The banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting sustainable development. It can lead the way to a more sustainable economy by lending to economic activities that yield the best return from society’s point of view and by guiding customers and stakeholders to manage social and environmental challenges and opportunities. At UNEP FI, we work hand in hand with our member banks to increase lending that supports socially and environmentally sustainable economic activities.

Starting with only a few pioneer commercial banks, UNEP-FI’s Banking Programme can now rely on and assist a strong international banking network of over 120 leading banks across the world. Our membership is composed of top international banks, regional leaders, development banks and specialized environmental banks. At UNEP FI, it is our members, through the Banking Committee, which is composed of senior executives from our member banks, that steer the overall strategy and activities of the Banking Programme to lead this change towards becoming sustainable financial institutions. Therefore, our work is closely tailored to the actual needs and interests of our membership and more globally those of the banking sector.

Over the past few years, our work has fallen into the following broad categories of: providing technical research and guidance on sustainable banking tools and practices, spearheading and supporting leadership initiatives, working with members and experts to develop new concepts, methodologies and approaches and promoting policy dialogue and engagement. For a more in-depth description of our current activities, please click on the tabs listed on the right-hand side.

UNEP FI’s banking members and our banking-related work are supported by our four dedicated thematic expert teams:

Climate Risk & Performance
Climate Change is one of UNEP FI’s core themes. The key areas of focus for banking practitioners include:

Natural Capital Risk & Valuation
Ecosystems Management is organized first and foremost through the Natural Capital Finance Alliance, a partnership with the Global Canopy Programme. Key areas of focus for banking practitioners include:

Banking & Human Rights
Over the years, UNEP FI has developed guidance on
human rights and broader social issues and is actively supporting the exploration of the links between environmental issues such as climate change and human rights / social issues. Key resources for banking practitioners include:

Positive impact

The Positive Impact Initiative aims to promote impact-based financing through new business models and financial products. By virtue of a holistic appraisal of sustainability issues, Positive Impact Finance constitutes a direct response to the challenge of financing the Sustainable Development Goals. Key resources for banking practitioners include:

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.

Contact

Simone Dettling
[email protected]

  • CSI Kenya joins as UNEP FI Supporting Institution

      27 November, 2017 UNEP FI is very pleased to welcome CIS Kenya, a leading credit-focused association, as a supporting institution. Chief Executive Officer Jared Getenga said, “There is no question on who should join the Sustainable Finance Initiative, we should look at it as a matter of when. All businesses have to calculate risks, […]

  • Christiana Figueres challenges UNEP FI’s banking members and wider industry to cut high-carbon investing

    Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, laid down a challenge to the banking industry during UNEP FI’s recent Europe Roundtable when she joined as a surprise guest via live video conference. Christiana, who was one of the architects of the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 in […]

  • BBVA is 14th Leading Bank to Join UNEP FI TCFD Pilot Project

    26 September 2017 We are pleased to announce that UNEP FI member, BBVA Group, is the latest to join UNEP FI’s first-mover project to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) along with thirteen other leading banks. In collaboration with the pilot project group, they will jointly pioneer practical approaches […]

  • How to Become a Sustainable Bank: Launch of the New Guide to Banking and Sustainability 2.0

    September 2017       What does a sustainable bank look like and what role can each department play to further integrate sustainability across a bank? The UN Environment Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) Guide to Banking and Sustainability – Edition 2 is a functional overview of what a sustainable bank looks like and is designed […]

  • Rabobank joins 12 leading banks to pilot recommendations of Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

    5 September, 2017 We are pleased to announce that UNEP FI member, Rabobank, is the latest to join twelve other first-mover banks working together to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The leading Dutch Bank has already halted financing of unconventional energy extraction such as shale gas, and no […]

  • Norway’s DNB is twelfth leading bank to join UNEP FI’s TCFD implementation pilot project

    31 July 2017 We are pleased that UNEP FI member, DNB, has become the twelfth leading bank to join our pilot project to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This follows the announcement in early July that eleven of UNEP FI’s banking members not only welcomed the recommendations but […]

  • UPDATED: 16 UNEP FI Member Banks Representing Many Trillions of Dollars are First in Industry to Jointly Pilot the TCFD Recommendations

    31 October, 2017: Update – 16 banks now form the UNEP FI TCFD pilot project. 11 July, 2017 Eleven of the world’s leading banks announced on 11 July, 2017 that they will work together with UNEP FI to develop analytical tools and indicators to strengthen their assessment and disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities. Following […]

  • UNEP FI signatory Shinhan Bank launches a new green loan program

    On April 6th, Shinhan Bank launched its ‘Green Management Firm Loan Program’ with the South Korean Ministry of Environment and KEITI, a UNEP FI Supporting Institution. The program allots USD 87 million for Eco-friendly Small and Medium Entersprises, and loans are made with interest rates of up to 1.3% lower that existing programs. This is […]

  • ABBANK becomes first UNEP FI member in Vietnam

      An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ABBANK), the fastest growing retail bank in Vietnam, has become the first UNEP FI member in the country. ABBANK prides itself as one of the first banks to adopt the Bank of Vietnam’s directive to promote green credit growth and manage environmental and social risks in financial operations, […]

  • 19 leading global banks and investors totaling $6.6 trillion in assets launch Principles for Positive Impact Finance

    Paris, 30 January 2017

    Today, 19 leading global banks and investors totaling $6.6 trillion in assets, launched the Principles for Positive Impact Finance at an event in Paris. The programme of the event is available here.

    Read the press release in English and in French.

  • ANT Financial Services and UN Environment launch Green Digital Finance Alliance

    On Thursday 19 January 2017, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, UNEP FI member ANT Financial Services and UN Environment launched the ‘Green Digital Finance Alliance’ a ground-breaking initiative to harness digital technologies in catalyzing financing that addresses global environmental challenges. Financing sustainable development is one of the greatest challenge of our times. To […]

  • Chinese online payment provider Ant Financial joins UNEP FI

    Chinese online payment provider Ant Financial joins UNEP FI Ant Financial Services Group has become the first Fintech company to join UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s network ofmore than 200 financial institution signatories. Ant Financial’s signing of the UNEP FI Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions on Sustainable Development represents the online payments services providers’ recognition of the role of the […]

  • The Association of Banks in Jordan joins UNEP Finance Initiative as Supporting Institution

    On 16 October 2016, the Association of Banks in Jordan (ABJ) joined UNEP FI as a Supporting Institution, becoming the second Banking Association in the region to join under this status. The Association, which is an umbrella to 25 Banks in Jordan, seeks to advance the banking business in the country and plays an active […]

  • Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures: Draft Recommendations Report out 14th December

      The Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) released its draft Recommendations Report in December 2016. The initiative – set up by the Financial Stability Board – will develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders. The task force launched a […]

  • BASA signs agreement to join UNEP FI as Supporting Institution

    On 27 May 2016, the Banking Association South Africa (BASA) signed an agreement to join UNEP FI as a supporting partner becoming the first Banking Industry Association in Africa and third globally, to achieve a Supporting Institution Status. This partnership comes in celebration of 15 years of collaboration between UNEP FI and BASA, a collaboration dating […]

  • Union of Arab Banks (UAB) first institution in the Arab region to join UNEP Finance Initiative as Supporting Institution

    On 12 May 2016, the Union of Arab Banks became the second institution globally and first regionally to join UNEP FI under the Supporting Institution Status. Following the formalization of the partnership agreement under the Supporting Institutions, UNEP FI partnered with the UAB for the 2016 International Arab Banking Summit that took place in Rome […]

  • UNEP FI makes series of key recommendations to FSB’s Climate Disclosures Task Force

    UNEP FI has presented a series of key recommendations to the International Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, recently established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to enhance climate disclosure practice in line with the requirements of financial actors. Informed by its extensive track record with the financial sector and its expertise on disclosure-related issues, […]