What is UNEP FI?
United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between United Nations Environment and the global financial sector with a mission to promote sustainable finance.
One of the UNEP FI initiatives is the Principles for Responsible Banking, which were finalized in July this year. The highly anticipated launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking is now set for 22-23 September 2019 in New York City, during the annual United Nations General Assembly.
Over 100 banks and organizations have already endorsed the principles, including the European Banking Federation (EBF) and the European Savings Banks Group (ESBG).
Banks must be transparent
Finance Norway CEO Idar Kreutzer said: “The Principles for Responsible Banking reflect the acknowledgement that banks must be transparent about how their products and services create value for their customers, clients, investors, as well as society.”
Idar Kreutzer added: “The principles should help banks better align their business strategy with societal goals, as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national and regional frameworks.”
Banks who endorse the principles commit to the ambitions set out in the following Principles:
Alignment: We will align our business strategy to be consistent with and contribute to individuals’ needs and society’s goals, as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national and regional frameworks.
Impact & Target Setting: We will continuously increase our positive impacts while reducing the negative impacts on, and managing the risks to, people and environment resulting from our activities, products and services. To this end, we will set and publish targets where we can have the most significant impacts.
Clients & Customers: We will work responsibly with our clients and our customers to encourage sustainable practices and enable economic activities that create shared prosperity for current and future generations.
Stakeholders: We will proactively and responsibly consult, engage and partner with relevant stakeholders to achieve society’s goals.
Governance & Culture: We will implement our commitment to these Principles through effective governance and a culture of responsible banking.
Transparency & Accountability We will periodically review our individual and collective implementation of these Principles and be transparent about and accountable for our positive and negative impacts and our contribution to society’s goals.
Encourage members to endorse the principles
As an endorsing member, we will inform our members of UNEP FI’s work, encourage members to sign up to the principles as individual banks and to join working groups to develop their expertise in the different dimensions of the Principles.
Finance Norway has previously endorsed UNEP FI Principles for responsible investments and UNEP FI Principles for sustainable insurance.