Today (3 March 2020) The Co-operative Bank has become an official signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking – a single framework for a sustainable banking industry, developed through an innovative partnership between banks worldwide and United Nations Environment’s Finance Initiative.
The Principles for Responsible Banking set out the banking industry’s role and responsibility in shaping a sustainable future by aligning the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. These principles enable a bank to embed sustainability across all its business areas, and to identity where it has the potential to make the most impact in its contributions to a sustainable world and prepare for a sustainable development economy.
The Co-operative Bank has led the way in tackling the climate crisis over the last 25 years, with its customer-led Ethical Policy making clear commitments to addressing climate change. In 2007, The Co-operative Bank became the first bank to go ‘Beyond Carbon Neutral’ and in 2015, it was the first UK bank to sign the Paris Pledge not to fund the Coal industry, reinforcing its commitment to reducing the impact of global climate change.
With roots in the co-operative movement, The Co-operative Bank is the only UK high street bank with a customer led Ethical Policy. This policy has been central to its business since 1992 and has been shaped by more than 320,000 customer and colleague views. As part of this, The Co-operative Bank does not provide banking services to organisations involved in the extraction or production of fossil fuels, and a range of other activities highlighted by customers as areas of concern, for example the unsustainable harvest of natural resources and the manufacture of environmentally harmful chemicals.
Andrew Bester, Chief Executive Officer at The Co-operative Bank said; “Committing to the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking is something we’re proud to do. The climate crisis is an issue that needs determined action and we have a long standing commitment to tackle climate change. We know this matters to our customers and therefore it matters to us. The UNEP FI principles provide a single framework for the banking industry and we will be building on our existing sustainability commitments to embed the framework within our strategy and joining the other UNEP FI members in making a positive contribution to society.”
More information about the Principles for Responsible Banking are available here: www.unepfi.org/responsiblebanking
The Co-operative Bank
About The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank plc provides a full range of banking products and services to retail and SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) customers and is committed to values and ethics in line with the principles of the co-operative movement.
The Co-operative Bank is the only high street bank with a customer-led ethical policy which gives customers a say in how their money is used. Launched in 1992, the Policy has been updated on five occasions, with new commitments added in January 2015 to cover how the Bank operates its business, products and services, workplace and culture, relationships with suppliers and other stakeholders and campaigning.