Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Communications Consultant – Banking, Blue Economy and Ecosystems
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 03 December 2020 - 10 December 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-United Nations Environment Programme-145961-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

1) Banking: To further engage UNEP FI’s banking members, share knowledge, and drive uptake and delivery on the Principles for Responsible Banking, ensuring high visibility to the initiative, its members, implementation support structure and guidance, progress and key milestones through 2021.

2) Ecosystems: To further establish the ENCORE tool to enable financial institutions to align their portfolios with biodiversity targets, to support the Biodiversity Target-Setting project. To develop a communications strategy to support UNEP FI’s ecosystems strategy across biodiversity, natural capital, blue economy and sustainable land use.

3) Blue Economy: To further establish the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance initiative’s contribution to UNEP FI’s work plan under UNEP´s Project 623.3 indicated below (section 1.4), i.e. to support UNEP FI’s members in contributing to sustainable development worldwide. UNEP FI is focused on accelerating private sector financing for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including developing financial institutions’ knowledge and expertise to contribute to achieving SDG 14.

Banking, Ecosystems & Blue Economy projects, respectively:

o Communications strategy and plan to raise awareness across the financial sector
o Communications and events calendar
o Coordination with communications teams & agencies
o Key messages & branding
o Social media content
o Launch campaigns for seascape report and guidance on financing a sustainable blue economy.
o Media work and engagement – press releases, media alerts
o Content writing & editorial – articles, blogs, speeches, news, newsletters
o Website content management & structure
o Coordinate webinars & events
o Maintenance of all external channels
o Analytics & KPI reporting


• Communications plan: Develop and lead execution of communications plan for the Principles for Responsible Banking, including the Collective Commitment to Climate Action.
• Coalition approach: Work with a coalition of at least 20 key Principles for Responsible Banking Signatories’ communications teams to achieve effective dissemination of key messages and news in the main markets around the world. One third of the group should be Signatories to the Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA) to ensure effective communication on progress made in the key are of climate. This includes:
o Calls at least once a month to provide guidance and agree on joint approach.
o Provision of communications materials and toolkits for the group’s use, where applicable in collaboration with UNEP FI’s designer (press releases, key messaging, social media templates, infographics and videos, etc.)
o Outreach from this Core Group to all Signatory Banks / CCCA banks to give them access to materials and enable their participation in the coalition communications and to support effective internal communication on the Principles.
• Key milestones: External communications for key milestones and launches, such as the announcement of the Civil Society Advisory Body members, the publication of the CCCA standards for setting and reporting on climate targets, the launch of the first Collective Progress Report, the first revision of the Principles framework, etc. This includes overseeing media outreach with the support of external resources as required and agreed with the Banking Team Lead.
• Supporting Principles implementation: lead / provide guidance and support to Banking Team colleagues for communications on practicalities of Principles implementation, including launch of guidance and tools, and other working group outputs (including guidance on target setting on biodiversity, gender equality and financial inclusion, guidance on reporting and assurance, tool and guidance on impact analysis, etc.).
• Webpage: Structure and regularly update Principles for Responsible Banking webpage, including CCCA webpage.
• Membership Communications: Provide guidance to relevant Banking Team members on membership communications. This includes development of templates in collaboration with UNEP FI’s designer and guidance on how to most effectively frame, structure and get across specific content.
• Social Media: Oversee and guide communication via social media channels. This includes the development of social media plans and of templates and visual materials in collaboration with UNEP FI’s designer as well as the writing of or support for writing text.
• Internal Coordination: Participate in weekly Banking Team Meetings. Closely coordinate and collaborate with UNEP FI’s Communications Lead and contribute to UNEP FI-wide communications, e.g. for newsletter, UNEP FI events, etc.


Communications on the ENCORE tool will be undertaken in coordination with UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) in relation to the ENCORE tool, and key tasks include:
• Communications strategy and campaign to accompany the rollout of the ENCORE biodiversity module, lay the ground for science-based targets for the finance sector and/or aligning with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, raising awareness to make the business case and inspire action and adoption of the updated tool.
• Coordinate design, publication, dissemination and launch campaign for ‘how to guide’ that outlines credible, evidence-based approaches to target setting and provides case studies of the application of ENCORE to progress biodiversity positive strategies.
• Coordinate publication, dissemination and launch campaign for guidance for banks on biodiversity target setting.
• Regular content production including blogs, online posts, webinars, promotional materials, presentations, speechwriting, etc promoting the project.
• Ensure alignment of message across Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA) & UNEP-WCMC comms.
• Outreach at key events (e.g. CBD COP, UN Environment Assembly 5)
• Engagement of key media, e.g. Responsible Investor, Environmental Finance
• Maintenance of UNEP FI ecosystems pages and the NCFA website
• Support development of a communications strategy to support UNEP FI’s ecosystems strategy across biodiversity, natural capital, blue economy and sustainable land use.

Blue economy key tasks:

1. Maintain momentum & expand community of practice, maintaining momentum on all channels, hosting webinars & workshops, engaging FIs via newsletters, emails, content production, social media and more.
2. Raise awareness across the industry of the relevance of ocean and marine ecosystems to their businesses. Media work including invitation to attend SBEFI events, thought pieces, extending network of press and communications partners.
3. Promote SBEFI and the Principles to ensure uptake and adoption via events, webinars, and member outreach.
4. Drive uptake of all work plan output, including launch of Guidance and seascape study, decision-support framework, training, etc, as outlined in the work plan via communications campaigns via all channels.
5. Position the initiative as the go-to-place for sustainable blue economy finance, and building on UNEP’s wider Blue Economy work around decision-support and learning via creating communications packs for partner organisations including key messages, digital assets and comms material.

Work Location


Expected duration

The duration of the contract should be for 4 Months.

Duties and Responsibilities

Located within the UN Environment Division of Economy, the Resources & Markets Branch (UNEP-RMB) seeks to conserve the environment, reduce poverty, and promote sustainable development by enhancing the capacity of governments, businesses, and civil society to integrate environmental considerations into economic, trade, and financial policies and practices in accordance with the partnership and integrated policy-making approaches of sustainable development.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a strategic partnership between UN Environment and the global financial sector. UNEP FI works with 350+ financial institutions as well as a range of partners and organizations, to develop and promote linkages between the environment, sustainability and financial performance.

1) Banking: UNEP FI has a core banking team, hosting and engaging the 195 banking signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking in generating sustainable finance pathways.

The consultant will carry out the following project tasks for the UNEP FI Communications Programme of Work – as shown below. This will be done in line with the work programme delivered during the UNEP FI Annual General Meetings and under the direct supervision of Liesel van Ast, UNEP FI Secretariat, working in close coordination with the Banking and Ecosystems leads and UNEP FI Communications Coordinator, Designer and Events & Outreach Coordinator.

Banking: Following the successful rollout and 1-year anniversary of the Principles for Responsible Banking, the project will continue to drive engagement into 2021 with a dedicated communications focus in UNEP FI’s core banking activities. This will require a communications strategy around key 2021 milestones, and include the full spectrum of external communications deliverables, including media engagement, member engagement, content production, social media, marketing material creation.

Ecosystems: 2021 will see the need to generate momentum for the development of more robust commitments and action on biodiversity. This will require a well-developed/ targeted communication strategy that engages the banking, insurance and investment sectors early on and effectively builds the business case for action around biodiversity. 

Sustainable Blue Economy: The Sustainable Blue Finance Initative will extend into 2021, with a Communications and Visibility Plan executed in tandem with the work programme.

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of Eric Usher, Head UNEP FI and report directly to Liesel van Ast, Membership and Regional Coordination Manager at UNEP FI. The consultant will work closely with the Communications coordinator and with UNEP FI’s Banking and Ecosystems team leads.

2) Ecosystems: Ecosystems Management is a thematic workstream, which engages financial institutions across the banking, insurance and investment industries to develop innovative insight and tools to address biodiversity loss, incorporate natural capital into address deforestation, sustainable land use and related issues into financial decision making (SDG13 Life on Land).

3) Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative (SBEFI): With a secretariat coordinated by the Ecosystems workstream, the SBEFI raises awareness, builds a community of practice and develops insight for financial institutions on ocean and marine ecosystem issues (SDG14 Life Below Water).

Communications, marketing, engagement, website development and events are important to help generate awareness, visibility and knowledge, identify and share best market practice and engage financial institutions in actioning UNEP FI’s initiatives.

UNEP FI currently does not have the internal capacity to undertake these communication activities, and hence outside expertise is required for this purpose. UNEP FI needs a consultant to work on all their communication requirements, and currently does not have the relavent professional expertise internally to carry out the stated tasks.

Qualifications/special skills

o Creative and enthusiastic professional with excellent oral and written communications skills, with ability to communicate clearly and succinctly.
o Strong organizational and time management skills with ability to develop and execute results-focused communications plans across a mix of channels including events, email, webinars, and online and social media.
o Basic understanding of back-end web development is desirable.
o Ability to produce communications materials with high-quality visuals.
o Knowledge of the finance industry is required; knowledge of sustainable finance and environmental issues would be an asset.
o Ability to prioritise multiple activities concurrently in an organized and timely manner with attention to detail.
o Highly motivated and able to work independently as well as in a team
o Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain good working relations across diverse stakeholders in a multicultural, geographically dispersed and online environment.

Academic Qualifications: A University degree is required relevant to communications, marketing, design, public / media relations, business, finance, environment, oceans, sustainability, or equivalent education and experience.

o At least ten years working experience is required in financial communications and/or marketing.
o Experience of working with the financial sector (banking, insurance and/or investment)
o Experience of working on campaigns, PR/media relations, websites and event communications is desirable.
o Up-to-date proficiency with communications best practices, including social media and online media. Experience in designing and implementing communications strategies.
o Experience in writing, editing and producing communications /marketing materials.
o Creative and resourceful strategist with a track record of proactivity.

Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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