New nature course for bankers

  • 19 March 2024

Edinburgh and Geneva, 19th March 2024

Reflecting the critical role banks can play in protecting and re-building nature and our environment, the global sustainability academy for bankers - the Principles for Responsible Banking Academy (PRB Academy) – has launched a new nature course, “Introduction to Nature and Responsible Banking”.

Our world faces a triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and nature and biodiversity loss. At a time when more than half the world’s GDP (the equivalent to $58 trillion) is dependent on nature* there is an urgent need to enhance the awareness and understanding of banking professionals worldwide about why the state of nature is so critical for the planet, society, business and the economy.

This new nature course addresses the necessity for banks globally to build capacity and capability in this incredibly important topic. It provides learners, regardless of their career level or job role, with an understanding of why nature is a critical issue for a responsible bank and introducing key frameworks and guidance that banks can use to help to help assess their nature-related impacts and risks to help banks identify opportunities to have a more positive impact on nature – not just to halt its decline, but to help restore it.

The course is also aligned to the United Nation’s recently launched Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework, which promotes the integration of nature into strategic and capital allocation decision-making. Throughout the course, the learner is encouraged to think about what they have learned and how this might apply to them in their role in the bank with a focus on engagement with customers on nature-positive opportunities.

Simon Thompson, Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute commented:

“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 UNEP FI 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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About the PRB Academy

The PRB Academy helps banks and bankers implement the Principles for Responsible Banking.

It was developed by the world's leading professional banking institute, the Chartered Banker Institute, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The PRB Academy will be launching a further nature course “Applying Nature-Responsible Banking “in 2024. Applying Nature-Responsible Banking  builds on the introductory course and focus on practical approaches for banks engaging or considering how to engage with nature.  The aim of this course is to help with the ‘how’, covering what is it that banks need to do to reduce their negative impacts on nature and move towards having more positive impacts. The overarching objective of this course is to equip individuals with the critical knowledge and skills needed to navigate the nature-positive transition and create win-win scenarios for the environment, banks and their customers.

For more information about the PRB Academy, its range of courses and how individuals and organisations can register their interest please visit to stay up to date.


About the UN Principles for Responsible Banking

The Principles for Responsible Banking is a unique framework for ensuring that signatory banks’ strategy and practice align with the vision society has set out for its future in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The framework consists of 6 Principles designed to bring purpose, vision and ambition to sustainable finance. They were created in 2019 through a partnership between founding banks and the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative. Signatory banks commit to embedding these 6 principles across all business areas, at the strategic, portfolio and transactional levels. 

UNEP Finance Initiative brings together a large network of banks, insurers and investors that collectively catalyses action across the financial system to deliver more sustainable global economies. Convened by a Geneva, Switzerland-based secretariat, more than 400 banks and insurers with assets exceeding US$100 trillion work together to facilitate the implementation of UNEP FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking and Principles for Sustainable Insurance, as well as three UN-convened net-zero alliances. Financial institutions work with UNEP FI on a voluntary basis, and we help them to apply the industry frameworks and develop practical guidance and tools to position their businesses for the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy.


About the Chartered Banker Institute

The Chartered Banker Institute (“the Institute”) is the oldest professional banking institute in the world. The Institute was founded in 1875, operates globally, with over 37,000 members in over 100 different countries and nearly 1,000 financial institutions worldwide. The Institute has driven an agenda of ethical professionalism throughout its existence; promoting professional standards for bankers, providing professional qualifications for retail, commercial and private bankers, and offering professional membership to qualified individuals. For more information, please visit:


About the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

GIZ is a German public-benefit federal enterprise that works jointly with governments, international organizations, businesses, civil society actors and research institutions worldwide to foster international cooperation for sustainable development. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and other commissioning parties, GIZ supports sustainable development in emerging markets and developing countries.

In the field of sustainable finance, GIZ aims to accelerate the transformation towards sustainable financial systems in partner countries. GIZ’s approach is to help create enabling framework conditions through policy and reform processes, support the implementation of ambitious sustainable finance practices in the financial sector, and to raise awareness and capacities through training, research and peer learning.


For further information contact:

Matthew Ball, Head of Public Affairs, Chartered Banker Institute

Tel: +44 (0) 7720 684226

E-mail: [email protected]

David Rubens, Communications Lead on Banking, UNEP FI

E-mail: [email protected]