Result of ServiceUltimate result of services:
Through the Pollution Paper for Banks, banks will have an increased knowledge on the pollution related risks and impacts, on the nexus between pollution and the climate and nature agendas and how preventing and reducing pollution will contribute to limit climate change and biodiversity loss. Banks will also have a better understanding of the possible ways for banks to prevent and reduce pollution, with a focus on four high impact sectors (mining, electronics, textiles, pharmaceuticals).
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 450 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 promotes sustainable finance and helps the financial industry align with and contribute to the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.
Per the IPBES Global Assessment (2019), pollution is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss, which is an important factor in climate change.
In December 2022, at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), 196 countries adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. In the face of unprecedented biodiversity loss, the GBF provides a framework to achieve its overarching aim to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030, including by reducing pollution.
At UN Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) held in March 2022, representatives of 175 nations endorsed a resolution to end plastic pollution. The resolution addresses the full lifecycle of plastic, including its production, design and disposal. The resolution established an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which began its work in 2022, with the ambition of completing an international legally binding instrument by the end of 2024, with involvement of relevant stakeholders, including the private sector.
The global community is currently negotiating a future global framework on the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 (“Beyond 2020”). The new framework is expected to be adopted at the 5th International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), Bonn, Germany, 25-29 September 2023. The engagement of the private sector and industries, including the financial sector, has emerged as an important topic in the negotiations.
The convergence of these international frameworks recently adopted or currently under negotiation is a unique opportunity for the private financial sector to engage on the topic of pollution.
In this context, UNEP FI will develop a pollution targeted paper for commercial banks (“Pollution Paper for Banks”) to raise awareness on the topic and on nexus with the climate and biodiversity agenda, with a focus on the four high impact sectors of mining, electronics, textiles, pharma, including possible indicators to assess risks and impacts.
UNEP FI currently does not have the internal capacity to develop the Pollution Paper for Banks, and hence outside expertise is required. The consultant will lead the development of the Pollution Paper for Banks, develop a proposed work plan for next phases of work for banks to prevent and reduce pollution, and support other UNEP FI activities related to pollution.
The consultant is required to develop and launch a Pollution Paper for Banks analysing the risks and impacts of pollution for banks, possible ways for banks to prevent and reduce pollution, including through circular economy solutions, including but not limited to chemical pollution considerations, and including as well gender, decent work and human rights considerations and fostering a just transition. This will include defining scope, objectives and outline of the Pollution Paper for Banks, as well as running desktop research and consultations with experts, partners, financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders to inform the development of the Pollution Paper for Banks, and leading the review, finalisation and launch of the Pollution Paper for Banks, and organising a launching webinar. The consultant will also develop a proposed work plan for next phases of work for banks to prevent and reduce pollution, and to support as needed other pollution related activities of UNEP FI, especially of the Pollution and Circular Economy team.
The consultant will work in coordination with relevant UNEP FI teams and colleagues, UNEP teams and other stakeholders. The consultant will build on the work of UNEP FI’s Pollution and Circular Economy team, Climate team, Nature team, Banking team, Social team and on other relevant initiatives at UNEP FI related to plastic pollution, chemical pollution, resource efficiency and circular economy, and other related topics. He or she should align his or her work to UNEP’s Medium-Term Strategy priorities and be developed in coordination with UNEP’s colleagues as needed.
Objective is (i) to develop and launch a Pollution Paper for Banks directed to the banking community to raise awareness on pollution risks prevention and reduction and on the nexus with the climate and biodiversity agenda, including in the four high impact sectors of mining, electronics, textiles and pharmaceuticals, and developing recommendations for framework and metrics for pollution free portfolios for banks including possible indicators to assess risks and impacts, and (ii) to provide support as needed to UNEP FI team for pollution related projects and initiatives.
Specific tasks and responsibilities
The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head of UNEP FI and report directly to the Programme Management Officer, working in close coordination with the Pollution and Circular Economy Lead.
Qualifications/special skillsEducation: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent experience) in economics, finance, environment, resource management, sustainability, business, strategy, management, or a related field. A first-level university degree in combination with additional relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree. The consultant should have excellent listening, writing and speaking communications skills. A First degree could be taken in lieu of advanced degree provided the selected candidate has 7 years of relevant experience.
Professional Experience: A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible work experience, ideally in the area of finance/sustainable finance. Experience working in/with banks, insurers and/or investment firms is an advantage, as well as experience working in international contexts. Experience working in the area of resource efficiency/circular economy/ pollution is a plus. Furthermore, the candidate should have a track record of delivering consistently high-quality outputs on time and on budget. The candidate should have successfully managed complex, ideally multi-stakeholder, research projects or studies. Experience of stakeholder engagement is a plus.
Skills & Knowledge:
The candidate should have excellent proven conceptual, analytical, research, interviewing, writing and editing skills. The consultant should have strong project management, stakeholder engagement and consultation competencies. He or she should have an understanding of financial services (banking, insurance and/or investment) and sustainable consumption and production/resource efficiency in the private sector. The candidate should be able to work independently in an organised and timely manner. The consultant will have the ability to prioritise and identify and capture opportunities to add value to the work programme and engage financial institutions in the development of the activities. Strong technical skills will be an advantage. Knowledge of sustainable finance and/or banking and/or insurance is desirable, as well as knowledge on the issue of pollution and/or the circular economy.
English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.