Job Opening

Posting Title: UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – Sustainable Banking & Principles for Responsible Banking Review Expert
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 25 October 2022 - 23 November 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Environment Programme-193835-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The Sustainable Banking & Principles for Responsible Banking Review Expert will be responsible for preparing for and delivering feedback & support meetings and individualized reports 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. He/she will join the Individual review and feedback team, and work together to deliver the feedback and support process.

Work Location

Geneva (remote working possible)

Expected duration

12 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 30 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 300 member banks 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.

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 a Sustainable Banking & Principles for Responsible Banking Review Expert to support this feedback & support process. As more Signatories are joining, we are building a team of Sustainable Banking Experts to take on the increasing workload.

Specific tasks and responsibilities would include:
• Assess banks’ progress and shortcomings on the implementation the Principles and deliver structured feedback. The individual, annual, feedback is composed of a meeting (mostly virtual) once a year and a written report. Meetings will ideally be held with UNEP FI’s respective regional coordinators, with which the Sustainable Banking & Principles for Responsible Banking Review Expert is expected to collaborate closely. After the meeting, the Sustainable Banking & Principles for Responsible Banking Review Expert prepares and sends an individualized report to the bank to support their internal discussions.
• Based on the review and in coordination with the Banking Team Lead, identify cases where banks need to take additional action to be in 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, 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 within UNEP FI.

Objectives & Expectations:
The Sustainable Banking & Principles for Responsible Banking Review Expert 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. Prepare and send an individualized report to each bank to support their internal discussions.
• 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 expertise of UNEP FI.

Specific tasks and responsibilities:

1st deliverable – January 2023 – Support the other Review Experts to deliver 4 feedback meetings as a way to be prepared to lead the feedbacks. Assess the reports, prepare analysis, attend the meetings and write a preliminary report (2 banks).

2nd deliverable – February 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Prepare and send reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings. Contribute to the improvement of the feedback process.

3rd deliverable – March 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Prepare and send reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings. Contribute to the improvement of the feedback process.

4th deliverable – April 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Prepare and send reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings. Contribute to the improvement of the feedback process.

5th deliverable – May 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Prepare and send reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings. Contribute to the improvement of the feedback process.

6th deliverable – June 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Prepare and send reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings. Contribute to the improvement of the feedback process.

7th deliverable – July 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Prepare and send reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings, propose focus/priority areas for the working groups, and recommendations for how the assessment framework could be improved. Contribute to the improvement of the feedback process.

8th deliverable – August 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Prepare and send reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings. Contribute to the improvement of the feedback process.

9th deliverable – September 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Contribute to the improvement of the feedback process.

10th deliverable – October 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings.

11th deliverable – November 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank.

12th deliverable – December 2023 – Review PRB reports submitted by Signatory Banks, prepare for and hold meetings with representatives from each bank to provide feedback on their implementation so far and recommendations for the next steps they should take. Draft reports with recommendations for each Signatory Bank. Provide the Banking Team with an update on trends and outcomes of meetings, proposed focus/priority areas for the working groups, and recommendations for how the assessment framework could be improved.

The consultant will report to the UNEP FI Banking Team Lead, who is the overall supervisor, and report directly to the Individual Review Team Sub-Lead.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international affairs, economics, environmental studies, economics, finance, environment, sustainability, business, or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with additional 2 relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Professional experience:
• Minimum 7 years of experience in sustainable banking. Preferably in a bank.
• Acquainted with and directly involved in implementing international sustainable banking best practices and standards.
• Ideally, professional experience working in the banking industry in Asian markets.
• Ideally, previous experience in advisory/consulting roles.
• Experience on reporting to C-level executives and/or Boards in Financial Institutions is an asset.

Skills & Knowledge:
• Able to quickly understand, synthesize and analyze substantial amounts of information.
• Excellent writing skills.
• Reliable, deliver consistently high quality within agreed timeframes.
• Capable of gaining and then maintaining people’s trust.
• Able to manage stakeholder relationships and drive collaboration.
• Capable of adapting your behavior and style of communication to different cultural contexts.
• Proven ability to manage multiple projects and activities simultaneously and in an organized and timely manner.
• Able to work independently and with strong problem-solving abilities.

Languages

Language: English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in oral and written English is a requirement.

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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