13 January 2017
Ant Financial Services Group has become the first Fintech company to join UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s network of more 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 financial services sector in making the economy and lifestyles sustainable, and a commitment to integrating environmental and social considerations into all aspects of its operations.
Founded in 2014 and originating from Alipay, the world’s leading third-party payment platform, Ant Financial is a strong proponent of financial inclusion and green finance in China. Ant Financial has begun harnessing the capabilities of mobile internet, cloud computing, and big data to deliver financial services to small businesses and consumers. It is the only internet company in the China Green Finance Committee, convened by the People’s Bank of China as a forum to advance the greening of the country’s financial system.
“How to obtain inclusive, sustainable economic growth is a global challenge but is particularly true for China and many emerging markets. With the proper market mechanism, digital finance has the potential to motivate and help consumers and small and medium enterprises, which account for the bulk of consumption and employment, shift toward a greener life and economy. We call this bottom-up green finance. Ant Financial is excited to take a leadership role in this movement,” stated Chief Strategy Officer Chen Long.
UNEP FI Head Eric Usher said: “Fintech has the potential to play a key role in accelerating the sustainable finance agenda and UNEP FI is thrilled to welcome a champion of green inclusive finance to its network. Ant Financial can enable financial institutions to apply innovation to help deliver finance that supports a low-carbon, sustainable economy. It is also raising awareness of sustainability among its users and encouraging individuals to adopt sustainable lifestyles.”
Including Ant Financial in UNEP FI’s network marks the recognition that financial technology can help deliver positive social, environmental and economic impacts through banking, insurance, and investment.
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 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2017. Read more here.
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A UN Environment report published in December 2016 explores the potential for fintech to break new ground in the transition to sustainable development. Read more here.
Read more about the Green Digital Alliance in an from UN Environment Inquiry.