KBC Group endorses UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking

KBC to become the first Belgian financial institution to express commitment to new UNEP FI Principles

As a member of the United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative, KBC is set to become the first in the Belgian financial market to endorse the new guidelines for responsible banking.  These guidelines were presented by the UNEP in Paris on 26 and 27 November. The official signing ceremony will take place in September 2019 in the UN headquarters in New York, after which the Principles will be gradually introduced.

KBC, like many of its peers, fulfils a central role in the economies and the social tissue where the group deploys its activities. Inspired and driven by its customers’ growing demand for sustainability in a fast-changing society, KBC has adopted far-reaching group-wide corporate sustainability policies and guidelines which reflect this major behavioural and ethical shift. Endorsing the UNEP FI’s Principles are a logical consequence of KBC’s well-established sustainability strategy.

The UNEP FI Principles will be built around six main drivers:

  • alignment of business strategy with the goals set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and other relevant frameworks;
  • increasing the company’s positive impact on society while reducing negative impact and managing risks to people and environment;
  • responsible behaviour towards customers to create shared prosperity for future generations;
  • stakeholder consultation and engagement to achieve society’s goals;
  • implementation of the Principles through governance, targets and a culture of responsible banking;
  • transparency and accountability 


Johan Thijs, KBC Group CEO, is proud to announce KBC’s endorsement of these Principles: ‘Sustainability is fully embedded in our business strategy, which ensures that our sustainability principles and guidelines are incorporated group-wide into all our activities and grounded in every part of the organization. It also means that we can enhance the positive impact our day-to-day operations have on society, while reducing the negative impact by strictly applying our guiding principles, actively monitoring our own ecological impact and actively offering a wide range of socially responsible investment opportunities. Responsible conduct, based on integrity and a healthy awareness of risk, forms the long term basis of our approach to sustainability. In order to keep on track with the latest insights and societal expectations, we have since long developed a tradition of open and transparent sustainability communication towards all our stakeholders. Looking at the UNEP FI’s Principles, I am pleased to see that they clearly reflect the key elements of our vision on sustainability.’

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Stef Leunens Corporate Communication Manager
Stef Leunens Corporate Communication Manager
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