23 September 2019

Commitment sets the bar for banking and finance sector to align business strategy with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on Climate Change


New York: CIMB Group Holdings Berhad (“the Group” or “CIMB”) today became one of the Founding Signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking, committing to strategically align its business with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.  


As a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking, CIMB joins a coalition of 130 banks worldwide, representing over USD47 trillion in assets, committed to play a crucial role towards achieving a sustainable future.


Taking place at the start of the UN General Assembly, the official launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking marked the beginning of the most significant partnership to date between the global banking industry and the UN.


“The UN Principles for Responsible Banking are a guide for the global banking industry to respond to, drive and benefit from a sustainable development economy. The Principles create the accountability that can realize responsibility, and the ambition that can drive action,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the launch event, attended by the 130 Founding Signatories and over 45 of their CEOs.


Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO, CIMB Group Holdings Berhad said “As a founding member of the UNEP-FI Principles for Responsible Banking we are convinced that only in an inclusive society, founded on human dignity, equality and the sustainable use of natural resources, can our employees, customers and other stakeholders thrive. By signing the Principles, we commit to using our products, services and relationships to support and accelerate the fundamental changes in our economies and lifestyles necessary to achieve shared prosperity for both current and future generations.”


Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), commented, “A banking industry that plans for the risks associated with climate change and other environmental challenges can not only drive the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, it can benefit from it. When the financial system shifts its capital away from resource-hungry, brown investments to those that back nature as a solution, everybody wins in the long-term.”


The Principles for Responsible Banking are supported by a strong implementation and accountability framework. By signing them, CIMB commits to being transparent on both its positive and negative impact on people and the planet. CIMB will focus on where it has the greatest impact – in its core business – and will set and implement targets to scale up the positive, and address any negative impacts in line with global and national objectives.


The Principles for Responsible Banking will also provide CIMB with an effective framework to systematically identify and seize new business opportunities created by the emerging sustainable development economy, while at the same time enabling the bank to effectively identify and address related risks.


CIMB is the only banking group in ASEAN to be a founding member of the Principles for Responsible Banking. Having embedded sustainability into its current strategic growth plan, Forward23, CIMB has also begun engaging with key stakeholders including regulators, investors, customers, suppliers, employees and communities for them to join its journey to create a more sustainable, resilient future for all. As one of the first steps towards catalysing action for a more sustainable tomorrow through the business and finance sector, CIMB will be hosting The Cooler Earth [https://coolerearth.cimb.com/], its inaugural sustainability summit, on 1-2 October 2019 in Kuala Lumpur.



About the Principles for Responsible Banking


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 (UNEP FI). UNEP FI is the UN-private sector collaboration that includes membership of more than 250 finance institutions around the globe. Please see the Principles for Responsible Banking and their Framework Documents here.


For a complete list of all banks that have become the Founding Signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking today and quotes from their CEOs please click here.



For more information, including infographics and videos, please visit: www.unepfi.org/banking/bankingprinciples/



To see the official UN press release on the Official Signing and Global Launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking, please click here.