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Banking Environment Initiative

The Chief Executives of some of the world’s largest banks created the Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) in 2010. Its mission is to lead the banking industry in collectively directing capital towards environmentally and socially sustainable economic development.

    The Banking Environment Initiative is convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), which also provides the Secretariat. Decisions and positions of the group do not represent the policies or positions of CISL or of the wider University of Cambridge.

    Programme

    Sustainable agricultural supply chains

    The Soft Commodities Compact is a unique client-led initiative that aims to mobilise the banking industry as a whole to contribute to transforming soft commodity supply chains and help clients achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.

    The Sustainable Trade Finance Council (STFC) aims to leverage banks’ role as facilitators of international trade and thereby accelerate the transition to a world where importing sustainably produced commodities, at scale, is a new market norm.

    Fintech for sustainability

    The BEI’s work on Fintech for Sustainability started with its Fintech Taskforce.

    This Taskforce has 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. These recommendations are currently being implemented.

    Financial regulation for sustainability

    The BEI engages in the regulatory debate, including the EU and China, to evolve a level playing field for sustainable business models.

    For example, the BEI has served as a Knowledge Partner to the G20 Green Finance Study Group and is represented on the European Commission's High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.

    Banking in the low carbon economy

    The BEI’s work in the low carbon economy aims to enable banks to protect and deliver value derived from the zero carbon economy.

    Bank 2030 is the first initiative to drive this agenda. It will produce a banking roadmap for how the banking sector can accelerate financing the low carbon transition and provide practice guidance for Chief Executives and professionals on banking that supports the transition to a low carbon economy. 

     

    Latest news


    Presenting a model for incentivising the trade of sustainably produced commodities

    September 2013 – The organisers of GTR’s Asia Trade Finance Week – the largest trade finance conference for companies, trading houses, banks and insurers in Asia – asked the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and the banks of the Banking Environment Initiative to present the concept we have been developing for a ‘Sustainable Shipment’ model that would offer financial incentives for the trade of sustainably produced commodities, including agricultural commodities like palm oil, soy, timber products and beef.

    Presenting a model for incentivising the trade of sustainably produced commodities - Read More…

    BEI ‘Sustainable Shipment Letter of Credit’ concept warmly received by BAFT-IFSA and ICC Banking Commission

    April 2013 – The BEI’s inaugural Forum in London in November 2012 inspired an idea for integrating commodity-specific sustainability standards into the documentary trade finance process. This could prove to be a key enabler in the emergence of verifiably sustainable commodities on traded markets.

    BEI ‘Sustainable Shipment Letter of Credit’ concept warmly received by BAFT-IFSA and ICC Banking Commission - Read More…

    BEI explores ‘Fossil Fuel Diversification Premium’ to advance clean energy investment in New York

    22 April 2013 – At a private dinner at The Harvard Club in New York City, the BEI and Bloomberg New Energy Finance convened executives from major US, European and Chinese electric utilities with senior energy bankers to advance its collaboration on clean energy investment.

    BEI explores ‘Fossil Fuel Diversification Premium’ to advance clean energy investment in New York - Read More…

    An Options Approach to Unlocking Investment in Clean Energy

    November 2012 – A group of six Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) banks and six energy companies argue in this paper that using traditional investment valuation models is not always the best approach for valuing clean energy investments.

    An Options Approach to Unlocking Investment in Clean Energy - Read More…

    BEI Forum 2012

    November 2012 – The first results of the BEI's innovative bank–corporate partnerships for sustainability were shared at the inaugural BEI Forum in London. More than 120 people attended, including the senior leadership of BEI banks and representatives of other banks from as far afield as China and the US.

    BEI Forum 2012 - Read More…