Digby Cheung
09 februari 2021

How to engage with the financial sector

Financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies and pension funds can influence the companies and governments they provide money to. Especially for projects and activities affecting people and nature. This makes them an important ally for conservation organisations. But how to engage with the financial sector? Read the guide (download below) with practical tools.

The construction of dams, mines and large-scale agricultural operations requires huge amounts of money. Institutional investors such as banks, insurance companies and pension funds are usually the ones who provide that money. This means they have influence on the projects.

Benefits and risks

Financial institutions also benefit from preventing damage to people and nature. At the same time, they face risks when they invest in companies that have a negative impact on people and nature. It’s not always easy to fully identify these risks. Local conservation organisations can help with reliable information about the impact of a particular economic activity.

Support in seeking collaboration

However, conservationists and financial institutions often do not yet know how to find each other. To change this, IUCN NL, the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO) and WWF-NL have supported civil society organisations in seeking collaboration with parties from the financial sector. For example, see this story from WWF Zambia on how to work with financial institutions.


Cover of the report on engaging with financial institutions Digby Cheung

Download the report

We have summarised the most important lessons from that process in a manual for conservation organisations. The guide covers everything you need to know before approaching a financial institution: how do they operate, which trade-offs do they make around their loans and investments? It also offers 6 concrete steps on how to engage with financial institutions.

Download the report

Looking for best practices on how to work with other business? Be sure to check our 10 top tips for conservation organisations to engage with business.

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