Principles for sustainable investing of banks

This week the heads of state of over 150 countries will be attending the Johannesburg Earth Summit, to discuss global progress on the implementation of sustainable development - development which "meets the needs of the present without jeopardising the abilities of future generations to meet their own needs". The Corporation of London takes sustainable development very seriously, which is why we have spearheaded the UK's financial services sector response to this summit on behalf of the Government. The Prime Minister will officially launch the results of this work, known as the London Principles Project, during his address to the Earth Summit on Monday 2 September. What is the London Principles Project? The London Principles Project examines the role of the UK financial services sector in promoting sustainable development, compiles a compendium of best practice, draws out of this experience lessons for future innovation and puts in place mechanisms to ensure continual progress. With respect to the last point, one of the mechanisms we have explored is the set of seven London Principles, which propose conditions under which financial market mechanisms can best promote the financing of sustainable development.

The range of responses by UK-based financial institutions have, taken as a whole, resulted in a range of world class innovative financial and risk management products that are starting to play a significant role in the financing of sustainable development.

Who is supporting this initiative?
To date we have had a very positive response from City institutions, and a broad range of organisations have pledged their support, with more considering signing up:

– The Association of British Insurers
– Apax Partners
– Friends Ivory & Sime
– Friends Provident
– The Co-operative Insurance Society
– The Co-operative Bank
– SG Asset Management
– Universities Superannuation Scheme
– Storebrand
– UK Social Investment Forum
– Henderson Global Investors
– Jupiter Asset Management
– ADAM Allianz Dresdener
– Quadris Environmental Investments Ltd

What happens next?
It is important to remember that the London Principles project has life beyond Johannesburg. To this end the Corporation of London will be signing a memorandum of understanding to promote the Principles on the international stage, and we are currently exploring the options for the establishment of a secretariat, which can build on this work, look at methods of reporting against the Principles, explore new markets and most importantly promote UK expertise in this market overseas.

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