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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

October 2014, report – The BEI’s focus to date has been driving sustainability standards into banking products and services by working with groups of leading customers. Its work in soft commodity supply chains has seen banks aligning with clients to develop commercially viable trade finance products and services that incentivise sustainable resource management. However, it has always been clear that those who regulate the financial system have a role to play in identifying and mitigating the potentially destabilising effects of environmental risks across the banking system as a whole.


This report aims to trigger a deeper reflection amongst financial policymakers and regulators concerning the relevance of systemic environmental risks to banking sector stability. Published by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Download the full report (English)

Since the financial crisis of 2008, financial regulators have increasingly been enacting policies and regulations to target environmental risks, especially in some of the major fast-growth economies. Recognising the growing momentum behind this trend, the BEI, in partnership with UNEP FI and with support from Bloomberg, decided to initiate an independent process to look at these issues and the ways in which regulators worldwide might respond to them.

The resulting study, authored by Professor Kern AlexanderCambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) Fellow and Chair in Law and Finance at the University of Zurich, assesses the links between systemic environmental risks and financial stability. It offers insights into how some members of the Basel Committee are already acting on these links. Opportunities for international coordination and collaboration on these approaches are suggested.

This study has profound implications. CISL and the BEI, together with their partners, look forward to playing an active role in further analysis and discussion to determine the feasibility of implementing its recommendations.

Executive briefing

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Andrew Voysey, Director, Finance Sector Platforms


Published: 16 October 2014