About

Based on a unique theory of impact, UNEP FI works with its members and with peer sustainability initiatives to mainstream impact analysis and management in business and finance as the cornerstone to closing the $2.5 trillion SDG funding gap.

Latest News:

–  July 2022: UNEP FI launches third version of Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool for Banks with updated resources

–  May 2022: New guidance now available for investors and financial institutions looking to manage their sustainability impacts


Proposing a unique, holistic, approach to the SDGs and impact management

UNEP FI’s work on SDGs is anchored in the idea that the SDG financing gap is first and foremost a business model gap. For most current business models, positive and negative impacts to people, planet and the economy are externalities and are therefore considered as a cost centre. By adopting a holistic approach, an as-yet unexplored potential for positive impacts to generate revenues can be unlocked. New, impact-based business models can significantly decrease the cost of achieving the SDGs and give rise to business and financing solutions at scale, including in emerging and developing economies, where needs are most acute.

Find out more by reading “Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs” here.


Providing a framework and tools for holistic impact analysis and management

Released in 2017, the Principles for Positive Impact Finance provide a high-level framework for the finance sector and its public and private stakeholders to analyse and manage impact across the economy, as the starting point to improve the impact of existing businesses and to stimulate the emergence and growth of new, impact-based business models.

The Principles define Positive Impact Business & Finance as “that which serves to deliver a positive contribution to one or more of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, environmental and social), once any potential negative impacts to any of the pillars have been duly identified and mitigated.”

This definition is inclusive – it is relevant to all sectors of the economy, and to all types of financing – and it is holistic – it covers the three economic, environmental and social pillars of sustainable development at the heart of the SDGs, from both positive and negative impact angles.

To operationalise this,  and to support UNEP FI’s member banks who have committed to performing a holistic analysis of their portfolios as part of their commitment to the Principles for Responsible Banking, UNEP FI has devised a suite of Tools & Resources for Holistic Impact ManagementFind out more.


Working with peer organisations towards a complete and coherent system of norms and guidance for impact management

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals requires all market participants to understand and improve their sustainability impacts. Coherent standards and guidance across the broader spectrum of public and private economic players is therefore essential.

The Impact Management Platform is a collaboration between leading providers of public good standards, frameworks, tools, and guidance for managing sustainability impacts. Through the Platform, initiatives work together to identify opportunities to consolidate existing sustainability resources, collectively address gaps, and coordinate with policymakers and regulators to support the mainstreaming of impact management. Find out more.


More information

29 June 2022

UN responds to the ISSB consultation on new standards with joint statement

The standards being developed by the ISSB provide a unique opportunity. They can support global convergence of sustainability-related disclosure, create a common reporting baseline, and help mainstream sustainability-related issues into regular business strategy and management. Despite this opportunity, there is a risk that these key benefits will not be delivered. In particular: (i) a narrow…

5 May 2022

Dates for the UNEP FI Global Roundtable 2022 announced

UNEP FI’s 17th Global Roundtable (GRT), a major global agenda-setting event on sustainable finance, will take place virtually on 10-14 October 2022. Held under the theme of “Transforming Finance, Accelerating Change”, this online event will bring together decision-makers, experts and thought leaders on a virtual event platform to help shape approaches to integrating sustainability across…

2 April 2020

UNEP FI launches new holistic impact analysis tools for the finance sector

2 April 2020 – UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) Positive Impact Initiative (PII) has launched two new tools for corporates, banks and investors to work together and step up their capacity to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With millions of people affected in their daily lives across the globe by the…

2 April 2019

Positive Impact Initiative launches two working groups

Geneva – UNEP FI’s Positive Impact Initiative (PI) is announcing the launch of two new Working Groups, where UNEP FI members, members of sister organizations and external stakeholders are working together to develop and test tools for holistic impact analysis: Impact Frameworks for corporate finance and investments with unspecified use of funds: corporate financing is an essential but…

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30 June 2021 | Webinar

Launch: UNEP FI Investment Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool

The Investment Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool was developed to enable signatories to the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) to meet their requirements under Principle 2 on impact analysis, namely as a basis for meeting their subsequent requirements under Principle 3 on target-setting. It complements the Bank Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool which focuses on Consumer, Business, Corporate and Investment Banking.

17 June 2021 | Webinar

Launch: UNEP FI Real Estate Impact Analysis Tool

The Real Estate Impact Analysis Tool was developed to enable financial institutions to identify and assess the impacts associated with their real estate investments and portfolios. The purpose of such an analysis is for financial institutions to define strategies and set targets that will increase the positive impacts and decrease the negative impacts of their real estate investments and portfolios.

2 April 2020 | Webinar

Launch: UNEP FI Impact Analysis Tools

UNEP FI has launched two hands-on tool prototypes that will enable banks, investors and their service providers to implement a holistic approach to impact.

28 February 2019 | BrightTALK webinar

Webinar: Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework

UNEP FI has recently published its Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework, part of a suite of resources to address the SDG financing gap and shift financing practices so that environmental, social and economic impacts are fully considered, intended and measured in investment activities. This webinar will provide an overview of the Framework, and include presentations from practitioners using an impact-based approach in their investment strategies and acquisition and management.

14 November 2018

Webinar: From TCFD to SDG Finance – Next Steps in Sustainable Finance

UNEP FI has pioneered work on Positive Impact finance, and TCFD implementation for investors, banks and insurers. Join this webinar to hear from the leaders at UNEP FI about the next steps in financing the Sustainable Development Goals, TCFD implementation, and how the bigger picture in sustainable finance is evolving.

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UNEP FI Impact Radar 2022

Building on over three years of experimentation and usage by a growing community of practice both within and beyond UNEP FI’s membership the Impact Radar has been revised for even better impact analysis and management. The Impact Radar, a compilation of Impact Areas and Topics across the three pillars of sustainable development, is a core…

Portfolio Impact Analysis Tools for Banks (Version 3)

The Portfolio Impact Analysis Tools for Banks (Version 3) is an iterative input-output workflow based on UNEP FI’s unique Holistic Impact Methodology. It requires users to input data to describe their portfolio and to reflect their current impact performance. The Tool uses the input data in combination with a set of in-built impact mappings to produce…

A new approach to unlocking private finance for climate and the SDGs in Egypt & Morocco

This paper is the product of a UNEP FI Reflective Cycle which investigated how a holistic and more locally driven approach to the SDGs could unlock private finance for climate change and other SDG topics in the MENA region. This process, which was conducted in Egypt and Morocco, combined desk-top research with a series of dialogues with experts and decision-makers from public and private entities from both countries.

Real Estate Impact Analysis Tool

The Real Estate Impact Analysis Tool was developed to enable financial institutions to holistically identify and assess the impacts associated with real estate investments and portfolios. There are multiple use cases for this kind of analysis, including: decision-making and due diligence in the context of asset acquisition; fund/portfolio review and management; impact target-setting as well as impact & SDG reporting.

Investment Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool

The Investment Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool was developed to enable financial institutions to holistically identify and assess the impacts associated with their investment portfolios. It requires users to input data about the nature, content and context of their portfolios. A set of in-built impact mappings is then combined with this data to help users identify the most…

Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool for Banks (Version 2)

The Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool for Banks an iterative input-output workflow which requires users to input data to describe their portfolio and to reflect their current impact performance. The Tool uses the input data in combination with a set of in-built impact mappings to produce a number of outputs, in particular a set of impact…

UNEP FI Corporate Impact Analysis Tool

The Corporate Impact Analysis Tool helps banks and investors gain a cross-cutting view of the impact status and possibilities of their clients and investee companies. Based on the Positive Impact Initiative’s unique approach, it provides a holistic analysis of companies’ impacts across different sectors and countries. Download tool here The findings of the Tool are…

UNEP FI Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool for Banks

The Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool for Banks represents a great step forward for holistic impact analysis in banking. Developed jointly by the Positive Impact Initiative with signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking and UNEP FI Member Banks, the Tool will help banks analyze the impacts associated with their retail (consumer and business banking) and…

Positive Impact Real Estate Investment Framework

The UNEP FI Property Working Group, in collaboration with RICS, PRI, and members of the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change, have produced a practical, action-oriented framework to accelerate a new financing paradigm for the delivery of the global SDGs. The 25 leading institutional investors and asset managers of the UNEP FI Property Working Group…

Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs: A Position Paper and Call to Action

In Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs, we explore new ways to significantly decrease the cost of achieving the SDGs and stimulate business and financing solutions at scale. Social, economic and environmental impacts have an as-yet under explored potential to generate financial revenues: impact-based business models can be developed, with the delivery of positive impacts…

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