The UN principles for responsible banking was launched on Sept. 22, 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, during the UN General Assembly and was developed through a partnership between banks worldwide and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).
The principles are the leading framework for ensuring that banks’ strategies and practices align with the vision society has set out for its future in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Pitan said that banks that had signed the principles commit to being ambitious in their sustainability strategies, working to mainstream and embed sustainability into the heart of their business, while allowing them to remain at the cutting-edge of sustainable finance.
He stated that signatories to the principles took on leadership roles, demonstrating how banking products, services and relationships could support and accelerate the changes necessary to achieve shared prosperity for current and future generations.
“We are honoured to be the first Development Finance Institution in Nigeria to commit to the UNEF FI Principles for Responsible Banking alongside other leading DFIs in the international space,"
“This global framework strengthens our approach to addressing the sustainable development challenges of our economy by critically analyzing our market to identify pressing needs of our communities, environment and customers,"
“This partnership, which is another pioneering effort for the BoI is in line with our dedication to lead the development finance industry in Africa,"
“We aim to improve the overall strategic impact of our interventions towards environmental management, social development, industrialization, and poverty alleviation through sustainable finance,"
“These banks also join the world’s largest global banking community focused on sustainable finance, sharing best-practice and working together on practical guidance and pioneering tools of benefit to the entire industry,” he said.
Pitan noted that the bank was confident that these principles would provide an opportunity for alignment with international standards for sustainable development, whilst lending credibility and authority to its institutional commitments.
This, he said, was in line with the B0I’s vision to be Africa’s leading Development Finance Institution transforming industries sustainably and operating under global best practices.
“This action is also in line with the Bank’s sustainability strategy aimed at transforming lives and enterprise responsibly through sustained interventions in economic development, environmental protection, social impact, ethics, governance and partnerships; improving the world for generations to come,"
“As Nigeria’s foremost Development Finance Institution, BOI stands as a driving force for sustainable development through investment across the nation,"
“By the very design of our corporate strategy, we are positioned to be the leading development bank out of Nigeria promoting social, environmental and economic development through our business operations and activities,"
“We are proud to join this important group of global banks facilitating sustainable finance”, Pitan added.
The principles are a unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks’ strategy and practice align with the vision society has set out for its future in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. Almost 250 banks representing over 40 percent of banking assets worldwide have now joined this movement for change, leading the way towards a future in which the banking community makes the kind of positive contribution to people and the planet that society expects.