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UNEP Launches Online Sustainable Banking Tool at Global Roundtable

Unepfin15 November 2013: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative hosted a Global Roundtable on mainstreaming sustainability into financing, and launched the Online Guide to Banking and Sustainability, a tool to assist banks in understanding and implementing sustainable investment practices based on the UNEP Statement of Commitment by Financial Institutions on Sustainable Development.

This high-level event, which took place on 12-13 November, in Beijing, China, focused on improving practices within the banking, insurance and investment industries. Speakers included Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, and Member of the Executive Management Team of the China Development Bank Jianping Zhao. Discussions focused on how to mainstream sustainability in the financial system and where the leadership to do this will come from, on which participants agreed that leadership must stem from both the public and private sectors.

While the first day focused on “changing finance,” the second day looked at “financing change,” e.g. mobilizing investments that promote sustainability. Sessions included discussions on, among others: emerging economies; energy efficiency; capacity building; scientific data; societal issues; and leadership. [UNEP press release] [Roundtable website] [Roundtable programme] [Online Guide to Banking & Sustainability]