Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Sustainable Banking & Principles for Responsible Banking Review Experts
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 21 September 2021 - 15 October 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-United Nations Environment Programme-164437-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Result of Service

The Sustainable Banking Experts will be responsible for preparing for and delivering feedback & support meetings to PRB Signatory Banks, therefore providing support for their implementation of the Principles. The successful candidate will provide regular updates to the Banking Team about trends, challenges and good practices identified through the feedback and support process. They will join a small team of Sustainable Banking Experts, and work together to deliver the feedback and support process.

Work Location

Geneva (remote working possible)

Expected duration

12 months of work

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

The overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 360 banks, insurers and investors. For over 28 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to help the financial industry align with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and with that take on the crucial role it must play in achieving a sustainable future.

UNEP FI’s Banking Team is responsible for the initiative’s work with its over 250 member banks in more than 60 countries around the world. This includes overseeing and supporting the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking.

About the Principles for Responsible Banking:
On 22nd September 2019, UNEP FI member banks representing USD 47 trillion and with that over a third of the global banking industry officially signed and launched the Principles for Responsible Banking together with UN Secretary General Guterres. The Principles for Responsible Banking guide the change towards a new, sustainable global banking industry that takes on a key role in helping society to achieve its goals for a sustainable future. With these Principles, banks commit to strategically align their business with and scale up their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals and the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate. The Principles are supported by a strong implementation framework that defines clear accountabilities and requires each bank to set, publish and work towards ambitious targets and report publicly on their positive and negative impacts and progress in implementing their commitments. Banks that are not in line with their commitments can be removed from the list of signatories.

The consultant will report to the Head of UNEP Finance Initiative, who is the overall supervisor, and report directly to the Banking Team Lead.

In order to ensure effective implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking, there will be an annual review, feedback & support meeting (mostly virtual) between the UNEP FI Secretariat and each Signatory Bank, usually following the Signatory Bank’s annual reporting. In addition to ensuring each bank is making progress at an adequate speed and providing feedback and support, the outcomes and learnings from these meetings will feed into the broader peer learning and support structure all banks benefit from as well as the biennial collective progress report the community of Signatories has agreed to publish through UNEP FI.

UNEP FI is thus looking for 2 x Sustainable Banking Experts to support this feedback & support process. As more Signatories are joining, we are looking to build up a small team of Sustainable Banking Experts to take on the increasing workload.

Specific tasks and responsibilities would include:
- Meet (mostly virtual) once a year with each Signatory Bank to review and discuss their progress and provide feedback & support for their further implementation of the Principles. Meetings will be held together with UNEP FI’s respective regional coordinators, with which the Sustainable Banking Experts is expected to collaborate closely.
- Based on your review and in coordination with the Banking Team Lead, identify cases where banks need to take additional action to be line with their commitments. Where shortcomings are not addressed adequately, in coordination with the Banking Team Lead refer the case to UNEP FI’s banking governance body.
- Identify case studies and good practices to feed into the systematic peer learning program, which will be set up and implemented by another part of UNEP FI’s Banking Team.
- Provide inputs into the biennial collective progress report.
- Share your knowledge and experience and help develop the sustainable banking Expertise of more junior team members.

Objectives & Expectations: The Sustainable Banking Experts leads engagements with PRB Signatory Banks to provide feedback & support for their effective implementation of the Principles. In addition to ensuring each bank is making progress at an adequate speed and providing feedback and support, the outcomes and learnings from these meetings feed into the broader peer learning and support structure all banks benefit from as well as into the biennial collective progress report the community of Signatories has agreed to publish through UNEP FI.

Outputs:
• Conduct meetings (mostly virtually) once a year with each Signatory Bank to review and discuss their progress and provide feedback and support for their further implementation of the Principles. Meetings will be held together with UNEP FI’s respective regional coordinator, with whom the Individual Review Team will be expected to collaborate closely.
• Based on the individual reviews and in coordination with the Banking Team Lead, identifying cases where banks need to take additional action to be line with their commitments. Where shortcomings are not addressed adequately, in coordination with the Banking Team Lead referring the case to the Banking Board.
• Identifying case studies and good practices to feed into the systematic peer learning program, which will be set up and implemented by another part of UNEP FI’s Banking Team.
• Sharing knowledge and experience to help develop the sustainable banking Expertsise of more junior team members.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: University degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics, finance, environment, international relations, social sciences, development or a related filed. A first-level university degree in combination with additional relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: At least 7 years of professional experience and Expertise in sustainable Banking. Well acquainted with and directly involved in implementing international sustainable banking best practices and standards. Experience working in/with banks is an advantage as well as experience working in international contexts. The candidate should have successfully managed complex, ideally multi-stakeholder, projects. Ideally, you also have previous experience in advisory/consulting roles.

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

Skills: Able to quickly understand, synthesize and analyze substantial amounts of information. You are reliable, deliver consistently high quality within agreed timeframes. Follow through on your commitments towards others, especially towards constituency/clients. Quickly gain and then maintain people’s trust. Team player, have interest in and derive joy from collaborating with others. As such, you also enjoy sharing knowledge and Expertise and helping more junior colleagues develop. You can adapt your behavior and style of communication to different cultural contexts. Responsible for ensuring all Principles for Responsible Banking Signatories are in line with their commitments and that support is provided and processes set in motion where this is not the case. Role is crucial for the legitimacy and credibility of the Principles, their signatories and ultimately UNEP FI. Consequently, as the successful applicant must have demonstrated integrity throughout your career. Motivated and driven by the purpose your team/organization is working towards and the impacts we are trying to achieve. Remuneration and benefits for this position will be lower than what would be offered in the financial industry for a position requiring similar qualifications and experience.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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