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Press release from the SMI 20 October 2021

Coalition of Banks Launches Guide for Industry's Transition to Net Zero

The Prince of Wales’ Financial Services Task Force (FSTF) launches a Net Zero Practitioner’s Guide to help the banking industry adopt a consistent and transparent approach to supporting clients’ transition to net zero.

Press release from the SMI

Download the full press release here

  • 11 banks under HRH The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative 11 days before COP 26

  • Industry guide detailing a practical roadmap for clients’ transition journeys

  • Collaboration between banks to help reduce collective financed emissions

The FSTF Practitioner’s Guide combines the knowledge and collective experience of 11 banks. The guide is designed to support the implementation of banks’ net zero commitments and meet the growing need for specificity.

Focusing on client emissions related to bank financing, as opposed to banks’ own operational emissions, the guide will help banks deliver on the critical role they must play actively supporting clients to transition. It is written for a wide audience, from senior executives to those building and delivering a banks’ net zero strategy.

Global banks face significant opportunities and challenges when aligning their portfolios with net zero pathways, due to the diverse nature of their business, helping to meet client needs in different sectors and geographies. This guide provides a toolkit that can be used across all sectors and geographies.

His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, said: “Banks have a vital role to play as a catalyst and driver for change across all industries. Which is why I am delighted that the Financial Services Task Force has come together under the SMI umbrella to deliver a guide that is both practicable and action orientated, helping to put Nature, People and the Planet at the heart of our economy. I hope the leadership and spirit of collaboration they have demonstrated in creating this guide inspires other industries to work together. If we are to win the battle against climate change, we all need to play our part.”

Chair of the FSTF, Co-Chair of the FSTF Net Zero Working Group and HSBC Group Chief Executive Officer, Noel Quinn, said: “Net-zero commitments need to be turned into action. This guide sets out how the banking sector can practically help deliver a net-zero future. I would like to pay tribute to my fellow banking CEOs who collaborated on this work. Though we operate in a competitive industry, it shows what can be achieved when we work together.”

Co-Chair of the FSTF Net Zero Working Group and Barclays Group Chief Executive Officer, Jes Staley, said: “We are very pleased to join forces with other banks to create this Practitioner’s Guide, setting out some of the latest thinking and practices our industry has adopted to execute our net zero commitments. We hope other banks will find this guide useful as they work on their own net zero strategies. I want to thank all the banks on the Task Force for the collaboration they have shown in putting the guide together. It’s cooperation of this kind that will help the industry accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy.”

The first part of the guide provides recommendations on key choices banks will face as they develop robust strategies, alongside an overview of the potential trade-offs involved and insight into the decision-making processes, highlighting areas for potential common ground across the industry. The second section explores how banks can engage with clients and policymakers to deliver financing to help accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy, and disclose progress transparently for stakeholders.