First anniversary of global sustainability academy for bankers

  • 31 October 2023
  • Press release | News | Green Finance

Edinburgh and Geneva, 31 October 2023 

Today, the Principles for Responsible Banking Academy (PRB Academy) – the global sustainability academy for bankers - is celebrating its first anniversary.

Our world faces a triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and nature and biodiversity loss. Financing solutions to the crisis requires the urgent training of banking professionals worldwide on sustainability and responsible banking practices. Founded a year ago, the PRB Academy was established to address this need, supporting banks in aligning their strategic objectives with the Principles for Responsible Banking framework, UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

The PRB Academy 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.

In its first year, the PRB Academy has:

  • Developed a series of training modules covering the broad foundations of responsible banking, climate change, supporting clients and customers, and for Board members and senior executives;
  • Worked with more than 140 banks globally, including Banco Industrial, Banque Du Caire, Barclays, Garanti Bank, National Bank of Canada, Suncorp-Metway Limited, and VP Bank AG;
  • Trained almost 1000 finance professionals to prepare them for the challenges they, their businesses and their customers are facing; and
  • Delivered training for almost 100 bank Board members and senior executives in countries including Egypt, Mexico and India. 

Building on the success of its first year, the PRB Academy is pleased to announce the following developments:

  • The launch of further modules, starting with ‘Nature and Responsible Banking’, to reflect the critical role banks can play in protecting and preserving nature and our environment;
  • The inclusion of certified learning - the Certificate in Green and Sustainable Finance and the Certificate in Climate Risk; and
  • Financial assistance to support banks to deploy PRB Academy training at scale, where required.    

Over the next five years, it is expected that all 300 plus signatory banks will make the PRB Academy available to the majority of their employees worldwide, with millions of bankers to be upskilled in responsible banking.


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

“The Chartered Banker Institute is delighted to celebrate the first anniversary of the PRB Academy. To build upon and accelerate progress, we must raise our collective ambition and rapidly scale the capacity and capabilities of the banking sector so that a knowledge of and ability to apply the principles and practice of responsible banking supports every decision taken by banking and finance professionals. I therefore urge all PRB signatories – indeed all banks, everywhere - to make the PRB Academy available to all employees.”


Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI added:

“The PRB Academy helps banks embed sustainability at every level of their organisation. This is crucial in delivering on the commitments made under the Principles for Responsible Banking, the world’s leading sustainable banking framework. I share the Principles for Responsible Banking signatories’ excitement for this practical tool, as the PRB Academy allows for building internal sustainability expertise to meet society’s goals.”


Suzanne Wilder, Broker Partnerships at Suncorp Bank, commented:

"The PRB Academy’s course is excellent. It raised my awareness of the global environmental issues we are all facing and opened my mind to the need for more solutions. Importantly it demonstrated how the Banking Sector is going to be a key part of those emerging solutions. It left me feeling energised and inspired about the challenge; I would encourage everyone to complete this course."







Further information about the new Academy courses will be released over the coming months. For more information about the PRB Academy 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 500 banks and insurers with assets exceeding US$170 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:

David Rubens, Communications Lead on Banking, UNEP FI 

Email: [email protected] 


Matthew Ball, Head of Public Affairs, Chartered Banker Institute

Tel: +44 (0) 7720 684226

E-mail: [email protected]