City takes up sustainable development agenda

The corporation says its seven principles ‘propose conditions under which financial market mechanisms can best promote the financing of sustainable development’. The project is based on interviews with almost 50 financial institutions.

The principles are: # Provide access to finance and risk management products

# Promote transparency and high standards of corporate governance

# Reflect the cost of environmental and social risks in financial products

# Use equity ownership to promote efficient and sustainable asset use

# Provide access to finance for developing environmental technologies

# Use equity ownership to promote corporate social responsibility

# Provide access to financial products for disadvantaged and developing communities

The ‘London Principles Project’ is part of the corporation’s efforts to spearhead the UK’s financial services sector response to next week’s Johannesburg Earth Summit on behalf of the government. The report is backed by case studies that include innovations in financial process such as the big banks’ environmental credit risk assessments as well as innovations in financial products such as socially responsible investment funds.The principles will be promoted around the world at the World Summit in Johannesburg and a memorandum of understanding with the UN Environmental Programme will be signed by Judith Mayhew, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, Corporation of London. Commenting on the project, Judith Mayhew said: “Financial markets are a product of society and so must reflect society’s concerns. It’s not only a moral imperative but an opportunity for the development of new business.”ENDSTo date the following have signed up to the London Principles,ABI, Apax Partners, Friends Ivory & Sime, Friends Provident, Co-operative Insurance, Co-operative Bank, SG Asset Management, Universities Superannuation Scheme, Storebrand, UK Social Investment Forum, Henderson Global Investors, Jupiter Asset Management. Many more institutions

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