PRB Academy Unveils New Nature-Oriented Course for Bankers

Highlighting the pivotal role that banking institutions can play in safeguarding and rejuvenating our natural environment, the Principles for Responsible Banking Academy (PRB Academy) – a global sustainability education platform for the banking sector – has introduced a novel course titled “Introduction to Nature and Responsible Banking”.

In an era where our planet is confronted with a triple crisis comprising climate change, pollution, and the loss of nature and biodiversity, the significance of nature has never been more pronounced. With recent findings from PWC research that over half of the global GDP (amounting to $58 trillion) is nature-reliant, there is a pressing imperative to heighten the awareness and comprehension amongst banking professionals worldwide regarding the vital importance of nature for our planet, society, commerce, and the economy.

The newly launched course aims to equip banking professionals across the globe, irrespective of their career stage or role, with essential knowledge on the cruciality of nature to responsible banking. It introduces foundational frameworks and guidelines that banks can employ to evaluate their impacts and risks related to nature, aiding in the identification of opportunities for a positive influence on nature – aiming not just to arrest its decline but to contribute towards its restoration.

Furthermore, the course is harmonised with the objectives of the United Nations’ recently established Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework, which advocates for the incorporation of natural considerations into strategic and financial decision-making processes. Course participants are prompted to reflect on the acquired knowledge and its applicability to their specific roles within the banking sector, with a particular emphasis on engaging with clients regarding nature-positive opportunities.

Simon Thompson, Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute, remarked: “The Chartered Banker Institute is delighted to launch this new nature course with our partners. It is designed to help all bankers everywhere develop an awareness of nature dependencies, nature loss and nature risks and opportunities – and how banks and bankers can apply a nature lens to our decisions and financing activities.

“Tackling the Triple Planetary Crisis of climate change, pollution and nature loss requires raising the collective understanding of the banking sector of the issues involved, and how we can address these through our professional practice. All PRB signatories – indeed all banks – should therefore integrate this learning into their professional development programmes and pathways for all colleagues.”

Eric Usher, Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, added: “This new course will help banking professionals increase their knowledge of nature and biodiversity, as well as the connections between nature, climate and pollution, and just how much their clients’ businesses depend upon the natural world. They will learn how to better identify risks and opportunities related to nature in their day-to-day work, benefiting both banking operations and our society as a whole.”

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