UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Communications Lead – Net-Zero Banking Alliance: United Nations Environment Programme

Neera Shah
Neera Shah29th November 2022

Result of Service

90% NZBA communications:

To further engage the members of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance on communications, ensuring high visibility of the initiative, key milestones, its members, and their progress. Supporting coalition building through targeted communications. Liaising on communications campaigns with partners and members. Specifically,
• Net-Zero Banking Alliance members have the communications strategy, assets and tools to be effectively communicate on any upcoming news, launches and events
• Alliance members have a communications steer to help them position and respond in a complex landscape
• The Alliance is able to communicate with one message and voice, via the chairperson and steering group
• The Alliance has all assets on hand and updated (strategy, key messages, speeches, op-eds, press releases, social media assets, website, promotion packs, webinars, etc).
• The Net-Zero Banking Alliance is positioned within the wider context of UNEP FI initiatives, and a coordinated communications plan is in place for UNEP FI to communicate on the Alliance.
• Writing the NZBA Progress Report 2023.
• Editing communications materials and updating the NZBA web pages.
• Undertaking NZBA media engagement.

10% UNEP FI communications:

• NBZA communications are aligned with wider net zero alliance messaging and UNEP FI communications to banks, including on the Principles for Responsible Banking.
• Media/press activity on NZBA is undertaken in coordination with UNEP FI and UN colleagues.
• Supporting communications for outreach and capacity building on climate change target setting.

Work Location
Geneva. Remote working possible.

Expected duration
6 months

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.

The overall objective of the UNEP’s Economy Division is to encourage decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and adopt policies, strategies and practices and technologies that promote sustainable patterns of consumption and production, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure safe management of chemicals and contribute to making trade and environment policies mutually supportive. It promotes the development, use and transfer of policies, technologies, economic instruments, managerial practices and other tools that assist in environmentally sound decision making and the building of corresponding activities.

The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is the strategic partnership between the United Nations and over 400 banks, insurers and investors. For over 28 years UNEP FI has been shaping and driving the international sustainable finance agenda, setting global standards and growing a global network of leading financial institutions. Through its work-streams and regional activities, peer learning, methodology development, training and research, UNEP FI carries out its mission to help the financial industry align with and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and with that take on the crucial role it must play in achieving a sustainable future.

UNEP FI launched the Principles for Responsible Banking in 2019 as the foremost sustainability framework for the industry. More than 300 banks have committed to aligning their portfolios with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and are implementing commitments through target setting across portfolios. Climate targets are a significant area of impact for the majority of portfolios. Many PRB signatories are therefore setting targets to align lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050, with implementation supported under the secretariat for the industry-led, UN-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). The Alliance brings together over 120 banks with over US$70 trillion in assets, which are committed to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050.

A communications function is required to help generate awareness, visibility and knowledge of the Alliance across the industry, to provide a unified voice and messaging for the Alliance members, to launch and announce key initiatives and developments, communicate on progress and accountability, and support the Steering Group and Alliance chair. The role will include press activity, writing, editing, member engagement, promotion packs, social media activity, creation of communications content, industry-wide alignment of the initiative and website updates.

UNEP FI currently does not have the internal capacity to undertake these communication activities, and hence outside expertise is required for this purpose.

Output expectations:

• NZBA communications assets
• Communications reps from over 100 banking members
o Liaise with the NZBA governance on messaging & strategy
o Creation of key documents, messaging
o Keep members informed
• Media engagement
o Press releases & op-eds
o Media relations
o Crisis communications, holding statements, responses
o Q&A briefing documents
• Website – regular updates
• Social media – regular posts to promote the alliance and its work
• Promotion packs with key information for members for COP26
• Coordination with UNEP FI communications colleagues

Specific tasks and responsibilities:

1st deliverable – Submission of workplan for media engagement and NZBA communications in 2023 and update media list. Submission of a report detailing analytics and assessment of communications in 2022. Engagement of NZBA members’ communications focal points.

2nd deliverable – Review and recommendations on communications materials for UNEP FI and members of the NZBA to support communications in 2023 including: key messages, graphics, social media text, cards, members promotion pack, podcasts/digital communications, website news story, website update, press release, quotes, speeches sensitive Q&A, webinar, live tweeting, analytics, etc. Contribute to PRB communications planning on climate targets.

3rd deliverable – Media engagement undertaken. Update of communications materials for UNEP FI and members of the NZBA to support communications in 2023 including: key messages, graphics, social media text, cards, podcasts/digital communications, members promotion pack, website news story, website update, press release, quotes, speeches sensitive Q&A, webinar, live tweeting, analytics, etc

4th deliverable – Submission of a 6-month communications plan for growing the coalition of signatories and communicating on the progress of the Alliance. Contribute to communications for outreach and capacity building on climate targets.

5th deliverable – Submission of workplan for delivering comms in the lead up to COP28.

6th deliverable – Submission of COP 28 strategy and draft communications assets

The consultant shall be under the overall supervision of the Head UNEP FI. The consultant will report to the Membership & Regional Coordination Manager. The consultant will work closely with UNEP FI’s Banking, Climate & NZBA leads and UNEP FI comms lead as daily supervisors. They will work in coordination with communications, climate and banking colleagues.

Work loctaion is Geneva – Remote working possible except for attendance at two in-person Team Retreats in March and June 2023.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic background: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) relevant to communications, marketing, design, public / media relations, business, finance, environment, sustainability, or equivalent education and experience. A first-level university degree in combination with 9 years’ work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

o At least seven years’ experience ideally gained in the financial services sector, in external communications, corporate communications, press office, marketing or related field. Sustainable finance is an advantage, as is knowledge of the banking industry.
o Experience of working with the financial sector (banking, insurance and/or investment).
o Experience working in the financial press landscape.
o Experience working with multiple stakeholders and managing relationships across various stakeholders.
o Experience of working on campaigns, PR/media relations, website’s and event communications.
o Up-to-date proficiency with communications best practices, including social media and online media. Experience in designing and implementing communications strategies.
o Experience in writing, editing and producing communications /marketing materials.
o Creative and resourceful strategist with a track record of proactivity.

Skills & Knowledge:
o Ability to engage senior stakeholders, knowledge of financial landscape and ability to craft, design and create external communications strategy and communications assets of all types (key messages, press releases, social media, website updates, webinars)
o Creative and enthusiastic professional with excellent oral and written communications skills, with ability to communicate clearly and succinctly.
o Strong organizational and time management skills with ability to develop and execute results-focused communications plans across a mix of channels including events, email, webinars, and online and social media.
o Ability to undertake media engagement and manage crisis communications.
o Basic understanding of back-end web development is desirable.
o Ability to produce high-quality communications materials with visuals.
o Knowledge of the finance industry is required; knowledge of sustainable finance and environmental issues would be an asset.
o Ability to prioritise multiple activities concurrently in an organized and timely manner with attention to detail.
o Highly motivated and able to work independently as well as in a team.
o Strong interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain good working relations across diverse stakeholders in a multicultural, geographically dispersed and online environment.


Languages: English is the working language of UNEP FI. Knowledge of other United Nations languages is an asset.

No Fee


Apply here: https://inspira.un.org/psp/PUNA1J/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/UN_CUSTOMIZATIONS.UN_JOB_DETAIL.GBL?Action=A&UNAction=Apply&JobOpeningId=195724&languageCd=ENG&

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