26 November 2018
Today, Westpac joins 27 banks from around the world at the United Nations Environment Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) Global Roundtable in Paris to launch the draft Principles for Responsible Banking for global public consultation.
The Principles will define the banking industry’s role and responsibilities in shaping a sustainable future. By committing to the new framework, banks will be aligning their business with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Westpac was a founding member of UNEP FI and signatory to the Equator Principles,” said Brian Hartzer, Westpac Group CEO. “That’s why we are proud to be supporting the development of the Principles for Responsible Banking – reinforcing our commitment to the Paris Agreement and the UN SDGs, which sit at the heart of our 2020 Sustainability Strategy.”
The Principles aim to set the global standard for what it means to be a responsible bank, ensuring that banks create value for both their shareholders and society.
“The global banking industry is stepping up to the sustainability challenge,” said Satya Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UN Environment. “I’m optimistic we’ll see a realignment of business practice – one that embraces the fact that green and socially responsible business is the best business.”
This year, Westpac became the first bank globally to publicly map its performance against the draft Principles in its 2018 Sustainability Performance Report.
About the Principles
The process adopted by the UNEP FI to develop the Principles included consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, such as civil society organisations, banking associations, regulators and UN bodies. The first in-person meeting of the participating banks took place in London on 19th and 20th April, and Westpac hosted the second meeting in Singapore on 5th and 6th September 2018
The six Principles that banks commit to are: Alignment, Impact, Clients & Customers, Stakeholders, Governance & Target Setting, and Transparency & Accountability.
The Principles are now entering a six-month global public consultation period prior to being signed by banks from around the world at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2019.
Members of the Core Group (in alphabetical order):
Access Bank (Nigeria), Arab African International Bank (AAIB) (Egypt), Banco Pichincha (Ecuador), Banorte (Mexico), Barclays (United Kingdom), BBVA (Spain), BNP Paribas (France), Bradesco (Brazil), Commercial International Bank (CIB) (Egypt), First Rand (South Africa), Garanti Bank (Turkey), Golomt Bank (Mongolia), Hana Financial Group (South Korea), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (China), ING (Netherlands), KCB Group (Kenya), Land Bank (South Africa), National Australia Bank (Australia), Nordea (Sweden), Piraeus Bank (Greece), Santander (Spain), Shinhan Financial Group (South Korea), Societe Generale (France), Standard Bank (South Africa), Triodos Bank (Netherlands), Westpac Group (Australia), YES Bank (India).
- Podcast: Simon O’Connor, CEO RIAA in conversation with Siobhan Toohill
- Mapping our 2018 sustainability performance against the draft Principles for Responsible Banking
- Interview with Eric Usher, head of the UNEP FI
Group Media Relations, Westpac
M. 0434 185 590