UNEP FI Signatories based in Europe are included in UNEP FI’s Working Group for Europe, which provides a pan-European platform to address region-specific sustainability issues and gaps. The Europe Working Group also provides regional perspectives to inform UNEP FI’s overall work programme. UNEP FI works with a network of partners to disseminate, promote and communicate its work across the region, such as tools, research and workshops with the objective of expanding sustainability and responsible finance practices throughout European financial institutions. UNEP FI undertakes outreach with European institutions and sustainable finance networks in Europe and convenes various actors, including finance institutions, industry associations and policy-makers.

To advance the sustainable finance agenda in Europe, UNEP FI works with its Europe-based Signatories and Regional Advisors, who act as dedicated industry counterparts in the design and implementation of UNEP FI strategy in the region.

Activities

UNEP FI activities in Europe focus on:

  • Building and reinforcing partnerships with European players and national networks promoting sustainable finance in Western Europe / European Union: UNEP FI works towards building and reinforcing synergies with strategic actors in the European Union and other Western European countries across sustainable finance, including industry associations, sustainable finance specific fora, multilateral and development financial institutions, policy-makers and regulators, academia, etc.. UNEP FI shares information, contributes to consultations and explores opportunities for partnerships in areas such as policy dialogue, research, event organization and tool development. In addition, UNEP FI liaises with national networks and platforms in which UNEP FI members are involved, to facilitate knowledge sharing with the goal of contributing to the dynamics of the sustainable finance in the region.
  • Engaging with the Sustainable Finance policy initiatives of the European Union: In 2019/2020, UNEP FI was an observer to the EC Technical Expert Group (TEG) responsible for developing the EU sustainable finance taxonomy. It continues its work as an observer at the Platform on Sustainable Finance and the International Platform for Sustainable Finance. UNEP FI together with the EBF has been testing the applicaiton of the EU Taxonomy to core banking products. UNEP FI also works closely with the European Investment Bank on the taxonomy and other sustainable finance developments as well as with EC´s DG MARE and European Investment Bank to establish norms for financial institutions to ensure a sustainable blue economy in financing of ocean-related sectors.
  • Raising the awareness and building the capacity of finance institutions on social and environmental risks and opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe: UNEP FI’s priorities in non-EU members starts in Central and Eastern Europe are to raise awareness of the link between environment and social issues and finance, and to build the capacity of financial institutions to integrate environmental and social issues into traditional financial operations. UNEP FI also strives to support and facilitate local initiatives promoting the adoption of sustainable business practices by the finance sector. UNEP FI started to build a presence in Central and Eastern Europe in 2004.

Flagship project: Banking & EU Taxonomy

As a flagship project in 2021, UNEP FI and the European Banking Federation (EBF) are working with 24 banks to develop industry guidelines for operationalizing the application of the EU Taxonomy across core banking products, This project has close ties also with the work happening in the EU Sustainable Finance Platform and will also draw with the expertise of public sector observers into its work.
This project builds on the work undertaken in 2020, UNEP FI with the EBF and 26 European and international banks to test the EU Sustainable Finance Taxonomy on core banking products. Results were published in a major report in January 2021 with recommendations on how to improve the usability of the taxonomy for banking and case-studies testing the application of the EU taxonomy to specific transactions.

Training and professional development

UNEP FI has a range of training offerings, both online and in workshop format, covering several themes. For further information on each of these services, please visit the Sustainable Finance Training section.

Members

Financial institutions based in Europe which are UNEP FI Signatories

Supporting institutions

Climate Bonds Initiative (United Kingdom)
ClimateWise (United Kingdom)
Dutch Association of Insurers (The Netherlands)
Earth Security Group (United Kingdom)
Environment & Security Initiative (Switzerland)
Finance Norway (Finance Norway)
Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile (Italy)
International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Impact Insurance Facility (Switzerland)
International Cooperative & Mutual Insurance Federation (United Kingdom)
Italian Federation of Banks, Insurers and Finance (FeBAF) (Italy)
Global Organizational Learning & Development Network for Sustainability (Belgium)
National Committee on International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (The Netherlands)
Oceana Europe (Spain)
University of Westminster (United Kingdom)
Verein für Umweltmanagement und Nachhaltigkeit in Finanzinstituten (VfU) (Germany)

Contact

Daniel Bouzas Luis

6 July 2021

UNEP FI welcomes EU Strategy for Financing the Transition to a Sustainable Economy

On 6 July 2021, the European Union (EU) published its Strategy for Financing the Transition to a Sustainable Economy, showcasing the areas of key development since the Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth was published in March 2018. The publication establishes the strategic priorities and next steps in terms of both legislative and non-legislative actions in the EU with a clear aim to support the EU Green Deal and the path to a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050.

26 January 2021

26 banks test the application of the EU Taxonomy to core banking products

UNEP FI and the European Banking Federation (EBF) have launched a unique report assessing the extent to which the EU Taxonomy on Sustainable Activities could be applied to core banking products for labelling or disclosure purposes. This report is the result of a project with 26 major banks, seven banking associations and five observing organisations…

1 October 2020

European Commission appoints Platform on Sustainable Finance, includes UNEP FI

The European Commission published today the list of members of the Platform on Sustainable Finance, which includes UNEP FI. The Platform brings together experts from civil society organizations, academia, and the business and finance sector to develop sustainable finance policies and tools to tackle the urgency of the sustainability transition. For the next 2 years the…

5 December 2019

UNEP FI Regional Roundtable Europe 2019: Highlights

The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Luxembourg for Finance (LFF) and Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) joined forces for three days to welcome over 500 sustainable finance professionals to Luxembourg on 28-30 November 2019. The events, co-hosted by the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance and Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, created a…

18 June 2019

European Commission’s Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance launches reports, including on an EU Taxonomy, to help drive the transition towards a sustainable economy

On 18 June 2019, the European Commission’s EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) launched reports on an EU Taxonomy, a voluntary EU Green Bond Standard and voluntary low-carbon benchmarks. The TEG’s reports will help shape future regulations, some of which are still under negotiation. EU Taxonomy EU Green Bond Standard Climate Benchmarks and…

7 March 2019

EU policy makers achieve political agreement on investor disclosures and ESG

The EU has taken an important step forward on advancing sustainable finance. On Thursday 7 March 2019, the EU Parliament and Council achieved political agreement on requiring ESG integration by financial market participants. Clarifying the fiduciary duties of investors has been a priority for UNEP FI for many years. These rules are an essential part…

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21 June - 19 July 2021 | Webinar Series

Practical Briefings on the EU Taxonomy

The EU Platform on Sustainable Finance presents the Practical Briefings on the EU Taxonomy. UNEP FI is happy to co-host this series of webinars examining the role of the Taxonomy, its implications for financial institutions and the future steps.

27 April 2021 | Webinar

Foro permanente FEF de Finanzas Sostenibles/Forum on Sustainable Finance

UNEP FI collaborated through the chapter "Necessary skills to change finance and finance change" in the report "The role of finance in a sustainable economy" undertaken by the Spanish Institute of Financial Analysts / Financial Studies Foundation. The online presentation of the study will be on April 27th at 16h CET.

13-22 April 2021 | Online

Sustainable Investment Forum Europe 2021

UNEP FI is partnering with Climate Action for the 4th annual Sustainable Investment Forum Europe which returns in April 2021 as a 4-part digital event series across 2 weeks.

20 November 2019 | Paris, France

Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Workshop

UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the European Commission are organising a Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Workshop alongside the Sustainable Ocean Summit. Participants will explore what is required for the finance sector to accelerate uptake of finance-related policies, practices, financial instruments, opportunities and initiatives to contribute to a sustainable blue economy.

11-12 June 2019

RI Europe

UNEP FI is pleased to support this annual two-day conference which provides a unique opportunity to learn, share and debate responsible investment issues with 700+ investment professionals from across the globe. Engage with Europe’s largest investors on key themes affecting local markets and the rest of the world. Thought-leaders from across the institutional investment sector as well as academic researchers will come together to debate key issues.

30 April 2019 | Frankfurt, Germany

Emerging Global Trends in Sustainable Finance: a meeting with Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI

VfU are presenting an open meeting with Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI to discuss global trends in sustainable finance. The event, which is organised in cooperation with the Green and Sustainable Cluster (GSFC) Germany will discuss UNEP FI's Principles for Responsible Banking, implementation of the TCFD Recommendations, an update on taxonomy for banks, impact-based approaches to corporate lending and more.

12 March 2019 | Paris, France

Sustainable Investment Forum Europe 2019

The Sustainable Investment Forum Europe will take place on 12 March in Paris. This must-attend forum will convene over 300 asset owners and managers, ratings agencies, banks, UN and Government policymakers, investors, development banks, think tanks, and NGOs committed to driving forward the sustainable finance agenda.

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A Journey towards a sustainable financial system: Luxembourg Sustainable Finance Roadmap

The aim of this Roadmap is to set a vision and lay the groundwork to establish a comprehensive and far-reaching sustainable finance strategy contributing to the Agenda 2030 and towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement. This Roadmap is ambitious in terms of Luxembourg’s contributions to sustainable development and climate action, it is forward looking…

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century – Ireland Roadmap

In June 2018, United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and The Generation Foundation in collaboration with SIF Ireland, Ireland’s Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum, released the Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century Ireland Roadmap. The report provides clear recommendations on policy and market changes required to achieve full ESG integration into…

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century – Germany Roadmap

The PRI, UNEP FI and The Generation Foundation have published the Germany Roadmap which builds on the report Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century. Many industry experts involved in this study indicated that ESG integration in Germany is on average less advanced than in neighbouring France, the Netherlands, the UK and Scandinavia. Despite this, momentum…