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Citi Group achieves $441B of $1T sustainable finance 2030 goal with renewables a ‘major driver’

Citi Group achieves $441B of $1T sustainable finance 2030 goal with renewables a ‘major driver’

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In 2023, Citi reaffirmed its commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles amidst a complex global backdrop marked by environmental urgencies and socio-economic shifts. The annual ESG report outlines substantial strides across diverse sectors, with Citi leveraging its global presence to foster economic resilience and environmental sustainability.

CEO’s Reflection: Navigating Challenges with Purpose

Jane Fraser, CEO of Citi, opened the report with a reflection on the pivotal role the institution plays. She notes, “This past year once again underscored the important role Citi plays in helping the clients and communities we serve navigate their biggest economic and societal challenges.” Amidst the challenges of an uncertain macro environment and rising geopolitical tensions, Citi’s initiatives have been geared towards addressing critical global issues through sustainable finance and responsible banking.

Citi’s $1 Trillion Sustainable Finance Commitment

Citi has set an ambitious goal to mobilize $1 trillion towards sustainable finance by 2030. As of 2023, the bank has facilitated $441 billion in environmental and social finance activities. This financing supports projects across multiple sectors, including renewable energy, water purification, and sustainable housing. Specific projects highlighted by Fraser include water purification initiatives in Vietnam, solar energy projects in Kenya, and significant investments in U.S. affordable housing, totaling nearly $6.5 billion in 2023 alone, maintaining Citi’s position as the leading affordable housing lender in the U.S. for the 14th consecutive year.

Building Equitable and Resilient Communities

Citi’s efforts extend beyond environmental sustainability to focus profoundly on societal impacts. The Citi Foundation’s Global Innovation Challenge awarded $25 million to 50 community organizations dedicated to improving food security and enhancing the financial health of low-income families. Additionally, the Citi Impact Fund has been instrumental in aiding entrepreneurs in underserved communities, particularly through financial innovations like the Citi® ATM Community Network and the Citi Start Saving® platform, which expand financial access across the U.S.

Comprehensive ESG Governance

Underpinning Citi’s ESG efforts is a stringent governance framework that ensures these principles are deeply integrated into every facet of operations. The report details Citi’s adherence to global standards such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), enhancing transparency and accountability in its ESG reporting.

Sustainable Operations and Climate Strategy

Citi is steadfast in its commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In 2023, the bank made significant progress, sourcing 100% renewable electricity for its operations and achieving substantial reductions in waste, water, and energy usage across its global facilities. Fraser emphasizes the critical role of partnerships in this endeavor, stating, “Partnership and consensus-building between the public and private sectors remain critical to this work, particularly the journey toward net zero.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Citi’s DEI initiatives are designed to mirror the diversity of the communities and clients it serves. In 2023, Citi enhanced its recruitment, retention, and development strategies to foster a more inclusive and diverse workplace. Fraser proudly reflects on the impact of these efforts: “At the core of our success are the more than 200,000 talented Citi colleagues around the world. We remain committed to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the clients and communities we serve.

Challenges and Forward-Looking Statements

While celebrating the year’s achievements, Citi’s report also outlines the challenges ahead, including the ongoing need for robust climate action and addressing systemic social inequalities. The bank remains vigilant in its strategic planning, ready to adapt to the evolving financial landscape influenced by regulatory changes and market dynamics.

Related Article: JPMorgan, Citi, RBC Reach Agreement with NYC on Climate Finance Disclosures

Conclusion: Commitment to Sustainable Growth

Citi’s 2023 ESG report not only highlights its achievements but also reinforces its ongoing commitment to ethical practices and sustainability. Jane Fraser’s closing remarks invite stakeholders to engage deeply with the report, understanding the broader impact of Citi’s work: “We recognize that the biggest challenges confronting our society come with both risk and upside, and we must continue to act swiftly, transparently, and ethically to make measurable progress for everyone.

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