Global finance leaders launch principles for financing sustainable development

Leading banks and investors, totaling USD 6.6 trillion in assets, on Monday (Jan. 30) launched the Principles for Positive Impact Finance, a first of its kind set of criteria for investments to be considered sustainable.

The Principles were developed by the Positive Impact Working Group, a group of  19 UN Environment Finance Initiative banking and investment members, including  BNP Paribas, ING and Société Générale.

According to UNEP official release, the Principles provide financiers and investors with a global framework applicable across their different business lines, including retail and wholesale lending, corporate and investment lending and asset management.

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – the global action plan to end poverty, combat climate change and protect the environment – is expected to cost USD5 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.”

The four Positive Impact 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.

The innovation of the Principles lies in the requirement for a holistic appraisal of positive and negative impacts on economic development, human well-being and the environment.


(Image: Light The Way celebrations, New York, 2015. Photo credit: Marisol Grandon/Department for International Development on DFID Flickr)