Global banks collaborate with consumer goods companies at Banking Environment Initiative Forum to promote sustainable production of agricultural commodities

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Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins to address Hong Kong conference linking banking and sustainability

Representatives of global banks are meeting in Hong Kong this week to discuss ways in which they can work with consumer goods and commodities companies to promote sustainable means of production, especially in agricultural commodities.

The Banking Environment Initiative (BEI) Forum will be opened by Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive of Barclays, and will feature speakers from Westpac, Northern Trust, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas as well as Unilever, Nestle, Cargill, Olam and WWF. Over 100 delegates are expected at the event, which takes place at Hong Kong’s JW Marriott hotel on 24th June.

Delegates will discuss the BEI’s ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact with the Consumer Goods Forum, which sees banks committing to a range of actions that support the transition of supply chains to sustainable production methods. They will also review the first tests of the BEI’s Sustainable Shipment Letter of Credit, a financing solution that can be used by banks to incentivise the international trade of sustainably-produced commodities.

Other sessions include the role that Chinese banking regulators are playing in encouraging sustainability in banking activities and investor perspectives on how social and environmental trends are creating and destroying financial value.

Alongside the banks, companies and NGOs will be a delegation from The Island School, Hong Kong, who have been invited to participate.

“We are very pleased to be bringing this event to Asia for the first time”, said Andrew Voysey, Director, Finance Sector Platforms at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, which convenes and co-ordinates the BEI. “Following the launch of the BEI’s trade finance solution at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year, there is a heightened interest in how banks can work with their customers and governments to help transition supply chains to more sustainable models. As such an important trading hub in Asia, Hong Kong is an excellent place to bring together perspectives from across the region.”

The BEI Forum 2014 is sponsored by Barclays, Northern Trust, Westpac and Wilmar and organised on behalf of the BEI by Adaugeo Media. More information is at

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