Citi has announced its new five-year 2025 Sustainable Progress Strategy to help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy. This new strategy includes a $250 Billion Environmental Finance Goal to finance and facilitate climate solutions globally. This builds on Citi’s previous $100 billion goal announced in 2015 and completed last year, more than four years ahead of schedule.
“If there’s one lesson to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that our economic and physical health and resilience, our environment and our social stability are inextricably linked,” said Michael Corbat, CEO of Citi. “ESG has been front and center in Citi’s response to this health crisis, and evermore present in conversations with clients and partners. With our $250 billion goal, we want to be a leading bank in driving the transition to a low-carbon economy, which we anticipate will accelerate as businesses of all kinds shift to a more sustainable future.”
This new strategy, integrated into Citi’s Environmental and Social Policy Framework, will focus on three key areas over the next five years:
- Low-Carbon Transition: Citi aims to finance and facilitate an additional $250 billion in low-carbon solutions, in addition to the $164 billion the bank counted toward its $100 Billion Environmental Finance Goal (2014-2019). This new goal includes financing and facilitating activities in renewable energy, clean technology, water quality and conservation, sustainable transportation, green buildings, energy efficiency, circular economy, and sustainable agriculture and land use. Citi will continue to develop innovative financing structures and seek opportunities to scale positive impact in these areas while supporting clients across all sectors in the low-carbon transition.
- Climate Risk: Measuring, managing and reducing the climate risk and impact of Citi’s client portfolio is a key aspect of a low-carbon transition. Citi has been a leader in climate assessment and disclosure in alignment with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, releasing its first TCFD report in 2018. Citi will further test the resilience of its lending portfolios to transition risks and physical risks related to climate change, and continue to disclose in line with TCFD. The global bank will begin measuring the climate impact of its own portfolios and their potential alignment with 1.5 and 2 degree Celsius warming scenarios. Citi is also joining the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), a global framework for financial institutions to measure and disclose the emissions of lending portfolios and create a global carbon accounting standard for financial institutions. These various efforts will inform how Citi analyzes, engages and collaborates with our clients going forward.
- Sustainable Operations: This strategy includes fourth generation operational footprint goals focused on GHG emissions, energy, water, waste reduction and sustainable building solutions. Since 2005 we have reduced 3,600 GWh of energy use and avoided 2.4 million MTCO2e, equal to the GHG emissions of over half a million cars on the road for a year (equivalency provided by EPA calculator). While climate science requires global CO2 emissions to be reduced by 45 percent by 2030, Citi is accelerating that timeline with a 45 percent reduction target in CO2 emissions by 2025. Citi expects to meet its goal of sourcing 100 percent renewable electricity to power facilities globally before the end of 2020. In April, Citi was awarded LEED Platinum certification for its global headquarters in New York, which represents a significant milestone in its sustainable operations.
Citi has signaled its commitment to transitioning to a sustainable, low-carbon economy as the first major U.S.-based signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking. Citi released its 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report in April, detailing its performance across a number of priority ESG areas. Citi was also recently named #2 in 3BL Media’s ranking of 100 Best Corporate Citizens based on the bank’s ESG transparency and performance.
“We are seeing a true integration of sustainability into our businesses with the formation of additional sustainability and ESG-focused teams and increased enthusiasm and advocacy across Citi,” said Val Smith, Chief Sustainability Officer of Citi. “Our new strategy unifies these efforts by increasing our commitment to environmental finance, propelling forward our work in climate risk analysis and disclosure and continuing to minimize our own company’s environmental footprint impacts.”
Since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Citi continues to deepen its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts in response to client and market demand. In recent weeks, Citi has issued its second benchmark green bond, Asia’s first USD COVID-19 bond, served as sole underwriter for the first ever ESG-focused Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC); enhanced its fossil fuel policies, and has formulated new sustainability-focused global business units.
In the midst of this global pandemic, Citi remains committed to supporting clients and community partners to help drive positive social and environmental impact around the world. Citi and the Citi Foundation have committed more than $100 million to date in support of COVID-19-related community relief efforts globally. Citi continues to take proactive measures to preserve the well-being of employees globally, including special compensation awards to 75,000 colleagues to help ease the financial burden of this situation. Citi is also offering assistance to impacted customers through credit card payment deferrals, fee waivers, hardship programs, and additional small business support.