First interim targets for reducing financed greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
MONTREAL, April 20, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – National Bank of Canada (the “Bank”) today announced the release of its latest environmental, social and governance reports, which cover the year 2021. These are the Report on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Advances, the Inclusion and Diversity Booklet and the Report on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Advances. These reports are intended for a wide range of stakeholders and present the Bank’s commitments and achievements in this area, as well as its key performance indicators. They are available in the Social Responsibility section of nbc.ca.
To contribute to achieving climate goals, the Bank has made a commitment to align its financing activities with the target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and set interim targets to guide its actions in reducing GHG emissions from its operations and financing activities.
On September 25, 2020, the Bank therefore announced an interim target to reduce GHG emissions from its operations by 25% by the end of 2025.1 Today, it took an important step in announcing interim targets for its financing activities related to the Canadian oil and gas producers sub-sector. This is one of the most carbon-intensive sectors financed by the Bank, and it will play a key role in reducing GHG emissions. The Bank aims to reduce its financed emissions for this sub-sector by 31% by 2030 for Scope 1, 2 and 3, compared to the reference year (2019). Since January 31, 2019, the credit exposure of the renewable energy loan portfolio has increased by 11% while the non-renewable energy loan portfolio has decreased by 38%.
In line with its climate commitments, the Bank is continuing to focus on collaborating and improving its practices. In 2021, it announced its commitment to the following initiatives and groups:
- Net-Zero Banking Alliance
- Risk Management Association (RMA) Climate Risk Consortium
- Statement by the Quebec Financial Centre for a Sustainable Finance
- Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF)
- Climate Engagement Canada (CEC) initiative, via National Bank Investments as a founding participant.
The publication of the Bank’s second Inclusion and Diversity Booklet provided an opportunity to report on its progress and challenges related to this key topic in society. Stakeholders are encouraged to review this document so they can learn about the Bank’s main initiatives and help maintain a productive dialogue. This document results from the Bank’s commitment to the United Nations as a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking, the Women’s Empowerment Principles and the Global Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People (LGBTI).
In general, two indicators have shown significant progress from 2020 to 2021:
- The perception that the Bank offers an environment that fosters inclusion and diversity, as measured by the overall inclusion and diversity index, increased significantly. This score jumped from 79% in 2020 to 86% in 2021, an improvement of 7%.
- Knowledge of the internal resources and tools provided to promote positive conversations and interactions at the Bank increased by more than 20%, from 58% in 2020 to 78% in 2021.
The Bank has adopted a 2020-2023 three-year action plan that specifically defines areas of action required to create a more inclusive environment.
The Bank’s latest ESG report sets out its commitments to various stakeholders. A dashboard is used to track progress over time. The Bank’s actions in rolling out initiatives are guided by nine ESG principles, which are approved by its Board of Directors and subject to rigorous review. The ESG report provides a wealth of useful information, and partners are encouraged to review it in order to continue the constructive conversations they have had with the Bank over a number of years.
1 This target includes Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (Scope 3 includes employee business travel and paper consumption as part of the supply chain) and uses 2019 as the reference year.
Certain statements made in this press release are forward-looking statements, including statements with respect to the Bank’s objective of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, as well as its interim targets and objectives of reducing its GHG emissions from its operations and financing activities, and actions that the Bank will take to achieve them. These forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to a number of factors, inherent risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Bank’s control and the effects of which can be difficult to predict. These factors, risks and uncertainties are detailed in the Caution regarding Forward-Looking Statements included in the Report on Environmental, Social and Governance Advances, in the Inclusion and Diversity Booklet, and in the Report on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures Advances. Additional information is also available in the Risk Management section of the Bank’s 2021 Annual Report and may be updated in the quarterly shareholders’ reports subsequently published. Investors and others who rely on the Bank’s forward-looking statements should carefully consider the aforementioned factors as well as the uncertainties they represent and the risk they entail. Except as required by law, the Bank does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, by it or on its behalf.
With $367 billion in assets as at January 31, 2022, National Bank of Canada, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups. It has more than 27,000 employees in knowledge-intensive positions and has been recognized numerous times as a top employer and for its commitment to diversity. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank’s activities at nbc.ca or via social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
SOURCE National Bank of Canada