Nearly 20 global banks and investors have launched a set of criteria for investments to be considered sustainable.
The group, which includes Société Générale and Hermes Investment Management and totals around $6.6 trillion (£5.28tn) in assets, outlined the Principles for Positive Impact Finance (PPIF).
The PPIF provides financiers with a global framework applicable across their different business lines, including retail and wholesale lending, corporate and investment lending and asset management.
The principles take into account both positive and negative impacts on economic development, human well-being and the environment.
They don’t prescribe a single method for achieving positive impacts but require that all appraisal processes and methodologies be transparent and can be assessed.
Eric Usher, Head of the UN Environment Finance Initiative, said: “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – the global action plan to end poverty, combat climate change and protect the environment – is expected to cost up to $7 trillion (£5.61tn) every year through 2030.
“The PPIF is game changing – it will help to channel the hundreds of trillions of dollars managed by banks and investors towards clean, low carbon and inclusive projects.”
A total of 84 leading firms have recently called on the UK government to back the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.