Principles for Responsible Banking
In November 2018 United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) published a draft of its Principles for Responsible Banking (PRBs), an inititive that encourages banks to align their operations with the social and environmental commitments expressed in the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The draft PRBs are open for comment until 31 May 2019. BankTrack is coordinating an NGO response to the PRBs.
Banks and human rights
BankTrack's human rights campaign pushes for banks to fully meet their responsibilities to respect human rights and human dignity across their operations. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide the clearest expression yet of these responsibilities. Since 2011 our campaign has focused on benchmarking banks, challenging finance for human rights abuses and engaging for better international standards.
Banks, climate and energy
Banks, like all companies, produce greenhouse gases (GHG) directly from their activities, but their most important contribution to GHG emission is indirect, through the financing of clients and projects that generate GHG emissions. Banks also continue to play a key role as major financiers of the coal and oil and gas industry, effectively delaying the much needed shift away from a fossil fuel-based to an efficient and renewables economy. Banks must play their part in stopping climate change.
Equator Banks Act!
In 2016 BankTrack launched the Equator Principles Track and Chase Project ("EPTC"), aimed at strengthening public scrutiny of the activities of the Equator Principles Association and the implementation of the Equator Principles (EPs) by individual Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs). In 2017 BankTrack successfully campaigned for the Equator Principles Association to revise and update the EPs. The revision process, which began in 2018, is ongoing.
Green Bond Principles
The Green Bonds Principles are a set of guidelines for issuers of green bonds issued in January 2014 and updated in March 2015. The Principles include recommendations for improving the transparency of the rapidly growing market for green bonds - which can include any bond designed to raise money for environmentally beneficial purposes. BankTrack is an Observer of the Principles, and tracks the development of the green bonds market.