Our environmental strategy and commitment
The Environmental Policy and the Environment Management System
Businesses must address climate change, conserve biodiversity, use natural resources efficiently and assure an ample water supply. As a commercial bank, we can play key role addressing these issues and will continue to work to facilitate sustainable development, encourage job creation and foster social inclusion.
UniCredit set these commitments in our Environmental Policy established in 2000 and updated in 2012.
Our Environmental Management System is the framework through which we define and take concrete action regarding our environmental commitment.
The Group, through the different legal entities and territories, operates several different Environmental Management Systems according to the European EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) Regulation and ISO 14001 Standard. Third-party certifications regularly assess whether our Environmental Management Systems comply with the adopted standards.
In Italy, we had our first EMAS registration in 2002. In 2012, following the aggregation of subsidiaries, we enlarged the registration to all our national sites.
Today the registration spans around 2,700 Italian sites and over 35,700 employees.
Bank Austria and UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia have obtained ISO14001 Standard certifications for sites countrywide.
In Austria, the Bank's EMS certification was received in May 2011 and applies to the central administrative office and branch offices.
In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Bank has certified its Environmental Management System for the sites countrywide, according to ISO 14001 rules.
Environmental targets and results
UniCredit is committed to protecting our natural capital and has set targets to further reduce both our loan portfolio exposure to controversial sector businesses and our direct environmental impact through specific energy choices .
Risk Management Framework
At UniCredit, we are aware of how a changing climate can create business risks. Physical, economic, regulatory and transition risks can have significant credit, market and reputational consequences that call for a bank-wide climate risk management framework. That's why we have established a dedicated team within the Group Risk Management office, responsible for the supervision and management of processes related to climate change risks and UniCredit's approach to sensitive sectors.
In 2019, thanks to the continuous cooperation between the business, risk and lending functions, our firm commitment to sustainability was enriched with clear targets for 2023 to address climate change-related risks including: assisting customers in the transition to a low-carbon emission economy, improving our policies with regard to climate-related sectors and strengthening our commitment to not supporting companies involved in the deforestation of rainforests. We have integrated quantitative indicators into our Risk Appetite Framework (RAF) 2020 to monitor the achievement of the declared targets.
Sustainable Finance Advisory Team
UniCredit aims to play a central role in facilitating the transition to a more sustainable economy. That's why we created a Sustainable Finance Advisory Team within the Corporate & Investment Banking Division. Through this team, the bank combines sustainability expertise with capital markets execution in order to deepen client dialogue around ESG-related topics and facilitate access to Europe's green financing market. We support our clients in their shift to a low-carbon economy.
Participation in major international environmental initiatives
UniCredit plays an active role in major international environmental initiatives, taking part in working groups for the development of methodologies to integrate environmental and social protection considerations into financial products and services.
The following are some of our major partnerships and memberships:
UniCredit works with UNEP FI to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance. In 2019, UniCredit became a signatory member of the Principle for Responsible Banking.
In June 2012, UniCredit was among the first 37 financial institutions to endorse the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD), which was officially launched at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20.
Convened by the UNEP FI and Global Canopy, the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA) is a collaboration with the finance sector to lead the integration of natural capital considerations into financial decision-making.
Advancing Environmental Risk Management is the NCFA's flagship project, aiming to provide practical methodologies and frameworks to incorporate natural capital assessment into existing finance sector risk management frameworks.
ENCORE (Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure) is a pioneering tool from the Advancing Environmental Risk Management (AERM) project that allows users to see how the economy depends on nature. It covers the whole economy, so financial institutions can apply it to any portfolio by sector or location. It shows how environmental change creates risks and opportunities for businesses and those that fund them.
We have participated as a signatory since 2004 and we regularly submit our annual Communication on Progress (COP), publicly disclosing to stakeholders our progress made in implementing the Ten Principles promoted by the UN Global Compact and in supporting broader UN development goals, in the core business of the Bank.