Citizens Financial Group, Inc. recently announced a $50 billion Sustainable Finance Target, including $5 billion in green financing, to be achieved by 2030. The financial institution also aims to engage corporate clients in high-emitting sectors concerning climate-related topics, starting with 100% of its oil and gas clients by the end of 2024. Additionally, Citizens has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035.
The company’s Sustainable Finance Target will focus on financing and facilitating environmental and social initiatives, such as affordable housing, support for small businesses, and community development projects. It also includes $5 billion in financing and facilitation for green initiatives that promote a lower-carbon future, including renewable energy, clean technologies, and green buildings. Citizens has outlined its approach to sustainable finance in a recent publication, which details its methodology for tracking progress towards its target.
Citizens is dedicated to supporting its clients’ sustainability journeys and ensuring that its Commercial and Business Banking colleagues are prepared to engage on climate-related topics. This will enable clients to leverage opportunities, meet stakeholder expectations, and manage risks. The bank’s culture of innovation is driving the development of sustainability-linked products for clients, such as the Sustainable Deposits and Carbon Offset Deposit Account, which allow clients to incorporate their sustainability goals into their banking strategies.
As part of its private banking strategy, Citizens will ensure that colleagues are knowledgeable about ESG-integrated, ESG-focused, and impact-focused investment products. Beth Johnson, Citizens Vice Chair, Chief Experience Officer, and Head of ESG, emphasized the customer-centered approach behind the commitment, with a focus on detailed disclosures and reporting to ensure overall success.
In terms of operational sustainability efforts, Citizens aims to become carbon neutral by 2035. The company has set emissions reduction targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions and plans to achieve them through energy conservation investments and initiatives. By 2035, Citizens aims to offset the remaining emissions through high-quality offsets and renewable energy credits. The company has already demonstrated its commitment to renewable energy through a virtual power purchase agreement with Ørsted, which supports the construction of a wind generation facility in Kansas.
Citizens is committed to providing disclosures related to its progress in sustainability efforts. The company has recently released its ESG Report, TCFD Report, CDP Climate Response, and an Environmental & Social Risk Management Statement.
Overall, Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is taking significant steps towards sustainable finance and environmental responsibility. Through its target, engagement with clients, and commitment to carbon neutrality, the company aims to position itself and its clients for long-term success while contributing to a lower-carbon economy.
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