Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) - Senior Consultant for Sustainable Blue Economy
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 02 September 2022 - 08 September 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-190154-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The ultimate result of the service will be to support the ecosystem management work stream’s contribution to UNEP FI’s work plan under UNEP´s Project 623.3 indicated below, 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 (SDGs), including developing financial institutions’ knowledge and expertise to contribute to achieving SDG 14 (Life Below Water - “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”). The consultant will support the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative hosted by UNEP FI.

The consultant will take the lead on developing a plan and structure for signatories to the SBE Finance Principles to start implementing timebound minimum targets. This includes providing technical support to the UNEP FI SBE Secretariat and engaging with the membership of the SBE Finance Initiative as appropriate. It also includes working with the PRB and PSI secretariats and wider UNEP FI Nature team on ensuring alignment on target setting approaches and developing an outline on how targets could be integrated into future reporting frameworks in alignment with the TNFD. Further, the consultant will provide technical support to implement the work plan of the Secretariat, e.g. via co-developing thought leadership material around the role of insurance in nature especially focusing on NbS finance and supporting the development of a blue bond playbook together with partner organisations as required.

Work Location

Working remotely

Expected duration

The duration of contract will be for 3 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 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.

The Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative is hosted by UNEP FI under its Nature workstream, which engages financial institutions across the banking, insurance and investment industries. UNEP FI’s Ecosystem team works with member institutions to develop innovative insight and tools for financial institutions to incorporate natural capital, deforestation and related issues into decision making. The team co-ordinates the Secretariat of the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative to raise awareness, maintain a community of practice and develop insight, tools and resources for financial institutions on ocean and marine ecosystem issues. The Initiative also champions the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles.

After an initial start-up phase with an expanding work programme and with its membership growing by 355% within the first 12 months, the team requires support to start working on the implementation of recommendations given in guidance documents Turning The Tide and Diving Deep, including developing a methodology for target setting and reporting. UNEP FI currently does not have the internal capacity to undertake these activities, and hence outside expertise is required for this purpose.

This work is intended to result in moving the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative’s work plan from providing guidance to implementing the recommendations it has made to financial institutions. The consultant will support UNEP FI in the following areas of work:

Moving toward accountability and implementation:
- Finalising a plan and structure for signatories to the SBE Finance Principles to start implementing timebound minimum targets (exclusions)
- Drafting a methodology for signatories to the SBE Finance Principles to set SMART targets for ocean-linked sectors, ensuring alignment on target setting approach with PRB, PSI & TNFD
- Providing technical support to the UNEP FI SBE Secretariat and engaging with the membership of the SBE Finance Initiative as appropriate, including activities such as participation in relevant meetings, development of knowledge resources and engagement with the membership
- Contribution to thought leadership material around blue economy and policymaking, co-development of paper on the role of banking and insurance in nature especially focusing on NbS finance and scoping out capacity building needs for PSI Nature community & target setting as necessary.

Enabling environment:
-Providing technical support to implement the work plan of the Secretariat, e.g. via contributing to a DFI working group and supporting the development of a blue bond playbook together with partner organisations.

Notes on the target setting methodology:

This methodology will detail what is meant by targets, what format to follow for target-setting and how to link these targets to their relevant guidance. Clear linkages to existing target-setting initiatives and established reporting requirements, including under the PRB, PRI and PSI frameworks will be included.

The methodology will inform and underpin a revised reporting framework for the SBEFI to be developed in parallel, alongside informing UNEP FI’s target setting work on food systems.

Methodology (20 pages)
-Explanation of targets (what is meant) (2 pages)
-How we want FIs to use manual (instructions) (5 pages)
-Format of targets to create (1 pg)
-What they’re responsible/accountable for (2 pg)
-Reporting framework (5 pg)
-Expectations, from when these should apply and what future activity will cover (5 pages)

Appendix of example targets
To support the methodology an appendix of example targets will be developed for each sector of the sustainable blue economy for which guidance has been written. These example targets will explore in practice how the targets might be regionalised, tailored and otherwise made specific to the needs of a given type of financial institution while remaining faithful to the methodology and the guidance.

Financial institutions will be encouraged to use these example targets directly where they are relevant to their activities as part of their reporting requirements for the SBEFI and under UNEP FI’s food system initiative, though they are also intended to inform and inspire financial institutions in the creation of their own, relevant targets.

Using the methodology, banks and other FIs should be able to understand which sectors are relevant, how to take into account their regional/national contexts, how to set a baseline and how to set climate and nature targets with impact, financial and engagement indicators.

Index of examples (20 pages)
- 5 per sector, sub-sector split 2+2+1 where appropriate. Aim for 2 per page, ~35 in total.
- Target and explanation of why this is the target – link to relevant guidance scenario, explain how methodology applied to create this target.

Output and deliverables:

• Finalise plan and structure for signatories to the SBE Finance Principles to start implementing timebound minimum targets:
Expected outcomes:
-Engaged with wider UNEP FI team to ensure alignment on target setting approach with PRB, PSI & TNFD frameworks (relevant meetings and/or documents)
-Implementation of plan commenced (via WG, Workshops, technical support or similar)

•Developing a methodology for signatories to the SBE Finance Principles to set SMART targets for ocean-linked sectors, ensuring alignment on target setting approach with PRB, PSI & TNFD
Expected outcomes:
-Relevant document(s)

•Providing technical support to the UNEP FI SBE Secretariat and engaging with the membership of the SBE Finance Initiative as appropriate, including activities such as participation in relevant meetings, development of knowledge resources and engagement with the membership
Expected outcomes:
-Participation in relevant meetings
-Contribution / support in the development of knowledge resources
-Engaging with stakeholders as necessary

•Providing technical support to implement the work plan of the Secretariat, e.g. via contributing to a DFI working group and supporting the development of a blue bond playbook together with partner organisations:
Expected outcomes:
-Relevant document(s)
-Participation in relevant meetings

•Co-development of thought leadership material around blue economy and policymaking, the role of banking and insurance in nature especially on NbS finance and scoping out capacity building needs for PSI Nature community & target setting as necessary.
Expected outcomes:
Relevant document(s) + participation in relevant meetings

•Support alignment of target setting methodology with reporting framework being developed at the same time
Expected outcomes:
-Engaged with wider UNEP FI team to ensure alignment on target setting approach with PRB, PSI & TNFD frameworks (relevant meetings and/or documents)

•Providing technical support to implement the work plan of the Secretariat as necessary, including participation in relevant meetings
Expected outcomes:
-Participation in relevant meetings
-Contribution / support in the development of knowledge resources
-Engaging with stakeholders as necessary

•Contribute on content for blue economy policy brief (technical assistance)
Expected outcomes:
-Participation in relevant meetings
-Relevant document(s)

•Contribute on content for thought leadership material around the role of insurance in nature especially on NbS finance + scoping out capacity building needs for PSI Nature community & target setting
Expected outcomes:
-Participation in relevant meetings
-Relevant document(s)

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of Head UNEP FI and report directly to the acting Nature lead at UNEP FI.

Qualifications/special skills

Skills: Proactive and independent professional with excellent oral and written communications skills, with ability to communicate clearly and succinctly. Strong organizational and time management skills with ability and willingness to produce high-quality content on tight deadlines. Expertise in finance, biodiversity, marine ecosystems and ocean issues is highly desirable. Interest in sustainable finance and ocean-related issues; knowledge of environmental issues and specifically the blue economy is desirable; Ability to prioritise multiple activities concurrently in an organized and timely manner; Attention to detail. The consultant must be highly motivated and able to work independently as well as in a team. Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain good working relations across diverse stakeholders in a multicultural and geographically dispersed environment.

Academic Qualifications: A Master’s degree relevant to business, finance, environment, oceans, sustainability, or equivalent education and experience. A first-level university degree in combination with at least nine years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Experience: At least seven years working experience in sustainable finance / blue economy / environmental and financial services or related fields. Experience in researching, writing and delivering reports and content directed at a financial audience. Experience in data management and analysis desirable. Experience of working with the financial sector (banking, insurance and/or investment) is desirable.

Language: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other United Nations are an asset. The consultant should have excellent listening and communications skills, with experience of presenting in public.

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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