The same day as it revealed its first quarter 2015 results, American multinational banking company Citigroup has announced its intention to invest $100 billion into “activities that reduce the impacts of climate change and create environmental solutions that benefit people and communities.”
The commitment is double the company’s previous goal of $50 billion, which was announced in 2007 and completed three years early in 2013.
Citi intends to “finance and support activities that enable communities to adapt to climate change impacts and directly finance infrastructure improvements that increase access to clean water and manage waste, while also supporting green, affordable housing for clients, including in low- and moderate-income communities.”
And while $100 billion is not a new investment figure, it is certainly a suitably rare-enough occurrence to be excited: Coal India Limited has promised to invest $1.2 billion into solar plants, and the Climate Bond Initiative predicts that green bonds are expected to top $100 billion in 2015.
“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,” said Michael Corbat, Chief Executive Officer of Citi.
“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.”
The $100 billion investment pledge comes hand-in-hand with a new sustainability commitment that similarly focuses on environmental and social risk management. Citi plans to reduce its environmental footprint, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 35%, reducing energy and water usage by 30%, and reducing waste by 60% — all against a 2005 baseline. On top of that, Citi intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, and intends to see 33% of its real estate portfolio become LEED certified — and in particular, seek LEED Platinum certification for its 388/390 Greenwich Street facility in New York City, which is soon to become the company’s global headquarters upon completion of its renovation.
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