New ESG targets set
UniCredit announces new ESG targets as part of a long-term commitment to sustainability: Do the right thing!
Sustainability Matters. It is a key lever for our future business strategies and a critical component of our bank's success.
Sustainability is part of our Group's DNA and a key component of our business model. UniCredit is committed to protecting our natural capital, including the environment. Every company has to do more than 'business as usual' - it is now the time to act and make an impact. Building a sustainable future is an important challenge for both people and businesses. These new measures are part of our wider sustainability strategy, to make sure that we always: Do the right thing!
New targets set for 2023
UniCredit has set new sustainability targets to further reduce both its direct environmental impact through specific energy choices and its loan portfolio exposure to controversial sectors businesses.
We have already cut our greenhouse gas emissions by more than half since 2008. In 2020 we reached our target of 60% reduction and we are on track to achieve 80% of reduction by 2030. All electricity consumption in the bank's buildings in Italy, Germany and Austria will come from renewable energy sources by 2023. We have already reached this target in Italy and Germany and we are on the right track in Austria.
Plastic free by 2023. The bank is distributing re-usable metal drinking bottles across the Group. Plastic bottles have been removed from break areas and plastic items from canteens. All single-use plastic will be removed from all UniCredit buildings by 2023.
UniCredit is also reducing the use of paper. The Paperless Branch Program in Italy led to the scanning and digital storage of around 31 million documents since 2017.
In 2020, approximately 98% of copy paper used groupwide holds an environmental label; in particular, 80% of copy paper used groupwide is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified.
Partnering with our customers in the shift to a low-carbon economy
UniCredit is partnering with customers in the shift to a low-carbon economy. It is assessing its portfolio exposure to climate risk through projects like the Paris Agreement on Capital Transition Assessment (PACTA) in partnership with 2 degrees investments initiatiative.
With our new Coal policy, UniCredit has committed to total phase-out of coal sector financing in all markets by 2028.
A new Oil and Gas (O&G) policy covers the Arctic area, prohibiting the financing of new projects in Arctic oil and offshore Arctic gas. It also prohibits shale oil and gas and related fracking, tar sands oil, and deep-sea mining O&G. Corporate financing for clients active in these areas will only be allowed if their share of revenues from non-supported activities is under 25%.
UniCredit has committed to increasing its lending to the renewable energy sector by 25% by 2023 (to over €9bn). It will also increase energy efficiency loans to customers by 34% for SMEs in Western Europe. While we increased by +67 % those for individuals in Western Europe (vs. a target of +25%), the new origination of energy efficiency loans in CEE reached 10% of total loans in 2020 (vs. >6% target).
UniCredit has been active in sustainable finance since 2007 and has a leadership position in this sector. UniCredit aims to be among the top five players in EMEA league tables for both Green Bonds and sustainability-linked loans by 2023; at the end of 2020, we are ranked #4. It will achieve this goal with help from its customer-facing Sustainable Finance Advisory Team, which combines sustainability expertise with our internationally-recognised excellence in capital markets execution to deepen customer dialogue on ESG topics and facilitate access to Europe's green financing market.
External monitoring and recognition
As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, UniCredit has joined key institutional organisations and international agreements, joining forces with other businesses to achieve the same goals. We support the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and the OECD Business for Inclusive Growth Coalition (B4IG).
UniCredit's PRB Report disclosing the progress made in implementing the Principles is available here.
UniCredit is monitored by international agencies to assess its commitment to ESG topics and its progress on meeting targets. For further information, visit the related section.
Committed €1bn by 2023 to supporting projects with a positive social impact
Social Impact Banking has successfully disbursed over €225 million in support of social and micro companies and entrepreneurs in Italy. It is present in 11 markets. UniCredit has committed to disburse €1 billion of total financing by 2023.
Our Art4Future project is reallocating wealth stored in the bank's 60,000-piece art collection through the sale of selected pieces. Funds raised will support Social Impact Banking, buying the same number of artworks from emerging artists and supporting other socially relevant initiatives.
UniCredit also promotes culture by partnering with associations including the Filarmonica della Scala and Arena di Verona in Italy, the Bavarian State Opera in Germany and the Musikverein in Austria.
Among other projects promoting positive social impacts, the UniCredit Foundation supports several social initiatives, including study and research. During natural disasters, UniCredit suspends private mortgage repayments and provides subsidised loans to impacted communities.
Leading European banking sector Diversity & Inclusion industry initiative
Creating sustainable value over time starts with the environment, but encompasses the way the bank works with its stakeholders. We are proud of our Diversity & Inclusion efforts.
The result in higher team member engagement and motivation, as well as enhanced risk mitigation and management, which creates a more sustainable organisation and long-term profitability. Creating a positive and inclusive workplace is key to innovation and growth, by strengthening the company's reputation, helping to attract and retain key talent. UniCredit will work with different associations to launch a Diversity & Inclusion initiative for the European banking sector, to set and monitor specific objectives so that banks increase the proportion of women and minorities.
This is fully in line with the two core values of UniCredit: Ethics and respect. That's why we have created the role of Chief Ethics Officer. UniCredit is working with staff and the industry to make sure that banks always: Do the right thing!