Building upon its progress in leading the transition to a sustainable and inclusive future for all, Fifth Third has announced a new $100 billion environmental and social finance target to be achieved through 2030.
The new target is an expansion of the Bank’s original $8 billion sustainable finance goal, which was set in 2020. That goal was focused on renewable energy and was recently achieved nearly three years ahead of schedule. Governed by the Fifth Third Environmental and Social Finance Framework, the new target has an expanded scope to include additional environmental eligibility criteria as well as social eligibility criteria to better reflect Fifth Third’s overall ESG priorities.
“We have a purpose-driven culture at Fifth Third,” said Tim Spence, president of Fifth Third Bancorp and incoming CEO effective July 5. “Everything we do, including setting ambitious finance targets and pushing to make progress in our ESG areas of focus, is derived from our resolve to improve the lives of our customers and the well-being of our communities. As a financial institution, we have a distinct and crucial role to play in the transition to a sustainable future. We are intent on delivering long-term value for all we serve and to building healthy, inclusive economies for everyone’s benefit.”
Fifth Third today published its 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report, which provides updates and progress on the Bank’s ESG strategy and priorities, for all stakeholders: customers, employees, communities, investors and regulators. Prominent ESG standards and framework indices, including the Global Reporting Initiative, SASB Standards and Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics also have been published on our investor relations page.
The Bank’s 2021 ESG Report includes, among other updates, progress reports of actions taken under Fifth Third’s five Board-approved ESG priorities:
- ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE.
Achieved our $8 billion sustainable finance goal ahead of schedule and today announced a new $100 billion environmental and social finance target to be achieved through 2030. We achieved four of five of our original 2017 operational sustainability goals and recently expanded them, including to continue purchasing 100% renewable power, reducing location based GHG emissions by 75%, reducing energy use by 40%, reducing potable water use by 50%, diverting 75% of waste from going to landfills, and reducing paper use by 75% and purchasing remaining paper from certified sources. We acquired Dividend Finance, a national provider of solar and sustainable home improvement loan financing, and added renewable residential financial services to our product suite. We named our first chief sustainability officer and first climate risk officer. Fifth Third maintained its leadership band score of A- from CDP for the third year.
- PROMOTING INCLUSION & DIVERSITY.
Just one year into our $2.8 billion Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative, we have delivered $1.3 billion, 46% of the plan, and launched the $180 million Fifth Third Empowering Black Futures Neighborhood Program to infuse up to $20 million each into nine minority communities within our footprint. We increased tier one and tier two supplier diversity spend by 17% and 254%, respectively, which resulted in $109 million in combined spend with diverse suppliers in 2021. We’re also making significant progress on our six bold inclusion and diversity goals, including publicly disclosing how our workforce diversity aligns with the markets we serve. Fifth Third was named a 2022 Best Employer for Diversity by Forbes.
- DELIVERING ON OUR COMMITMENT TO EMPLOYEES.
The Bank invested $2.5 billion in total rewards for employees last year. We paid special COVID-19 bonuses to more than 7,500 employees while providing on-site vaccinations, flexible work arrangements and additional paid and sick time off and back-up family care. In April of this year, we announced that our minimum wage will increase to $20 per hour.
- KEEPING THE CUSTOMER AT THE CENTER.
We launched the award-winning Fifth Third Momentum® Banking in 2021, which combines the best of fintech innovation with the strength, access and human touch of a traditional bank. Fifth Third Express Banking® earned the Bank On certification for safe and affordable accounts. This year, we eliminated all non-sufficient funds fees, part of a deliberate, multi-year strategy to reduce punitive consumer fees. We also offer products and solutions like Expert AP and Receivables solutions for our business clients to help maximize efficiencies, improve cash flow, manage liquidity and mitigate risk.
- STRENGTHENING OUR COMMUNITIES.
Fifth Third made $1.3 billion in community development lending and investments last year, $41 million in charitable donations from the Fifth Third Foundation and other entities, and 4.6 million meals to fight hunger. We supported our Kentucky communities with a $200,000 Fifth Third Foundation grant after tornadoes swept through last year and our foundation made a $100,000 grant to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine in 2022 while our employees donated $39,000 of their own money to that cause. Our employees also volunteered nearly 100,000 hours in our communities in 2021. Fifth Third delivered its financial empowerment programs to community members at all ages and stages of life and supported small businesses through direct lending and investments as well as robust support of community development financial institutions.
In 2021, Fifth Third was once again named by Ethisphere as among the world’s most ethical companies, our third year of recognition as one of only five banks honored. All of Fifth Third’s stakeholders are encouraged to read the Bank’s full 2021 ESG Report.