Northern Trust Releases Sustainability Report

Northern Trust has announced it has released its latest Sustainability Report, highlighting environmental, social and governance commitments (ESG).

“Sustainability is about how we operate as a business and as citizens in the broader global community,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Grady said. “As we fulfill our mission to be our clients’ most trusted financial partner, we continue to look at the long-term well-being of our employees, clients, shareholders and the communities in which we live and work.”

“We are pleased to share this update on Northern Trust’s approach to advancing sustainability in all areas,” said Kimberly Evans, head of Corporate Sustainability, Inclusion and Social Impact. “For example, we provided approximately $236 million last year to underserved communities through community investments and charitable grants. And our efforts never stop to create a diverse and inclusive workplace where people of all backgrounds are respected and valued.”

Highlights from the 2021 Sustainability Report include:

Risk Climate Caucus:
We have taken a closer account of the impact climate change has, or may have, on operations, credit conditions and regulatory compliance across the globe, and established a cross-disciplinary group, known as the Risk Climate Caucus, to monitor and react to developments related to climate risk to our organization, ensuring it is appropriately considered.

Emissions reduction:
As of Dec. 31, 2021, we have reduced our emissions by more than 69 percent since our 2015 baseline, and reduced our energy consumption by more than 46 percent. In 2021, most of our staff continued to work from home, and business travel remained significantly reduced from prior years.

Realizing that climate impacts threaten more than supply chains and physical infrastructure, we made the commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2050, using our 2019 baseline. In the coming months we will provide additional details on our strategy.

We are also continuing to reduce our carbon emissions, as well as expanding the types of emissions on which we report, such as the recent additions of water and waste emissions data.

Northern Trust ESG Vector Score™:
Our ESG reporting offers clients a real-world view of ESG exposures to their portfolios by providing transparency into ESG-labeled products. We also added Climate Focus to our ESG Insights, aligned to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures framework, which helps clients monitor and disclose.

We launched eight new exchange-traded funds that use the new Northern Trust ESG Vector Score™ to assess climate risk.

Social Impact:
At Northern Trust, we believe change starts at the neighborhood level, and we use our capital to empower community stakeholders and residents as they revitalize and stabilize communities. We have maintained an outstanding Community Reinvestment Act rating for 27 consecutive years. In 2021, we originated new community investments totaling over $1.4 billion. As of Dec. 31, 2021, our community investments portfolio exceeded $4.5 billion and serves the following priorities:

  • $4.2 billion in affordable housing – supporting the creation and retention of affordable home rentals and homeownership in partnership with mission-driven lenders and developers.
  • $179 million in education and social services – providing long-term capital and equity for the development of community and educational facilities and programs such as charter schools, health clinics and daycare centers.
  • $220 million in job creation – supporting mission-driven micro-loan origination programs and the expansion of businesses and job creation.

Global Philanthropic Strategy:
In 2021, we continued to make progress on our philanthropic strategy, focusing our contributions in four key areas of fundamental impact proven to improve financial futures: educational excellence, food security, accessible healthcare and affordable housing. In 2021, Northern Trust made charitable contributions of $18 million, bringing our total giving over the past decade to $160 million globally.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I):
Northern Trust’s DE&I strategy is designed to develop a diverse workforce, equitable policies and practices, and an inclusive culture that reflects our values and allows us to grow as a business. Our strategy focuses on three key areas: driving accountability, enhancing development programs and placement, and advancing culture. These priorities inform our hiring, development, advancement and retention of women and people of color at every level.

We’ve woven these ideals into all business practices, resulting in new initiatives like Business Diversity360, a program that helps us take a holistic look at our suppliers’ diversity, going beyond ownership.

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