Piraeus Bank at the Forefront of UN’s Responsible Banking Initiative



Christos Megalou addressing the meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 22, 2019.

One year since Piraeus Bank joined a coalition of hundreds of banks worldwide for sustainable development, CEO Christos Megalou highlighted on Tuesday the Bank’s contribution during a virtual panel organized by United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

Piraeus was the only Greek bank that participated in a core group of 30 banks from all over the world under UNEP FI, which created the Principles for Responsible Banking and the implementation framework. Today, around 190 banks have signed the agreement.

By signing the Principles for Responsible Banking, Banks accept their commitments to align themselves and contribute to the fulfillment of society’s needs. Banks are invited to contribute to tackling climate change and the other environmental and social challenges of our time, to set targets, to cooperate with all stakeholders and to be transparent and accountable in what they do.

Megalou said that Piraeus Bank has created a comprehensive governance system to align its business model with the requirements of the of the Principles of Responsible Banking.

The CEO of Piraeus referred to the commitment made by the Bank as a participant in the Collective Commitment to Climate Action to harmonize its portfolio with the Paris Climate Agreement.

At the same time, Megalou presented the tool created by the Bank to measure the climate risk of enterprises, as well as the social work offered by the Bank, via its “Project Future,” to tackle unemployment and the mass exodus of young people abroad.

He also referred to the actions, services and products Piraeus Bank has been offering to support the low-carbon economy through financing in renewable energy sources and highlighted the importance of cooperation between banks and all stakeholders for a sustainable future.

He added that Piraeus has created a framework of actions to guide it over the next three years in financing sustainable development. The framework will be operationalized every year with specific and measurable targets, against which the Bank will monitor and disclose progress publicly in a transparent and accountable manner.

After the signing of the Principles for Responsible Banking at the UN in September 2019, Megalou explained to Greek Reporter that the banking coalition represents over $47 trillion in assets and about one-third of the global banking industry.

Megalou told Greek Reporter that Piraeus Bank has been at the forefront of working with the United Nations Environmental Project Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), noting that ”in a country as beautiful as Greece, it is very important to be able to maintain the quality of the environment”.