(L-R) KCB Group Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs – Judith Sidi Odhiambo, KCB Group Chief Operating Officer – Samuel Makome, and KCB Group Head of Investor Relations – David Kitheka during the launch of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking at the UN Headquarters in New York. www.businesstoday.co.ke
(L-R) KCB Group Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs – Judith Sidi Odhiambo, KCB Group Chief Operating Officer – Samuel Makome, and KCB Group Head of Investor Relations – David Kitheka during the launch of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking at the UN Headquarters in New York. [Photo/KCB]

The world’s banks among them the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB Group) are holding USD 47 trillion in assets to be spent on climate action and sustainability.

In a massive boost for climate action and sustainability, the 130 banks and the United Nations have launched the Principles for Responsible Banking.

Cumulatively, these institutions representing one third of the global banking sector hold USD 47 trillion in assets.

KCB has became one of the Founding Signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking, committing to strategically align its business with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Achieving a sustainable future

By signing the Principles for Responsible Banking, KCB Group joins a coalition of 130 banks worldwide, representing over USD 47 trillion in assets, in committing to taking on a crucial role in helping to achieve 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.

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“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.

As expressed in the Principles for Responsible Banking, KCB Group is convinced that “only in an inclusive society founded on human dignity, equality and the sustainable use of natural resources can our clients, customers and businesses thrive”.

Speaking at the launch, KCB Group Chief Operating Officer, Samuel Makome said, “The official launch of Principles for Responsible Banking marks a major milestone in the global banking industry of our commitment to implement Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Change into our strategic objectives. In KCB Group the Principles remind us of the reason we exist as an institution and we purpose to work with our stakeholders to shape a sustainable future for the next generation.”

By signing up to 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.

“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,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “When the financial system shifts its capital away from resource-hungry, brown investments to those that back nature as solution, everybody wins in the long-term.”

A strong implementation and accountability framework supports the Principles for Responsible Banking. By signing them, KCB Group commits to being transparent on both our positive and negative impact on people and planet.

KCB Group will focus where it has the greatest impact – in its core business – and set, publish and implement ambitious targets to scale up positive and address any negative impacts in line with global and local goals.

Investors commit to net zero emissions

At the same time, the world’s largest investors have committed to decarbonize the global economy.

Through an alliance of the world’s largest pension funds and insurers, more than USD 2.4 trillion in investments has been committed to carbon-neutral investment portfolios by 2050.

The Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance is an example of investors stepping up to protect people and planet with the knowledge that companies that transform their businesses to deliver a low carbon economy will benefit most from the opportunities presented by climate change.

As long-term investors who must look far into the future to fund their liabilities, asset owners are keen to ensure that the global economy prospers, that climate-related risks are addressed, and that opportunities to invest in a cleaner tomorrow are captured.

The Alliance was initiated by Allianz, Caisse des Dépôts, La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Folksam Group, PensionDanmark and Swiss Re at the beginning of 2019.

Since then, Alecta, AMF, CalPERS, Nordea Life and Pension, Storebrand, and Zurich have joined as founding members.

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