200 banks across 58 countries and 6 continents have now signed UNEP FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking, thereby committing to align their strategy and practice with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals. The signatories collectively represent 1.7 billion customers and USD 54 trillion in assets: more than 40% of the global banking sector is now part of the coalition for change!

Embedding sustainability at the strategic, portfolio and transactional levels, and across all business areas, the Principles for Responsible Banking provide a framework for a sustainable banking system. The six Principles require banks to analyse the current impact they have on people and planet, set targets to improve their impact, and publicly report on progress.

Since the launch of the groundbreaking framework, eleven Working Groups comprised of staff members from the signatory banks have been created to develop tools and guidance, and provide support to assist banks on their journey. In July, signatories voted for a new governance structure, agreed individual and collective progress review processes, as well as a process for dealing with signatories who fail to deliver on their commitments. To ensure the credibility of the new framework, signatories agreed that a civil society advisory body should be created to help monitor collective progress, advise the Banking Board on strategic matters and help maintain the relevance of the framework. The Civil Society Advisory Body is unique – no other sustainable finance framework has proposed such robust involvement of civil society organisations and UNEP FI is in the process of recruiting members. Details can be found here and watch a video from civil society organizations explaining the significance of their involvement here.

One year on from the first anniversary of the launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking signatories shared their thoughts, experiences and progress in implementing the Principles for Responsible Banking in a series of videos and online content. Find out more about the banks’ sustainability journey here.

Read about the Principles for Responsible Banking at staging.unepfi.org/responsiblebanking