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 forests
BankTrack's Banks and Forest campaign focuses on the financiers of important initiators of deforestation, with the aim to push banks to act more responsibly regarding their forest-related investments. The long-term goal of our work is to help ensure that private sector banks no longer finance companies, projects and business activities that cause a large negative impact on forests. We focus primarily on the pulp & paper and palm oil sectors.
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.