Strategically linking the so-called real economy and the capital markets, the banking sector is in a critically unique position to contribute to the transition to a greener and more inclusive economy.
With a membership of over 120 leading banks across the world, including the main international banks, regional leaders as well as development banks and specialized environmental banks, UNEP FI gathers together the largest group of banks on matters of sustainability and sustainable development. The work of the governance body, the Banking Committee, is steered by a Board of Commission representatives made up of senior executives from global banks.
UNEP FI’s banking related activities fall under the following broad categories.
- Providing technical research and guidance
- Promoting policy dialogue and engagement
Climate Risk & Performance
Climate Change is one of UNEP FI’s core themes. The key areas of focus for banking practitioners include:
- Understanding portfolio carbon risk
- Defining and measuring climate performance
- A dedicated training programme on climate change risks and opportunities
Natural Capital Risk & Valuation
Ecosystems Management is another important and comprehensive theme of UNEP FI, organized first and foremost through the Natural Capital Declaration, a partnership with the Global Canopy Programme. Key areas of focus for banking practitioners include:
- Advancing Environmental Risk Management
- Removing deforestation from soft commodity supply chains
- Designing innovative solutions to give agricultural smallholders access to finance – contribution to the UN-REDD+ programme and sustainable land use
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:
- UNEP FI Human Rights Guidance Tool for the Financial Sector
- Banks & Human Rights: a Legal Analysis – a collaboration between UNEP FI & Foley Hoag LLP
Positive impact is a new and innovative initiative of UNEP FI aiming 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 SDGs. 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.