Republic Bank, Independence Square, Port-of-Spain.

Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) has become an official signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking—a single framework for a sustainable banking industry developed through a partnership with banks worldwide and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

In a statement, RFHL explained the Principles for Responsible Banking set out the banking industry’s role and responsibility in shaping a sustainable future and aligns the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

These principles enable a bank to embed sustainability across all its business areas and to identify potential opportunities to make the most impact in contributing to a sustainable world.

Nigel Baptiste, president and CEO of RFHL, said: “We are proud to be the first signatory in the English-Speaking Caribbean to the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking. As we go forward at a Group level we intend to spread this out, and let Republic Bank be the cheerleader of this initiative for the Caribbean.”

Except for the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla, all countries in which RFHL operates have signed up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals target and the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We will be setting targets for the Group that will carry us forward into 2030,” Baptiste said, adding that he hopes the organisation will make a difference in poverty, education, the role of women in society, climate change, sustainable agricultural practices and the blue economy and more.

“From a Republic Group’s perspective, our commitment is to make a positive difference,” Baptiste added.

By becoming a signatory of the UN Principles of Banking, the Republic Group is further committing to making a positive difference in the communities and countries in which it operates, the bank said.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilise private sector finance for sustainable development. UNEP FI works with more than 300 members—banks, insurers, and investors—and over 100 supporting institutions—to help create a financial sector that serves people and planet while delivering positive impacts. It aims to inspire, inform and enable financial institutions to improve people’s quality of life without compromising that of future generations.