Citi has released its 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, an annual report that highlights the ways in which Citi is enabling progress and sustainable growth in communities across the world. This report and related summary not only detail the progress Citi has made on its longstanding ESG priorities over the past year, but also its efforts to adjust and address the immediate and longer-term challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“The events of 2020 are a stark reminder that companies like ours have a role to play in helping tackle the world’s toughest problems – and this sense of responsibility drives our ESG agenda,” said Jane Fraser, Citi CEO. “We don’t see ESG as a separate effort. Instead it is embedded in our daily efforts to support our clients, colleagues and communities, and our work as a bank. We take great pride in our work and are delighted to share it with all our stakeholders in this report.”
Among the many focus areas this report covers, key highlights from the past year include:
- COVID-19 Relief and Recovery: Citi and the Citi Foundation committed over $100 million in support of COVID-19-related relief and economic recovery efforts globally. Citi was also selected by Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance, as sole financial advisor to the COVAX Facility to support the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines.
- Racial Equity: Citi launched Action for Racial Equity, a commitment to invest more than $1 billion over the next three years to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the United States. This effort includes four goals: to provide greater access to banking and credit in communities of color, increase investment in Black-owned businesses, expand Black homeownership, and advance anti-racist practices in the financial services industry. Among the progress made in just seven months since launching the effort, Citi is more than a third of the way to its $100 million commitment to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) that are expanding banking and credit access in communities of color. Citi will be investing more than $200 million – out of a $550 million, three-year commitment to affordable housing – in five equity funds that will be co-managed by Black investment managers to preserve multi-family affordable rental housing in cities all across the country.
- Low-Carbon Transition: Last summer, Citi launched its 2025 Sustainable Progress Strategy to play a leading role in driving the transition to a low-carbon economy. At the core of this new strategy is a commitment to finance and facilitate $250 billion in environmental solutions globally over the next five years, and $500 billion by 2030, as well as reduce the climate risk and impact of its client portfolio and the environmental footprint of its facilities. Building on these efforts, in early 2021, Citi committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which includes emissions associated with its financing as well as achieving net zero for its operations by 2030. Last year, Citi was awarded LEED Platinum certification of its global headquarters in New York City.
- Pay Equity Transparency: Four years ago, Citi was the first bank to disclose its adjusted pay results, and the following year it became one of the first companies to disclose its unadjusted or “raw” pay gaps for both women and U.S. minorities. In 2020, Citi found virtually no pay gap for women or minorities when adjusted for job function, level and geography. This year’s raw gap analysis showed that our median pay for women globally is better than 73% of the median for men, up from 71% last year, and that the median pay for U.S. minorities is 94% of the median for non-minorities, up from 93% last year.
- Impact Investing: In early 2020, Citi launched the $150 million Citi Impact Fund – the largest of its kind to be launched by a bank using its own capital – to invest in companies that are addressing societal challenges. In September 2020, Citi allocated an additional $50 million to exclusively support businesses owned by Black entrepreneurs as part of Action for Racial Equity. As of March 31, Citi had invested in 13 companies, the majority of which are founded by women and/or minorities.
- Affordable Housing: In 2020, Citi provided $7 billion in loans for affordable housing projects in the U.S., making it the largest U.S. affordable housing development lender for the 11th consecutive year. Citi also issued its inaugural $2.5 billion Affordable Housing Bond, the largest-ever social bond from an issuer in the private sector.
- Youth Unemployment: Citi and the Citi Foundation expanded the global Pathways to Progress job skills-building initiative, led by a three-year, $100 million investment from the Citi Foundation, to improve employability and economic opportunity for youth from underserved communities around the world.
“Our recent $1 trillion commitment to sustainable finance by 2030 shows how we are focusing our financial resources – from those that support environmental finance and affordable housing, to racial equity and economic inclusion – to help ensure a more sustainable and equitable future,” said Ed Skyler, Head of Global Public Affairs at Citi and Chair of the Citi Foundation. “We will continue to look for ways to use our balance sheet to solve problems, and deploy our capabilities to respond to the evolving needs of society.”
Citi’s annual ESG Report, now in its second year, builds upon Citi’s Global Citizenship Report, which Citi had been publishing since 2001. The 2020 ESG Report was prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards: Core option and includes reporting against the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Standard and Citi’s implementation of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) framework. To learn more about Citi’s ESG efforts and to view the report in full, visit www.citigroup.com/citi/about/esg/.