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Third French financial institution to sign UNEP environment and sustainable development

Paris,14 December 2000 - At a signing ceremony held today in Paris, the French financial institution, Groupe Caisse des dépôts, has become the 175th signatory to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 'Statement by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development.'

Today's event was held in the presence of Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director. Mr. Toepfer stressed environmental considerations must be integrated into business decision making processes. "Banks can play a fundamental role in their capacity as investors to influence dynamic environmental change," he said "UNEP welcomes Groupe Caisse des dépôts as the third French financial institution to sign the Statement on Environment and Sustainable Development and I hope more French corporations will follow suit."

The Director General of Caisse des dépôts, Daniel Lebègue, said, "I recognise that sustainable development depends on a positive interaction between economic and social development, and environmental protection. Sustainable development is the collective responsibility of governments, business and individuals. We are committed to working co-operatively within the framework of market mechanisms toward common environmental goals".

Sustainable development is included in the management charter of Caisse des dépôts. The charter is signed by all of the institution's executives and a sustainable development committee has been created to ensure that this approach becomes an integral part of the Group's organisation and in co-ordinating the implementation of action plans.

Groupe Caisse des dépôts was created in 1816. Funds entrusted with them are invested in France's economic and social development and financial modernisation. The Group now includes subsidiaries in banking, insurance and engineering services

For more information, please contact:

Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel,
Director, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), Paris,
Phone: +33 1 44 37 14 50
Paul Clements-Hunt, DTIE Economics and Trade Unit, Genèva,
Phone: +41 22 917 82 98.

At Caisse des dépôts et consignations,
contact Elisabeth, Mission Développement durable et Qualité, Paris,
Phone: 01 40 49 65 91
Philippe Puyau (Service de presse, Paris : 01 40 49 59 89)

UNEP Information Note 00/61

For information only. Not an official record.

Thursday 14 Dec 2000
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