Westpac is proud signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking launched today
23 September 2019
Westpac has officially become a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Banking, which were launched today at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
As a founding bank and signatory, Westpac will be one of 130 banks, collectively holding USD 47 trillion in assets, or one third of the global banking sector, to sign up to the Principles.
In the Principles, launched one day ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit, signatories commit to strategically align their business with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Signing up to the Principles is another way of demonstrating that we are serious about our role in shaping and financing a sustainable future and making a positive contribution to society. It’s an opportunity for us all in the banking sector to work together on the things that matter most and the things we can influence through our financing decisions,” said Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer.
The Principles reinforce Westpac’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals that sit at the heart of our 2020 Sustainability Strategy.
“To transit to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies that support the goals of the Paris Agreement requires an additional investment of at least USD 60 trillion from now until 2050,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “As the banking sector provides over 90 per cent of the financing in developing countries and over two thirds worldwide, the Principles are a crucial step towards meeting the world’s sustainable development financing requirements.”
Westpac has been a founding member of the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Equator Principles, the Principles for Responsible Investment – and now the Principles for Responsible Banking. We have a strong track record of integrating sustainability into our core business and operations, and were recently named Australia’s most sustainable bank in the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.
About the Principles
The Principles for Responsible Banking were developed by a core group of 30 founding banks through an innovative global partnership between banks and the UNEP Finance Initiative – a UN-private sector collaboration that includes membership of more than 240 finance institutions around the globe.
The six Principles centre around Alignment, Impact, Clients & Customers, Stakeholders, Governance & Target Setting, and Transparency & Accountability.
The Principles are supported by an implementation framework that defines clear accountabilities and requires each bank to set, publish and work towards ambitious targets.