10 Leading Banks Release ‘Positive Impact Manifesto’

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Research by Ceres indicates that the world needs a “clean trillion” dollars of additional investments every year up to 2030 in order to transition to a green economy. The financial and banking sector must play a central role in funding this transition to enable new global infrastructure to be made green.

A group of 10 international banks, including BMCE Bank, ING Bank, Nedbank, Piraeus Bank, Société Générale, SEB, Standard Bank, Triodos Bank, Westpac and YES Bank have launched a ‘Positive Impact Manifesto’, which calls for an impact-based approach to banking. The Manifesto offers a bold and innovative vision of the financial sector’s role in achieving sustainable global development.

These banks, which collectively hold more than $4 trillion in financial assets, are members of the UNEP Finance Initiative. The Manifesto was launched recently at the UNEP FI’s 2015 Annual General Meeting. UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said that banks are uniquely positioned between the real economy and capital markets. Holding the largest asset pool of about $139 trillion, they are critical to catalyzing the transition to an inclusive green economy.

Séverin Cabannes, Deputy CEO of Société Générale, said that the Manifesto is a real milestone that will help to make decisive progress towards sustainable development goals. The Manifesto invites banks and other financial sector players to think more holistically about their role in the economy and proposes a roadmap to establishing a new market driven paradigm: positive impact finance.

Over the next two years the UNEP FI’s Positive Impact Working Group, currently made up of the 10 banks, will work with peers, clients and other stakeholders to increase their positive impact on the economy and the broader environment. The Group will also establish a Positive Impact Incubator where new business models and financing approaches can be tested by financiers and companies to improve the bankability of positive impact transactions.

Hérvé Guez, Head of SRI Research at Mirova and Board Member of the UNEP FI Investment Commission, welcomed the banks’ initiative to develop the market for sustainable investments, for which there is a growing appetite.The Head of Environmental Risk at Barclays and Co-Chair of the Banking Commission Board, Christopher Bray, said that the move holds promise in terms of new business opportunities, while continuing to help in countering a build-up of environmental and social risk across the financial sector.

Source: News Hour

Image Credit: Flickr via jonahengler