This week, 19 leading global banks and investors totaling $6.6 trillion in assets, launched the Principles for Positive Impact Finance at an event in Paris.
The Principles provide guidance for financiers and investors to analyse, monitor and disclose the social, environmental and economic impacts of the financial products and services they deliver.
They provide a global framework applicable across their different business lines, including retail and wholesale lending, corporate and investment lending, and asset management.
The Principles require a holistic appraisal of positive and negative impacts on economic development, human well-being and the environment: this is what makes them innovative.
High-level representatives from the financial sector and M. Michel Sapin, French Minister for the Economy and Finance attended the launch.
The Principles are part of a broader process under the Positive Impact Manifesto, launched in 2015 to call for a new, impact-based financing paradigm to bridge the gap in financing for sustainable development.
As of 30 January 2017, the Positive Impact Working Group includes: Australian Ethical, Banco Itaú, BNP Paribas, BMCE Bank of Africa, Caisse des Dépôts Group, Desjardins Group, First Rand, Hermes Investment Management, ING, Mirova, NedBank, Pax World, Piraeus Bank, SEB, Société Générale, Standard Bank, Triodos Bank, Westpac and YES Bank.
“The Principles are a timely initiative from the finance sector. They demonstrate the willingness of financial institutions to go beyond current practices and to contribute to foster a more sustainable development,” said French Finance Minister Michel Sapin. “They should provide strengthened foundations for a positive cooperation between public and private actors in this area.”
“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – the global action plan to end poverty, combat climate change and protect the environment – is expected to cost $5 to 7 trillion every year through 2030,” said Eric Usher, head of the UN Environment Finance Initiative.
“The Positive Impact Principles are a game changer, which will help to channel the hundreds of trillions of dollars managed by banks and investors towards clean, low‑carbon and inclusive projects.”
“With global challenges such as climate change, population growth and resource scarcity accelerating, there is an increased urgency for the finance sector both to adapt and to help bring about the necessary changes in our economic and business models. The Principles for Positive Impact Finance provide an ambitious yet practical framework by which we can take the broader angle view we need to meet the deeply complex and interconnected challenges of our time,” said Séverin Cabannes, Deputy CEO of Société Générale, a founding member of the group.
Find more information on the Principles here.
This story was originally posted on the UNEP FI website.