UNEP, Financiers Launch ‘Positive Impact’ Investment Principles
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UN Environment, in partnership with 19 banks and financiers, launched the 'Positive Impact Principles' to guide financing for sustainable development.

The principles aim to guide investors, donors, auditors, and governments in evaluating the social and environmental impacts of investments.

31 January 2017: The UN Environment Programme, in partnership with 19 banks and financiers, launched a set of principles to guide financing for sustainable development. The ‘Positive Impact Principles’ are meant to help direct some of the estimated US$5-7 trillion that will be needed for fully implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards meeting the global challenges of climate change, population growth and resource scarcity.

The principles are aimed at helping investors and donors to evaluate the social and environmental impacts of their investments. The guidelines also help auditors rate investments by their impacts, and support governments in issuing “impact-based” tenders for projects, as well as guiding private sector and civil society organizations in developing business models that benefit the environment as well as society.

The principles will provide stronger foundations for cooperation between public and private actors.

UN Environment, in partnership with the Government of France, launched the Positive Impact Principles on 30 January 2017, in Paris. Michel Sapin, France’s Finance Minister, called the principles a timely initiative, and anticipated that they will provide strengthened foundations for cooperation between public and private actors.

The Positive Impact Principles were developed by a Working Group comprising representatives of the banking and finance sector, including Banco Itaú, BNP Paribas, ING, Société Générale and Westpac, together with UN Environment. Their work took place under the auspices of the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), a partnership created with the global financial sector after the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, or the Earth Summit).

The group previously launched a ‘Positive Impact Manifesto’ in October 2015, which called for “a new financing paradigm” and common framework that would enable investors and project developers to identify and promote positive-impact activities and projects. [UN Press Release] [The Principles for Positive Impact Finance: A Common Framework to Finance the Sustainable Development Goals] [UNEP FI Webpage on Positive Impact] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Manifesto]

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