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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

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The Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) is a group of global banks committed to pioneering actionable pathways towards a sustainable economy. The BEI co-produces horizon scanning applied research, develops leadership tools and convenes academic and industry collaborations. It is a member-led, not-for-profit group convened by CISL and initiated in 2010 with the support of The Prince of Wales.

Decisions and positions of the group do not represent the policies or positions of CISL or of the wider University of Cambridge.

BEI objectives and outcomes


Our projects...

Are leading edge and innovation focused

Connect to change in the real economy

Leverage a unique pre-competitive environment


Helping to...

Decarbonise the global economy

Protect and restore nature

Support inclusive and resilient societies


By ensuring that...

Capital acts for the long term

Capital is priced according to the true cost of business activities

Financial structures better serve sustainable business


The BEI activities drive impact through:

  • The University of Cambridge’s research and academic excellence
  • Capacity building and knowledge generation
  • Tools and services to enhance best practice
  • Two-way dialogue and network engagement with CISL’s sustainable finance, corporate and policy communities


The BEI has a track record of leading on emerging themes including:

BEI circular diagram

Areas of focus


Protect and Restore Nature 

Our nature-related financial risks project, a joint venture with CISL’s Investment Leaders Group, is a collaboration between banks, asset managers and University of Cambridge academics to identify and assess the financial risks of nature loss.

In January 2021, the ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact concluded with the publication Banking Beyond Deforestation. This report shares lessons and includes a five-part action plan detailing how the banking industry can contribute to halting and reversing deforestation.

The Fintech Taskforce published a series of recommendations on the fundamental design questions related to how multinational companies, financial institutions and entrepreneurs should work together to harness fintech to help solve sustainability challenges in the real world. Trado, a technology pilot exploring data for benefits in supply chains, put the Taskforce recommendations into practice. 

About the BEI

Decarbonise the Global Economy

Bank 2030 looked at the role that banks can play to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. A roadmap was created for the banking sector to demonstrate how the sector need to develop a forward-looking and strategic approach to their product offer and customer service model. It provides opportunities for chief executives and professionals to support the transition to a low carbon economy. 

Let’s Discuss Climate: The essential guide to bank-client engagement is a new guide to bank-client engagement, which aims to address the need for a market-wide transformation in how banks and their corporate clients interact.

Previous publications include Banking and Sustainability: Time for Convergence in collaboration with UNEP FI. 


Meet the team

The BEI sits within the Centre for Sustainable Finance.  The Centre leads research and fosters greater co-operation across the financial sector.  Through a unique combination of deep industry collaboration, high-calibre research, and exceptional education programmes, the Centre for Sustainable Finance helps financial institutions to play a leading role in building a more sustainable economy.

Within the Centre are three membership platforms, which cover investment – the Investment Leaders Group (ILG) and insurance – ClimateWise – and banking – the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI)


Annabel Ross

Senior Programme Manager

Jasminka Enderle   

Senior Project Manager         

Grant Rudgley

Senior Manager


BEI member governance


Simon Connell, Head of Sustainability Strategy, Standard Chartered


Dr. Paul Fisher, previously Bank of England economist and researcher, CISL Fellow


Related CISL Fellows and Senior Associates

Andrea GangheriAndrea Gangher

Strategic consulting, expertise in sustainability, social impact and circular economy across retail and corporate banks, SMEs and international organizations. 

Jeremy WilsonJeremy Wilson

Non-executive Chair, Advisor and consultant roles for enterprises in the financial services, technology and environmental sustainability sectors. Previously Vice Chairman, Corporate Banking at Barclays Bank, and former Chair of the BEI.  

Mark LewisMark Lewis 

Global Head of Sustainability Research at BNP Paribas Asset Management, member of Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, previously Carbon Tracker Initiative.

Pablo SalasDr Pablo Salas 

Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellow in Radical Innovation and Disruption, including FRANTIC: Financial Risk and the Impact of Climate Change Policy.

Thomas Verhagen

Financial Innovation for Sustainability, former senior programme manager of BEI and ABN AMRO Innovation Centre Lead. 



What our members say about the BEI

"What we get from BEI membership is unlike any of our other platforms – a combination of Cambridge’s renowned research and analysis, and the opportunity to work with sustainability leaders across sectors to drive shared action from this analysis."

Simon Connell (BEI Chair), Head of Sustainability Strategy, Standard Chartered


"Membership of BEI is helping HSBC to be involved with thought leadership in its industry, supported by the world-leading excellence of Cambridge University and its Institute for Sustainability Leadership"

Ed Wells, Head of Group Policy, Sustainable Finance and Investment, HSBC



Explore our research through the links in the sidebar for more about the Centre for Sustainable Finance.

To find out more about BEI collaborations please contact .

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