The Green Investment Principle (GIP) for the Belt and Road Initiative

The Green Investment Principle (GIP) is a set of principles for greening investment in the Belt and Road. It was co-initiated by the Green Finance Committee of China Society for Finance and Banking and the City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative, with the participation of Principles for Responsible Investment, Sustainable Banking Network, Belt & Road Bankers Roundtable, Green Belt and Road Investors Alliance, World Economic Forum, and the Paulson Institute.

The GIP was first published in  London in November 2018. As of  April 25, 2019, the day of its signing ceremony, 27 global institutions have signed up to GIP for the Belt and Road. By June 2021, the GIP expanded its membership to 39 signatories and 11 supporters from 14 countries and regions around the world.  

Green Investment Principles BRI first plenary meeting

The GIP includes seven principles at three levels, i.e. strategy, operations, and innovation:

Principle 1: Embedding sustainability into corporate governance

Principle 2: Understanding Environmental, Social, and Governance Risks

Principle 3: Disclosing environmental information

Principle 4: Enhancing communication with stakeholders

Principle 5: Utilizing green financial instruments

Principle 6: Adopting green supply chain management

Principle 7: Building capacity through collective action

Principle 1 and Principle 2 are designed to encourage signatories to incorporate sustainability and ESG factors into corporate strategies and management systems, aiming to call for implementation starting from the highest level and throughout the whole organization whenever possible. Principle 3 and Principle 4 focus on communication with stakeholders at the operational level. Specific measures that signatories could take to contain environmental and social risks include environmental risk analysis, information sharing, and conflict resolution mechanisms. Principles 5 to 7 are set to encourage signatories to utilize cutting-edge green financial instruments and green supply chain practices, and to improve organizational capacity through knowledge sharing and collective actions. 

The GIP signatories are expected to incorporate the principles into their corporate strategy and decision-making processes and are invited to report regularly on their performance to the GIP Secretariat. The latest performance report published in September 2020 evaluated data provided by 23 signatories under the four reporting themes, i.e. Governance and Strategy, Risk Management and Assessment, Investment and Corporate Footprint, and Disclosure and Engagement. The report revealed that the majority of signatories acknowledge E&S issues and related risks in corporate governance and most have developed and published a sustainability strategy. Over half of the signatories describes the governance and systems for managing E&S risks, including risk reporting is provided up to the investment committee, and areas of operational risk management. However, the signatories are less advanced in terms of disclosing portfolio information, which to a large extent, mirrors maturity on the three other reporting areas. The transition pathways still remain nascent and the green investment targets are patchy.

Based on the Report findings, the report also set up a three-year plan “Vision 2023”, which focuses on five key pillars – assess, disclose, commit, invest, and grow. Under this vision, all members are expected to have made their first TCFD disclosure by 2023.

Annex: List of Signatories of the GIP

(last updated on April 30, 2021)

No.SignaturiesCountry
1Agricultural Bank of ChinaChina
2Agricultural Development Bank of ChinaChina
3Al Hilal BankUnited Arab Emirates
4Ant Financial Services GroupChina
5Astana International ExchangeKazakhstan
6Bank of BangkokBangkok
7Bank of ChinaChina
8Bank of East AsiaChina
9BMCE Bank of AfricaMorocco, Africa
10BNP ParibasFrance
11China Construction BankChina
12China Development BankChina
13China International Capital CorporationChina
14China International Contractors AssociationChina
15China Merchants Port Holdings CorporationChina
16Commerzbank AGGermany
17Crédit Agricole-CIBFrance
18DBS BankSingapore
19Deutsche BankGermany
20Export-Import Bank of ChinaChina
21First Abu Dhabi BankUnited Arab Emirates
22Habib Bank of PakistanPakistan
23Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC)China
24Hong Kong Exchanges and ClearingChina
25Industrial and Commercial Bank of ChinaChina
26Industrial BankU.S.
27Khan BankMongolia
28Luxembourg Stock ExchangeLuxembourg
29Mizuho BankJapan
30Natixis BankFrance
31Ping An Insurance (GROUP) Company Of ChinaChina
32Silk Road FundChina
33Société GénéraleFrance
34Standard Chartered BankU.K.
35Trade and Development Bank of MongoliaMongolia
36UBS Group AGSwitzerland
37Xinjiang Goldwind Science & TechnologyChina
38Swiss Re GroupSwitzerland
39China Re GroupChina