Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) - Consultant on Plastics
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 20 May 2022 - 26 May 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-181646-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

-Actively engage financial institutions, especially PRB Signatories, and other relevant stakeholders to understand the current practices on plastic pollution prevention and reduction and to identify current gaps and opportunities, needs and potential partnerships to mobilise and support financial institutions, especially PRB Signatories, to assess and act on their plastic pollution-related risks and impacts, by setting and implementing targets aligned with international, regional or national science-based goals and by getting prepared to the future plastic treaty, including by applying circularity in their strategies and policies.
-Undertake and synthesise relevant research such as document review, surveys, structured interviews, relating to preventing and reducing plastic pollution in the financial sector, including by setting and implementing targets and by applying circular economy strategies.
-In a participatory manner, develop a roadmap for UNEP FI and key partners to support and mobilise PRB Signatories on plastic pollution prevention and reduction across 5 regions (Europe, Africa & Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America, and Latin America & Caribbean).
-Develop a proposal, concept note and work plan to develop a position paper/thought leadership paper for financial institutions (banks, investors, and insurers) on plastic pollution prevention and reduction, to be developed in the perspective of the future plastic treaty.
-Coordinate with UNEP FI regional coordinators and UNEP FI and UNEP colleagues working on plastic pollution prevention and reduction, including in aspects related to chemical pollution, on resource efficiency and circular economy strategies, and other related topics, for effective engagement of financial institutions and key stakeholders and alignment with related research/good practice where relevant.
-Make best use of the work developed by UNEP FI in this space and on related topics, including resource efficiency and circular economy strategies, to determine how to build from the existing baseline of activities as far as possible. This will include building on the work developed by UNEP FI as a follow-on after the publication of the PRBs Guidance on Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Target Setting.
-Convene a group of leader financial institutions, including PRB signatories, to engage on preventing and reducing plastic pollution, in the context of the negotiation process of the future plastic treaty.
-Input to UNEP FI’s relevant work plans, funding proposals, etc.

Work Location

Working Remotely.

Expected duration

The expected duration is 2 months.

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 400 banks, insurers, and investors. For over 29 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 convenes the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), a unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks’ strategy and practice align with the vision society has set out for its future in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. Over 280 banks have now joined this movement for change, leading the way towards a future in which the banking community makes the kind of positive contribution to people and the planet that society expects. These banks represent more than a third of the global banking industry. This is a journey of unprecedented scale and scope at a time when such ambition is urgently needed.
Signatory banks commit to taking three key steps which enable them to continuously improve their impact and contribution to society:
1. Analyse their current impact on people and planet
2. Based on this analysis, set targets where they have the most significant impact, and implement them
3. Publicly report on progress
Most PRB Signatories have identified climate change as one of their significant impact areas, yet fewer have identified their pollution impacts. Yet these are issues of similar magnitude and importance for the banking sector, warranting target-setting and action on a comparable scale.

Per the IPBES Global Assessment (2019), pollution is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss, as well as a factor in climate change.

At UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) held in March 2022, representatives of 175 nations endorsed a resolution to end plastic pollution. The resolution addresses the full lifecycle of plastic, including its production, design, and disposal. The resolution establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which will begin its work in 2022, with the ambition of completing a draft global legally binding agreement by the end of 2024 (“the future plastic treaty”).

The consultant will support UNEP FI’s work to prevent and reduce plastic pollution, including through circular economy strategies. The consultant will engage financial institutions, especially PRB signatories, and other relevant stakeholders to support the definition of a roadmap to mobilise and support financial institutions, especially PRB signatories, to assess and act on their plastic-pollution related risks and impacts. The consultant will develop a proposal for a position paper/thought leadership paper for financial institutions on plastic pollution prevention and reduction and will convene a group of leader financial institutions including PRB signatories to engage on preventing and reducing the issue of plastic pollution, in the context of the negotiation process of the future plastic treaty.

The consultant is required to engage financial institutions, including PRB Signatories, and stakeholders to support the definition of a roadmap to mobilise and support finance actors, especially PRB signatories, to assess and act on their plastic-pollution related risks and impacts. The consultant will develop a proposal for a position paper/thought leadership paper by financial institutions (banks, investors, and insurers) on plastic pollution prevention and reduction, to be developed in the perspective of the future plastic treaty. The consultant will convene a group of leader financial institutions, including PRB signatories, to engage on preventing and reducing plastic pollution, in the context of the negotiation process of the future plastic treaty.

This effort should be built on the work of the PRBs Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Target Setting Working Group and on other relevant initiatives at UNEP FI related to plastic pollution, chemical pollution, resource efficiency and circular economy and other related topics, and feed into the development of funding proposals and other efforts targeting banking sector. He or she should align his or her work to UNEP’s Medium-Term Strategy priorities and be developed in coordination with UNEP’s colleagues as needed.

Objective:

Develop a roadmap to mobilise and support financial institutions to assess and act on their plastic-pollution related risks and impacts, and a proposal for a position paper/thought leadership paper for financial institutions on plastic pollution prevention and reduction. Convene a group of leader financial institutions to engage on preventing and reducing the issue of plastic pollution, in the context of the negotiation process of the future plastic treaty.

Performance indicators:

-20+ PRB Signatories and other private financial institutions and 12+ stakeholders engaged;
-Agreed roadmap;
-Agreed concept note for position paper/thought leadership paper; and
-Group of 5-10 leader PRB Signatories and other private financial institutions convened.

Output:

-Agreed research and consultation approach to assess financial institutions current practices on plastic pollution prevention and reduction, and to identify gaps and opportunities;
-Assessment of current practices, and identification of gaps and opportunities as per agreed approach;
-Summary and analysis of findings from research and interviews;
-Roadmap to mobilise and support financial institutions on plastic pollution prevention and reduction;
-Concept note for position paper / thought leadership paper;
-Group of leader financial institutions convened; and
-Input provided as needed to UNEP FI’s relevant work plans, funding proposals, etc.

Specific tasks and responsibilities:

1. Development of a proposed approach to undertake research and run interviews with financial institutions, especially PRBs signatories, and other relevant stakeholders including e.g. proposed questionnaire and list of interviewees, etc. Inception meeting for discussion/approval of the proposed approach to undertake study and run interviews with financial institutions. Actively engage and run interviews with financial institutions, including PRBs signatories, and other stakeholders to understand the current practices and current gaps and opportunities for PRB Signatories to assess and act on their plastic pollution-related risks and impacts, including by applying circularity in their strategies and policies. Prepare a mid-way summary of findings after research undertaken and initial interviews run.

2. Run last interviews with financial institutions, including PRBs signatories, and other stakeholders to understand the current practices and current gaps and opportunities for PRB Signatories to assess and act on their plastic pollution-related risks and impacts, including by applying circularity in their strategies and policies. Prepare final summary and analysis of findings from research and interviews undertaken. Prepare first draft of roadmap for UNEP FI and key partners to mobilise and support PRB Signatories on taking action to prevent and reduce plastic pollution across 5 regions (Europe, Africa & Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America & Caribbean). Prepare first draft of concept note for a position paper/thought leadership paper for financial institutions (banks, investors and insurers) on plastic pollution prevention and reduction, to be developed in the perspective of the future plastic treaty. Include as needed input received from UNEP FI regional coordinators and UNEP FI and UNEP colleagues working on plastic pollution, including on aspects related to chemical pollution, on circular economy strategies, and on related topics, for effective engagement of banks and key stakeholders and alignment with related research/good practice where relevant. Include as needed input received on the work developed by UNEP FI in this space and related topics, including resource efficiency and circular economy, to build from the existing baseline of activities as far as possible. Start convening a group of leader financial institutions, including PRB signatories, to engage on preventing and reducing plastic pollution, in the context of the negotiation process of the future plastic treaty.

3. Prepare final roadmap for UNEP FI and key partners to mobilise and support PRB Signatories on taking action to prevent and reduce plastic pollution across 5 regions (Europe, Africa & Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America and Latin America & Caribbean). Prepare final concept note for a position paper/thought leadership paper for financial institutions (banks, investors and insurers) on plastic pollution prevention and reduction, to be developed in the perspective of the future plastic treaty. Include as needed input received from UNEP FI regional coordinators and UNEP FI and UNEP colleagues working on plastic pollution prevention and reduction including on aspects related to chemical pollution, on circular economy strategies, and on related topics, for effective engagement of banks and key stakeholders and alignment with related research/good practice where relevant. Include as needed input received on the work developed by UNEP FI in this space and related topics, including resource efficiency and circular economy, to build from the existing baseline of activities as far as possible. Convene a group of leader financial institutions, including PRB signatories, to engage on preventing and reducing the issue of plastic pollution, in the context of the negotiation process of the future plastic treaty. Provide input as needed to UNEP FI’s work plans, funding proposals, etc.

The consultant will report to the Head of UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and report directly to the Banking Team Lead. The consultant will work closely with the Pollution and Circular Economy Lead within UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: The consultant should have the ability to manage relationships and drive collaboration. Strong analytical skills and ability to build good working relationships at all levels is desirable. The consultant should have excellent listening and communications skills, with experience in presenting in undertaking research.

Academic Qualifications: A Masters’ degree is required, business, finance, environment, sustainability, administration, social studies, science, agriculture. A First degree could be taken in lieu of advanced degree provided the selected candidate has 7 years of relevant experience.

Experience: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible work experience related to banking, sustainable finance, pollution and/or circular economy.

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

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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