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Communications Strategy for a Global Financial Initiative

We worked with 28 founder banks and UNEP FI to co-create a communications strategy, overarching narrative and key message.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a strategic public-private partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector, with a mission to support sustainable finance. Junxion was engaged to develop the global communications strategy for their newly launched Principles for Responsible Banking.

The UNEP FI brings together more than 230 financial institutions including banks, insurers and investors. Based on experience establishing sustainability principles for both the investment and insurance sectors, it was clear to UNEP FI that the banking sector could benefit from its own set of principles: the accelerating green transformation of the world’s economies, and changes in consumption and societal expectations are demanding banks rethink their business models.

A group of 28 member banks including Barclays Bank, ING and our client Nordea, took leadership in their development. The Principles offer banks strategic guidance on aligning with society’s goals, as expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

How We Helped

Junxion worked with the 30 founding banks and UNEP FI’s banking team to develop a communications strategy that every organization could apply in its own context. With collective action needed for the Principles to have the most impact in the banking sector, we articulated the communications approach as one of building a coalition of support. And to build momentum in the ten months between the Principles launching for public consultation and becoming available for signature at the UN General Assembly in September 2019, we conceived the idea of Endorser status. By endorsing, banks and other financial organizations can signal their support for the initiative and help build momentum.

With these building blocks in place, we developed the overarching narrative about the Principles, and value propositions and key messages for each audience. 

The sustainable banking system of the future is on its way.

We established the main channels for communication, created the overall PR strategy and structured and wrote the Principles for Responsible Banking section of the UNEP FI website. To seed engagement in the run-up to the launch, we encouraged and supported the 30 founding banks to make videos of their CEO speaking in support of the Principles. We bundled up all the narrative and key messages with infographics, press releases and social media posts in an Activation Toolkit. These tools make it easy for all founding banks to communicate regularly and consistently about the Principles.

Measuring Success

All 30 founder banks and UNEP FI signed off on the communications strategy, overarching narrative and key messages. UNEP FI and the founding banks have embraced the approach of building a coalition of support and are using the toolkit to communicate effectively about the Principles, both to their colleagues and to the wider banking community in their own countries.

By the time of the official launch, not only were there dozens of stakeholders endorsing the Principles, there were 130 banks – representing a third of the global banking sector – signed up and committed to aligning their business strategies with the Principles of Responsible Banking.

Thank you so much for your tremendous work on the Principles for Responsible Banking communications. Thanks to you we’ve been able to develop a compelling narrative and messaging and support a very successful launch of the Principles.

– Simone DettlingBanking Lead, UNEP FI
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