These principles set out the banking industry’s role and responsibility in shaping a sustainable future and in aligning the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. They also, importantly, enable a bank to embed sustainability across all its business areas, and to identify where it has the potential to make the most impact in its contributions to a sustainable world. Commercially, they allow banks to leverage new business opportunities within the emerging sustainable development economy.
This is further evidence of the strategic direction Investec is taking with regards to sustainability, having been the first bank in South Africa to release a separate report aligned with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
Commenting on the signing, Investec Chief Executive Fani Titi said: “While the physical signatures may be symbolic, the principles of the UN PRBs align directly with our strategic goals. We believe that the financial sector has a pivotal role to play in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and that our impact is best achieved through collaboration and partnership. That is why at Investec, our approach is to partner with our clients to decarbonise their activities and offer products and services that help accelerate a more sustainable world.”
Tanya Dos Santos, Investec’s Global Head of Sustainability and member of the ESG Executive Committee added: “By becoming a signatory to the UNEP FI, Investec is deepening our commitment to creating value beyond financial return and positively addressing issues of inequality and climate change in a transparent and focused way.”
Investec also participates in the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), which is developing a common methodology to assess greenhouse gas emissions from loans and investments made by firms in the financial sector.
“Investec is working to continually improve our sustainability efforts as the industry evolves and matures. While our commitment extends beyond climate-related issues, stakeholders have significantly raised the spotlight on the environment and climate change, and it is great to see the industry coming together on a global scale and partnering with the likes of the UN to ensure we are advancing these objectives and turning strategy into business practice,” concluded Dos Santos.
More information about the Principles for Responsible Banking available here: www.unepfi.org/responsiblebanking