“Sustainability is history’s biggest investment opportunity” AI Gore, former US Vice President
WWF Singapore Supports Launch of UNEPFI Principles for Responsible Banking
SINGAPORE, 26 November 2018 - WWF welcomes the launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking (the Principles), announced on 26 November by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI), and encourages banks globally to sign up to the Principles and signal their commitment to sustainable finance. The Principles provide a much needed global framework for sustainable banking, helping to align the industry with objectives outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
WWF supported the development of the Principles and provided expert advice based on its deep science-based insights into what constitutes robust Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) integration. WWF looks forward to supporting the continuous development of the Principles and is encouraged to see that the Implementation Guidance asks banks to align policies with scientific and robust approaches developed via a multi-stakeholder approach. WWF strongly recommends banks to set climate targets in line with a 1.5 degree setting and follow the guidance to disclose alignment of the bank’s portfolio with climate targets.
Natural capital is a key driver of economic growth. The businesses we depend on are driven by many different types of capital – financial, manufactured, social and human. Importantly, they also depend on natural capital; assets such as forests, soil, minerals and water, which provide a range of vital services, from regulating our climate, to purifying our water, to pollinating our crops.
The estimated annual value of the services provided by our forests, rivers, oceans, and soils
The degradation of our natural capital exposes businesses and societies to systemic risks. The world’s financial and industrial resources have grown over the past century, but we continue to under-price and over-use our natural capital. This comes at a cost. There is now evidence that the widespread degradation of our natural resources poses systemic risks – from climate change to water scarcity – which threaten the long-term viability and profitability of businesses across all sectors.
Financial Institutions (FIs) are particularly exposed to both the risks and opportunities in the transition to a low carbon future, and are uniquely positioned to steer the direction of the global economy. FIs, which lend to, invest in and insure companies across all sectors and geographies, are only as successful as the economies in which they invest. By integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analyses into their lending, investment and underwriting practices FIs can reduce risks to their portfolios, enhance value creation and support companies as they transition to more sustainable business models. This also serves to build a stronger, more resilient global economy.
The value of global manageable assets at risk due to climate change
We work with FIs in five key ways:
We provide recommendations and facilitate dialogue between regulatory authorities and FIs to raise the bar for sustainable finance at the national and regional level.
Through research, developing best practice guides and benchmarking progress on ESG integration, we support FIs to ensure timely progress towards a resilient and sustainable financial system.
We empower FIs through ESG capacity building in both industry-wide workshops and bilateral training sessions. Our trainings cover a range of thematic focus areas, and highlight tools FIs can use to monitor ESG.
By supporting engagement between financial institutions and their portfolio companies, we help FIs to exert their influence and facilitate large scale, meaningful change.
We work with FIs to support the development of innovative financial solutions that have positive financial, environmental and social outcomes.
Collaborative: We work collaboratively with key financial institutions and regulators to support the integration of ESG into decision making. WWF also engages directly with companies to help the private sector be better stewards of our shared natural assets. Find out more here.
Science Based: Through partnerships with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and Context-based Water Targets, we help financial institutions align their portfolios to science based standards that support value creation, while recognising planetary boundaries.
Global: With a global network of over 50 sustainable finance professionals, more than 50 years of environmental expertise, and a track record of bringing together actors from multiple sectors, WWF is uniquely positioned to support the transition to a sustainable finance system worldwide.
For more information, please contact us via email at email@example.com or by phone at +65 6730 8148.