At the 2018 UNEP FI Global Roundtable in Paris, UNEP FI officially launched the public consultation on draft global Responsible Banking Principles. These principles aim to define the banking industry’s role and responsibilities in aligning financing with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

  • Principle 1: 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 (SDGs), the Paris Climate Agreement and relevant national and regional frameworks. We will focus our efforts where we have the most significant impact.”
  • Principle 2: Impact “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.”
  • Principle 3: Clients and 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.”
  • Principle 4: Stakeholders “We will proactively and responsibly consult, engage and partner with relevant stakeholders to achieve society’s goals.”
  • Principle 5: Governance and Target Setting “We will implement our commitment to these Principles through effective governance and a culture of responsible banking, demonstrating ambition and accountability by setting public targets relating to our most significant impacts.”
  • Principle 6: Transparency and 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.”

The development of these draft set of Principles, is the result of the work conducted by a working group of 28 banks, four of which are also active members of the Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative: Société Générale, BNPP, Santander and Yes Bank.

The Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative welcomes the launch of the consultation on the Principles for Responsible Banking, as a sign of the engagement of the financial community to contribute to a sustainable future.

The proposed Responsible Banking Principles are aligned with and reflect the spirit of the 5 Voluntary Principles for Climate Mainstreaming launched by the Climate Action in Financial Institutions initiative at COP21 in 2015. They again demonstrate the importance for financial institutions to Commit, Manage, Promote, Improve and Account on climate change and other sustainability objectives.

The launch of global Responsible Banking Principles demonstrates that a growing portion of the financial community is ready to move in the same direction and to contribute to the achievement of both the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the broader UN Sustainable Development Goals to help shape a sustainable future.

The Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative is ready to help financial institutions move from commitments to action.

The Climate Action Initiative is working to connect the dots with UNEP FI and other climate-related financial sector initiatives to accelerate the mainstreaming of climate change. We offer financial institutions an opportunity to learn, dialogue, and contribute to the rapidly evolving practice of integrating or ‘mainstreaming’ climate change across operations. The Initiative aims to help financial institutions face the concrete challenges of the integration of climate considerations into their different activities and operations.

As financial institutions move forward in implementing their climate-related commitments, the Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative aims to support this by connecting the dots between the different coalitions and initiatives active in this area and draw lessons from existing practice to overcome barriers and improve climate smart approaches and tailored financial instruments.

The Climate Mainstreaming Resources Center, a publicly available online resource, can help financial institutions – whether following our 5 Climate Mainstreaming Principles or moving forward with UNEP FI’s Responsible Banking Principles – to contribute to global climate and sustainability objectives:

  • The Climate Mainstreaming Library: it gathers a selection of key reports and tools related to the Climate Mainstreaming Principles and provides an overview of the mainstreaming literature from both practitioners and the research community.
  • The Climate Mainstreaming Practices Database: it offers financial institutions an easy access to case studies on how institutions supporting the Initiative are implementing the Climate Mainstreaming Principles.
  • Connecting the Dots between Climate Finance Initiatives: this resource aims to provide an operational and concise overview of 30 of the most prominent ‘Organizations’, ’Convened Processes’ and ‘Calls to Action’ related to the 5 Climate Mainstreaming Principles.

All financial institutions are invited to become Supporting Institutions of the 5 voluntary Climate Mainstreaming Principles and to contact the Secretariat of the initiative to learn more.