A coalition of leading global banks, assembled under the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s (SMI) Financial Services Taskforce (FSTF) announced the publication of the Net Zero Practitioner’s Guide, aimed at helping the banking industry support client net zero transition strategies.

The SMI is a global sustainability coalition launched last year by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, designed to support global progress towards a sustainable future and accelerating investments towards sustainable markets. The Financial Services Taskforce includes leading global banks Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Coutts, Credit Suisse, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Lloyds Banking Group, Macquarie Group, NatWest Group and Standard Chartered Bank.

Launched ahead of the UN Climate Summit, COP26, the new guide looks to address banks’ role in supporting the global transition to net zero, which will require trillions of dollars in financing and capital flows over the coming decades. The guide draws on the experiences of the taskforce’s banks, and is designed for use by banking executives and by those implementing and building banks’ climate finance strategies.

Noel Quinn, HSBC Group CEO and Chair of the FSTF, said:

“Net-zero commitments need to be turned into action. This guide sets out how the banking sector can practically help deliver a net-zero future. I would like to pay tribute to my fellow banking CEOs who collaborated on this work. Though we operate in a competitive industry, it shows what can be achieved when we work together.”

The guide includes steps to take in order to develop a net zero financed emissions strategy, along with recommendations to address the key choices banks are likely to face as they look to implement the strategies, including trade-offs and insights that will need to be considered. It also includes a section ton guide engagement with clients and policymakers to help enable the delivery of financing to accelerate the low carbon transition, and to disclose and report on progress.

Some of the key recommendations in the guide cover topics including defining the scope of emissions through defined emissions disclosure metrics and the development of industry reporting standards for financed emissions, following a measurement methodology (such as the PCAF framework), selecting emissions scenarios, measuring portfolio alignment, setting targets, deciding on the use of carbon offsets, and disclosing progress.

Co-Chair of the SMI and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan, said:

“Through the Sustainable Markets Initiative, CEOs and companies from across different sectors are working together towards our common goal of transitioning to a low-carbon future. The practitioner’s guide provides a playbook for banks to help their clients make a just transition and achieve net zero commitments.”

Click here to access the Net Zero Practitioner’s Guide