Banks sign up to Anglo-Chinese sustainability code

The City of London Corporation and China’s Green Finance Committee revealed the companies involved at a ceremony in Beijing


Joe McGrath

A host of international financial institutions have signed up to a new green finance code aligned with China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Major banks including Standard Chartered, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Agricole, Bank of China and Al Hilal Bank are among the signatories.

The City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative and China’s Green Finance Committee jointly announced the commitments to a new green finance code of conduct on Thursday (25 April).

The Green Investment Principles encourage businesses to take steps to reduce carbon emissions and think about sustainable development in projects taking place in Belt and Road countries.

“We are committed to working with all parties to implement the Green Investment Principles and contribute to commerce and prosperity across the Belt and Road markets,” said Bill Winters, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered.

The guidelines were drafted by members of the World Economic Forum, the UN-backed PRI, the Belt and Road Bankers Roundtable and the Paulson Institute.

“These principles are the start of a journey to green the Belt and Road, providing a framework for how firms and organisations can incorporate low-carbon and sustainable development into Belt and Road projects,” said Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation.

“While there is some way to go to ensuring the Belt and Road is truly green, today’s announcement is another step in the right direction, and a powerful statement of intent from financial firms in China, the UK and across the world.”

There are seven operational principles which the 27 organisations have agreed to follow. Specifically, they have agreed to:

  • Embed sustainability into corporate governance.
  • Understand environmental, social and governance risks.
  • Disclose environmental information.
  • Enhance communication with stakeholders.
  • Utilise green financial instruments, where at all possible.
  • Adopt green supply chain management processes.
  • Build capacity through collective action.

Further details on the initiative are available here.


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