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Tomorrow, Saturday 23 March at 20.30 local time, we will turn off the lights in 33 of our buildings across ten countries for sixty minutes – marking our seventeenth consecutive year of participation in Earth Hour.

2:00 min

Since its beginnings in 2007, the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Earth Hour has been known for its symbolic ‘lights off’ moment, with individuals from around the globe switching off their lights to show support for the planet and to raise awareness of the environmental issues affecting it. Last year, over 410,000 hours were given to our planet by supporters in 190 countries and territories.

 

This year, Earth Hour continues to expand its focus beyond switching off the lights…

 

With the call "Switch off. Give an hour for Earth", the WWF will use Earth Hour to shine a spotlight on nature loss and the climate crisis, inspiring action and advocating for urgent change.

 

We take part in Earth Hour every year because we know that organisations such as ours must lead by example in taking concerted action against climate change and nature loss. Our commitment to our communities, our people and our planet goes far beyond simply ticking a box – ESG principles represent one of the five strategic imperatives of our long-term UniCredit Unlocked strategy and we are embedding them in everything we do. To this end, we recently disclosed our inaugural Net Zero transition plan, which looks at how we integrate such considerations into all our core business activities, including the management of our own environmental footprint.

 

Fiona Melrose, Head of Group Strategy & ESG

Across the board, we are striving to reduce our direct and indirect environmental impacts whilst playing an active role in Europe’s green transition.

Having joined the Net Zero Banking Alliance in 2021, we have set Net Zero targets of 2030 for our own emissions and 2050 for our financed emissions portfolio.

 

Since then, we have also set additional interim 2030 targets to reduce financed emissions in three of the most carbon-intensive sectors in our loan portfolio: Oil & Gas, Power Generation, and Automotive – adding targets for the Steel sector in January this year.

 

Moreover, we are working to contain our environmental footprint by procuring electricity from renewable sources, improving the energy efficiency of our premises and data centres, supporting our people with sustainable mobility solutions and sourcing from environmentally friendly suppliers.

 

At the same time, we have reduced our own GHG emissions (scope 1 and 2, market-based) by 28% versus 2021.

 

To concretely demonstrate how ESG values are embedded across the bank, we have also signed up to the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge as the first bank from Italy in 2022, among other commitments.

 

Our 2023 Integrated Report describes in detail how we intend to create sustainable value over time under a common Purpose of Empowering Communities to Progress, as well as how we monitor the impact of our activities on Natural Capital.

 

More detail can be found on our dedicated microsite here.