TD Bank Group has announced its commitment to a global climate action plan, which includes a target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with its operations and financing activities by 2050, aligned to the associated principles of the Paris Agreement. The Bank has also established dedicated teams to advise and support clients as they work to capture the opportunities of the low-carbon economy. The ambitious actions outlined today support the Bank’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, which leverages TD’s business, people and financial resources to help deliver sustainable economic prosperity.
“Climate change is a critical environmental and business challenge and will require significant effort over the long term to help economies transition successfully to the low-carbon future,” said Bharat Masrani, Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group. “TD’s climate action plan builds on a long history of environmental leadership and positions the Bank as a central player in the work needed to enable sustainable growth for our customers and clients, the communities we serve and the economies we support.”
Reporting and Improved Methodologies
A key aspect of TD’s climate action plan is a focus on data measurement and analytics. TD intends to use an industry-specific approach to prioritize and advance GHG reduction opportunities in each sector. The Bank has established the ESG Centre of Expertise, drawing on experts across TD to participate in this work, invest in research and support academic progress and technological innovation. TD has also joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) to support the development of carbon accounting methodologies for financial institutions globally.
While the precise path to achieve the 2050 target remains unclear, TD intends to establish GHG emissions baselines across its business and financing portfolio and will work closely with clients as it sets interim GHG reduction goals on the path towards 2050. TD will continue to engage with governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and other groups to develop and promote measurement and tracking methodologies for financed emissions, as well as GHG reduction strategies aligned to science-based transition pathways. The Bank will report on its progress starting with 2021.
Enabling our Clients’ Future
TD intends to take a thoughtful approach to understand the different challenges and opportunities associated with key industries. To support its clients, TD Securities has established a Sustainable Finance and Corporate Transitions Group to provide clients with advisory services and important transition and sustainability-focused financing globally. Amy West, Global Head of Sustainable Finance and Corporate Transitions, leads this new Group.
“Across all industries, leadership teams are seeking trusted advice to navigate the challenges and realize the opportunities of the climate-driven changes taking place in our economy,” said Bob Dorrance, Chairman, CEO and President, TD Securities. “The newly established Sustainable Finance and Corporate Transitions Group will be central to our efforts as we work together with clients to support their transition plans through ESG-related advice, financing and affiliated products.”
The Arctic Circle is a unique and fragile environment, home to protected species, and of crucial importance to the local Indigenous populations. From a climate perspective, this area is warming significantly faster than the rest of our planet, which poses the risk of increased GHG releases and further warming.
Given these facts, TD will not provide new project-specific financial services, including advisory services, for activities that are directly related to the exploration, development, or production of oil and gas within the Arctic Circle, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
Track Record of Progress
“Today’s announcements further strengthen the work we’ve done over many years to drive change within the Bank and across our footprint,” said Norie Campbell, Group Head and General Counsel. “We plan to leverage our experience to extend our efforts even further, and together with thousands of dedicated TD Bankers, will deliver new approaches and creative solutions for the future.”
TD’s environmental leadership includes:
- The first North American-based bank to become carbon neutral.
- The first Canadian bank to announce a financial target to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
- The only bank to be engaged in all pilots of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures – investing, lending, and insurance.
- A commitment to cleantech investment, including an investment in ArcTern Ventures’ Fund II, one of Canada’s largest clean technology venture funds.
- Support for startups through the TD Sustainable Future Lab in Waterloo – the region’s first cleantech accelerator.
- Establishment of the industry-leading Patents for Startups program, the first of its kind in North America, to help cleantech and other innovative companies protect and patent their applications.
- Issued a US$500 million sustainability bond in 2020, which was the first of its kind in SOFR format. To date, TD has underwritten $21 billion, issued $2.4 billion and purchased approximately $1.3 billion in sustainable bonds.
- The first in the Canadian insurance industry to announce the establishment of an Advisory Board on Climate Change.
- An investment in Canada’s largest battery storage project through the TD Greystone Infrastructure Fund.
- The addition of two new mutual funds in 2020 to TD Asset Management Inc.’s sustainability suite (TD North American Sustainability Equity Fund and TD North American Sustainability Balanced Fund).
“I commend TD Bank Group for taking a step forward to increase its ESG performance and recognize the role it can play in building pathways to sustainability and contributing to positive climate action in North America. It won’t be easy, and it will require collective action, however I am confident that TD’s leadership will inspire other North American corporations to tackle environmental and social challenges and to develop meaningful solutions to climate change and global sustainability,” said Bruce Lourie, PhD, President Ivey Foundation.