Ant Financial and UN Environment Sign a Memorandum of Understanding
Date: 05 Sep 2016
Hangzhou, China, 5 September 2016 – Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial), China’s leading online and mobile financial services provider, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), announcing that the two parties will work together to promote sustainable development.
Eric Jing, President of Ant Financial, and Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UNEP, attended the signing ceremony. According to the MoU, the two parties will together explore the role financial technology can play in addressing challenges facing sustainable finance and increasing the public’s awareness of sustainable development and a green lifestyle. The two parties will collaborate in building, and potentially co-chairing an international alliance of leading fintech companies focused on sustainable development.
“UN Environment is honoured to partner with Ant Financial, to engage with small and media-sized enterprises and individuals, to raise awareness of green finance, and to make it an integral part of daily life,” Solheim said “UN Environment sees in our partnership with Ant Financial the opportunity to shape the wave of new technologies and financial businesses that will drive tomorrow’s global financial system, supporting individuals, businesses and policy in aligning it with sustainable development.”
“Ant Financial is a strong believer in green finance. Several of our products and services have been contributing to sustainable development. Leveraging mobile Internet, cloud computing and Big Data, we can encourage our hundreds of millions of users to participate in a green lifestyle,” said Eric Jing, President of Ant Financial.
Ant Financial is working with UNEP’s Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, in conducting problem-solving field research in areas such as energy efficiency financing. Ant Financial will formally join the UNEP Finance Initiative (FI) as a signatory member, pledging to promote sustainable finance. Set up in 1992, UNEP FI has over 200 financial institutional members globally.
Ant Financial has long been committed to various green initiatives and in advancing green finance. It has recently launched a feature within its Alipay app, in the aim of increasing public awareness of sustainable development. Users keep a carbon credit account and gain credit through emission reduction activities like walking, taking the bus, paying utility bills, or purchasing movie tickets online. Alipay worked with the China Beijing Environmental Exchange to develop the carbon credit measurement system. When the user’s carbon credit reaches a certain level, the environment protection agencies working with Alipay will plant a tree in their name in Inner Mongolia. Ant Financial is currently working with Taiping Life Insurance to launch an automobile insurance product, which is designed to rebate the car owner the daily insurance fee for the days the car is not used.
About Ant Financial
Ant Financial Services Group is focused on serving small and medium enterprises as well as individuals. With the vision “bring small and beautiful changes to the world,” Ant Financial is dedicated to building an open ecosystem of Internet thinking and technologies while working with other financial institutions to support the future financial needs of society. Businesses operated by Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Zhima Credit and MYbank.
About UNEP Inquiry
The United Nations Environment Programme Inquiry project was established in January 2014, with a mandate to advance options that would improve the effectiveness of the financial system in supporting sustainable development.
Based on emerging practice, there are two broad strategies:
- mobilising finance for specific priorities in terms of financial inclusion, infrastructure finance and funding for innovation; and
- mainstreaming sustainable development factors into financial decision-making in terms of market integrity, risk & resilience as well as responsibility and reporting.
For more information on the work of UN Environment’s Inquiry:
Mahenau Agha, Head of Outreach: : https://unepinquiry.org