Business Irish

Thursday 19 September 2019

AIB becomes first Irish bank to sign up to UN sustainability programme

 

Colin Hunt, AIB. Photo: Mark Reddy
Colin Hunt, AIB. Photo: Mark Reddy
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

AIB is the only Irish bank to have become a founding signatory of the United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking.

The programme provides a framework for a sustainable banking industry, and has been developed through a partnership between banks globally and the UNEP FI.

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The Principles for Responsible Banking highlight the banking industry's role and responsibility in shaping a sustainable future.

They provide a framework for aligning the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The Principles for Responsible Banking will be officially launched on September 22 during the United Nations General Assembly, in the presence of the UN secretary-general and more than 30 bank chief executives.

This will be followed by a public launch in New York.

Colin Hunt, chief executive of AIB, pictured, said: "We welcome the opportunity to work collectively with other banks to make a significant impact on sustainable development for everyone.

"We are backing our customers in addressing the transition to a low-carbon economy and look forward to further aligning our activities to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement."

He added: "This announcement demonstrates our commitment to leading the sustainability agenda in Ireland."

According to the bank, it has already taken part in a number of initiatives in the area of sustainability.

In June, for instance, the business announced that €5bn would be made available for climate- related and green products over the coming five years. AIB has also announced its sponsorship of Climate Finance Week Ireland 2019, which aims to support Ireland's programme to address climate change.

Back in 2017, the bank additionally established the energy, climate action and infrastructure team, which is now one of the largest in the market.

In May this year, AIB published its third Sustainability Report. It outlines the progress the bank is making in response to the key social, environmental and economic issues that have been identified by stakeholders as areas which the business should help address.

AIB is funding climate-related research, to be carried out by the ESRI.

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