Northern Trust Releases Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Northern Trust released its latest Corporate Social Responsibility report, marking a full decade of transparent, detailed information across the company.

“During a period of extraordinary social, health and economic challenges, 2020 was a year that for Northern Trust focused on compassion, communication and support,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Grady said. “We are pleased to report on progress toward creating long-term value for our clients, employees, shareholders, communities and other key stakeholders.”

Connie Lindsey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, added, “Northern Trust is committed to creating more equitable possibilities to achieve long-term financial success for those who face hurdles because of their race, ethnicity, gender, geography or socio-economic conditions.”

Highlights from the 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Report include:

Global Philanthropic Strategy

Northern Trust introduced a new, highly focused philanthropic strategy that concentrates volunteerism and contributions on four key areas of fundamental impact: educational excellence, food security, accessible health care and affordable housing. Northern Trust committed $20 million over the next five years to extending access around the globe to these essential human needs and creating more equitable opportunities to achieve long-term financial success for those who face unfair hurdles because of their race, ethnicity, gender, geography or socio-economic conditions.

In 2020, Northern Trust made charitable contributions of more than $16 million, equaling 1% of pre-tax net income, which is in the top quartile benchmark for financial companies. Over the past 10 years, Northern Trust has given $160 million to charities globally. Northern Trust also committed $3 million to support communities most impacted by COVID-19, including support for nonprofit organizations around the world that provide healthcare, food and other humanitarian relief.

Staff Engaged in the Community

Northern Trust’s new global engagement platform, iVolunteer, helps Northern Trust employees identify, engage and develop relationships with local charities. During a year of primarily virtual work, a crucial component of this platform was a virtual volunteer hub, which enabled staff to find and participate in virtual volunteering activities. During the Achieving Greater Together volunteer campaign in October alone, partners contributed more than 5,500 hours of service and supported more than 180 global charities.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Northern Trust’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) strategy is driven by three priorities: Drive Accountability, Enhance Development Programs and Placement, and Advance Culture. These priorities are aimed at enhancing our focus on the hiring, development and advancement of women and people of color at every level. Business unit leadership, regional councils and Business Resource Councils facilitate the development of an inclusive culture that values and leverages DE&I to achieve and sustain superior business results.

Emissions Reduction and Renewable Energy

We reduced our per-employee carbon emissions by 60 percent since 2015 – surpassing our goal of 25 percent.

  • Note: with the vast majority of staff working from home and significantly reduced business travel, we estimate that the reduction in global emissions due to COVID-19 was approximately 25 percent.

New Environmental Social Governance Scoring Methodology

Northern Trust Asset Management developed the Northern Trust ESG Vector Score ™, a proprietary measurement that ultimately brings greater clarity to sustainable investing by focusing on key ESG-related business issues that could impact a portfolio’s investment return.

Community Investments

Northern Trust is dedicated to building stronger communities by investing its capital in direct investments that have a sustainable positive impact in locations where we do business. We have maintained an “outstanding” Community Reinvestment Act rating for 26 consecutive years. In 2020, Northern Trust originated over $1 billion in new investments. As of December 31, 2020, our total community investment portfolio exceeded $3 billion, including:

  • $3 billion in affordable housing
  • $185 million in education and social services – providing long-term capital and equity for facilities and programs such as charter schools, health clinics and daycare centers.
  • $208 million in job creation, supporting mission-driven micro-loan origination programs and the expansion of businesses and job creation through private equity funds.
  • $37 million in Wealth Accumulation, investing in CDFI and community credit unions providing capital to meet the needs of underserved communities

Visit to read and share the full report.

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