New standard for financial institutions to align to global sustainability challenges

Transforming the finance system critical to tackling climate and environmental emergencies

Posted on Jan 23, 2020

Growing awareness of the urgent need to address global sustainability issues has driven increasing numbers of financial institutions to integrate environmental, social and governance issues into investment and ownership decisions.

BSI has published the first in a series of Publicly Available Specifications in its Sustainable Finance Standardization Programme to help define globally applicable standards for the finance sector. PAS 7340:2020 Framework for embedding the principles of sustainable finance in financial services organizations – Guide provides a framework for financial services organizations that wish to be sustainable and better aligned with global initiatives like the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.

Martin Baxter, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor and a member of the steering group that produced the standards, said: “It is vital that the finance system is aligned towards tackling critical climate and environmental challenges. IEMA warmly welcomes this new guide, which provides the foundation for a harmonized global approach to sustainable finance and supports the transition to a sustainable future.”

PAS 7340 aims to facilitate shared understanding and collaboration in the global finance sector around sustainability. The framework recognizes that transformation is needed to equip the industry to address issues including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.

The free to download PAS provides common terminology and a set of principles to help organizations identify, develop and maximize opportunities that address sustainability challenges.

The second PAS in the Programme, PAS 7341 Responsible and sustainable investment management – Specification, is currently being developed. It is available for public comment until 28th February 2020 on the Standards Development Portal.

Steering group members

  • CFA Society of the UK
  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • E3G
  • IKEN Associates
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA)
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • P1 Investment Management
  • Smith School Oxford
  • Sustainalytics
  • Tideway
  • UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF)
  • PRI Association
  • WHEB Group
  • WWF UK

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