Citi backs sustainability with $100bn finance commitment

Global bank Citi has announced a landmark 10-year $100bn commitment to finance activities that reduce carbon emissions, help communities adapt to climate change and directly finance sustainable infrastructure such as green housing.

Citi plans to build on its leadership in renewable energy and energy efficiency financing to engage with clients to identify opportunities to help cities thrive during this period of unprecedented urban transformation, such as sustainable transport.

“Climate change is expected to impact virtually every sector of the economy,” said Mindy Lubber, president of the sustainability nonprofit group, Ceres, which supported Citibank in the development of the commitment. “The financial services industry has a big role to play in scaling up global clean energy investments, and we applaud Citi’s leadership as the company continues to innovate and expand its efforts.”

This is not the first time Citi has provided finance for sustainability growth. In 2007 it announced its intention to finance $50bn of sustainable projects by 2013, meeting the goal three years early in 2013.

The new finance commitment is part of a larger five-year sustainability scheme to improve the environmental and social impacts of Citi’s own businesses and operations. Citi says environmental and social risk management remain a “key priority” to its business, with continually evolving standards. 

2020 targets

Citi has also established new environmental footprint goals for 2020, including:

– 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
– 30% reduction in energy and water use and
– 60% reduction in waste, all against a 2005 baseline.

The new targets also include a longer-term 2050 GHG emissions reduction goal of 80%. Citi will also seek LEED Platinum certification for its new company headquarters in New York City as part of a 33% target of its real estate portfolio to be LEED certified. 

Citi met its goals to reduce emissions and waste two years early in 2013; reducing emissions by 25% and waste to landfill by 41%, all from a 2005 baseline. The bank is on track to meet its 2015 goals of reducing water usage by 20%, and see its global real estate portfolio 20% more energy efficient, and 15% LEED certified.

“Citi has demonstrated its deep commitment to not only taking environmental consequences into account, but also finding innovative ways to finance projects that lead to sustainable growth,” Citi chief executive Michael Corbat said. “For more than 200 years, Citi’s mission has been to enable progress by facilitating economic growth and financing transformative projects.

“The core mission hasn’t changed, but the way we approach it has. Incorporating the principles of sustainability into everything we do improves our own operations, enhances our clients’ work, and contributes to a better world.”

Funding sustainability at Sustainability Live 2015 

The Green Investment Bank’s head of sustainable finance Gavin Templeton will feature among an expert panel discussing funding sustainability at our brand new high-level Conference at Sustainability Live 2015 in April. The panel will explore how to get access to funding and the types of funding available – public and private.  

Find out more and register to attend the Sustainability Live 2015 Conference for free here. 

Lucinda Dann

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