October 23, 2014

Sustainable finance is an opportunity for the banking sector

Clean energy investments increased 16% in the first three quarters of the year compared to 2013, and will likely exceed $254bn. Caio Koch-Weser makes a case for the banking sector to develop common minimum sustainability standards.

Caio Koch-Weser

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), which is the global association of the financial industry, held a panel session focused on sustainable finance at their annual membership meeting in Washington.

Deutsche Bank Vice Chairman Caio Koch-Weser highlighted his involvement in the New Climate Economy report and its finding that the next 15 years are critical to whether the planned $90 trillion of investment energy, land use and cities will result in a low-carbon world with better economic growth.

The Banking Environment Initiative’s cooperation with the consumer goods industry is an excellent example for a joint approach

Banks need to undertake greater environmental and social risk management to meet external expectations and reduce risk. The Banking Environment Initiative’s cooperation with the consumer goods industry is an excellent example that could be broadened to more banks through IIF. “There is a case for the banking sector to develop common minimum sustainability standards” said Koch-Weser.

It is time for the banking industry to make a concerted effort on sustainability and climate change

“Institutional investors with $42 trillion in assets are members of the Principles for Responsible Investment. Insurance companies with $8 trillion in assets have the Principles for Sustainable Insurance. I think that it is time for the banking industry to make a concerted effort on sustainability and climate change. Why don’t we have the IIF start an initiative for the creation of principles for responsible banking as part of our sector’s contribution?”

Other panel participants included Anthony Jenkins, CEO of Barclays and Dr. Simon Zadek, co-director of the UNEP inquiry into a sustainable financial system. The panel was chaired by Michael Eckhart Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at Citigroup.

“Why don’t we have the IIF start an initiative for the creation of principles for responsible banking as part of our sector’s contribution?”

Caio Koch-Weser Deutsche Bank Vice Chairman

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