Call to Join Civil Society Advisory Body for the Principles for Responsible Banking


27 November 2020 (UNEP)* — The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has issued a public call to civil society institutions around the world to declare their interest in joining the Civil Society Advisory Body until 15 December 2020.

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The body – which is designed to ensure that the Principles for Responsible Banking remain relevant and that the signatories are accountable to civil society – is the only instance of a sustainable finance initiative having such significant civil society input.

Principles for Responsible Banking is first finance sector initiative to put into practice signatories’ commitments to robust accountability and broad engagement with establishment of Civil Society Advisory Body

Signatories to the Principles for Responsible Banking commit to proactively consult with their stakeholders and to be transparent about and accountable for their positive and negative impacts and their contribution to society’s goals (under Principles 4 and 6). Civil society organisations will play a key role in holding the community of signatory banks accountable and ensure that they deliver on their commitments with ambition and transparency.

To ensure this input, signatories have taken a step that no other sustainable finance framework has taken to date and voted to establish a Civil Society Advisory Body. UNEP FI has now issued a public call to civil society institutions around the world to declare their interest in joining the body.

With over 190 Signatories, the Principles for Responsible Banking are now being implemented by over 40% of the global banking sector, leading to a future in which the banking community makes the kind of positive contribution to people and the planet that society expects. The Civil Society Advisory Body is a unique opportunity for member organisations to engage the collective signatory banks and steer the conversation around responsible banking.

“We know that with the challenges we face today, collaboration is essential. Having seen the value of engaging directly with civil society groups in the development of the Principles, we’re now proud to take the step to establish a formal Civil Society Advisory Body, supporting constructive dialogue between banks and civil society, with a shared goal of better sustainability performance,” said Siobhan Toohill, Group Head of Sustainability, Westpac Group, Australia and co-Chair of UNEP FI’s Banking Committee.

The new body will help monitor collective progress, engaging with and advising the newly-formed Banking Board on strategic matters, help maintain the relevance of the framework, and keep it in step with evolving global sustainability objectives. It will comprise twelve organizations from each region with expertise in the most relevant social and environmental issues.

One of its key roles will be to monitor and provide an independent viewpoint on the collective progress of signatories to the Principles for Responsible Banking. The body’s independent assessment will be published as part of UNEP FI’s biennial Collective Progress Report on the Principles.

Membership is on an institutional, not personal basis and the positions are available for a two-year term from March 2021 to February 2023. Full details of the organisations we are looking for, details on time commitments and other expectations are available here. Applications close on 15 December, 2020.

Read more here. For more information contact Oualid Rokneddine.

Watch your civil society peers explaining what they expect from the Principles for Responsible Banking.

About the Principles for Responsible Banking

The Principles for Responsible Banking are a unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks’ strategy and practice align with the vision society has set out for its future in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

More than 190 banks have now joined this movement for change, leading the way towards a future in which the banking community makes the kind of positive contribution to people and the planet that society expects. These banks represent more than a third of the global banking industry.

Watch your civil society peers explaining what they expect from the Principles for Responsible Banking.

For more information go to: www.unepfi.org/responsiblebanking

Read about the progress the banks have made during their first year implementing the Principles for Responsible Banking here.

2020 Human Wrongs Watch

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