manage resources, but also delivers substantial economic benefits. By optimizing energy consumption in industries, buildings, and transportation, institutions can reduce operational costs while mitigating environmental impact, and contribute to creating more sustainable and resilient economies. Enhanced energy efficiency also encourages technological innovation, fosters economic growth, and creates jobs in the renewable energy and green technology sectors.

Financial institutions play a pivotal role in driving this transformation by channeling investments towards energy-efficient technologies and projects. By financing energy efficiency activities, institutions can mitigate risks, harness large and growing business opportunities, improve their Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, and signal interest among financial regulators. The International Energy Agency expects a significant increase in energy efficiency-related investments by 2050 to reach the net-zero objective by mid-century. This underscores the opportunity for finance to drive change in various sectors, by operationalizing and embedding energy efficiency considerations into investment strategies.


Get involved

For banks: Join the European Energy Efficiency Financing Coalition

The work of UNEP FI in this area is focused on identifying and documenting key factors driving and preventing energy efficiency investments, while producing tools to help financial institutions integrate energy efficiency in their business activities. UNEP FI is also supporting the establishment of the European Energy Efficiency Financing Coalition which will facilitate the implementation of energy efficiency financial instruments and schemes under EU funding programmes, while fostering further private investment in energy efficiency projects. To join the Coalition or find out more, please contact Peggy Lefort.



The Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB)’s Guidance on Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Target Setting (2023) includes a common pathway to impact and core indicators to guide good practices in the banking sector, measure progress, and foster active collaboration to drive results and improve resource efficiency for energy, water, and waste.

The Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) celebrated in 2023 a decade of achievements and accomplishments including the release of the landmark report Energy Efficiency – the first fuel of the EU Economy which contains recommendations for governments and the financial community to scale up long-term financing towards energy efficiency. EEFIG also produced the DEEP database and Underwriting Toolkit and released eight expert groups papers, including a report on Applying Energy First Principle in Sustainable Finance. Learn more about the group and its tools for financial institutions in the EEFIG 10 years booklet.