Our commitment to fighting climate change follows a three-tiered approach:
- shrinking the carbon footprint of our operations
- financing renewable energy sources
- developing ways to reduce financed emissions
As a signatory of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), the Group pledges to deepen its understanding of the risks and opportunities of climate change.
UniCredit has participated from the onset in the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), an initiative that promotes the commitment of large companies to disclose the risks related to climate change inherent in their activities.
Our participation entails completing a web-based questionnaire regarding our environmental management and assigning company ratings by project.
Our commitment to reduce emissions is also about purely operational activities, such as business trips. This includes discouraging travel to company meetings scheduled to last less than three hours, encouraging the use of advanced solutions for remote collaboration, and the ongoing process of modernizing the corporate fleet, gradually moving toward greener solutions.
Our environmental sustainability program
Our Group undertakes a range of activities to minimize the direct impacts of our operations and to take environmental considerations into account in our operations.
In 2008, UniCredit launched its environmental sustainability program (ESP), the result of a partnership with WWF. UniCredit is a proud supporter of WWF and its many environmental conservation projects throughout Italy, including the Oasis system. Our Group also supports WWF's research on climate change and sustainable development, and benefits from its expertise on how to integrate environmental sustainability into our business.
Our partnership with WWF focuses on:
- developing a climate change strategy
- supporting policy development for environmentally sensitive topics
- raising employee awareness of environmental protection
The chief projects we are currently developing with WWF are our carbon inventory and our carbon model.
UniCredit also cooperates with other financial institutions to promote a culture of sustainability and build awareness about how our business practices can contribute to environmental conservation. In recent years, UniCredit has developed models that relate our business activities to the conservation of finite natural resources, based on the concept that we can better assess the creditworthiness of customer enterprises if we carefully considering their effects on climate change and the environment.
These models are still in the testing phase. The key objectives of these models are as follows:
1. To make credit assessments of our customers that consider their ability to comply with carbon constraints designed to limit the increase in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius
2. To measure the environmental impacts of the financing that UniCredit provides to coal-fired power plants, which includes devising a methodology to calculate financed emissions
On Saturday March 25, for the tenth consecutive year UniCredit will take part in Earth Hour, the global event organized by WWF with the purpose of raising awareness on climate change.
WWF's call to action is to turn off the lights for one hour (20: 30-21: 30 CET), thereby uniting citizens, institutions and businesses in a common effort to ensure a more sustainable future for the planet. What began as an initiative in Sydney in 2007, has now become a worldwide event that each year involves millions of people, and numerous companies and institutions around the world.
UniCredit adheres to the event by turning off the lights in a number of its buildings across Europe, in line with our commitment on climate change. In 2016 a total of 82 UniCredit buildings in 14 countries were involved.