19 October 2020

Speaking at the IIF Annual Membership Meeting, Jean Pierre Mustier discussed the bank’s long-term commitment to sustainability

2:00 Min

Last week, CEO Jean Pierre Mustier spoke at the IIF Annual Membership Meeting in the C-suite panel focused on financing sustainable, low-carbon growth. He explained that sustainability means sharing the same long-term objectives with all the bank’s stakeholders for consistent value creation.

“At UniCredit, sustainability is part of our DNA. We want to make sure we support all our stakeholders and have the right culture in the Group in line with our values of Ethics and Respect and guiding principle of Do the Right Thing!” explained Mr. Mustier.

He further commented that concrete actions are needed across the ESG pillars to have an impact as the situation is urgent. This includes very long-term incentive plans for senior management aligning the interests of all stakeholders, continued creation of a positive and inclusive work environment, providing social support to communities and reducing the bank’s impact on natural capital.

Jean Pierre also highlighted the increasing importance of the social component in the post-Covid context. The bank’s Social Impact Banking programme is now present across 11 markets supporting social entrepreneurs and micro-businesses that often do not have access to banking services. The initiative, further supported through UniCredit’s art sale, provided over 4,000 loans by June 2020 and aims to disburse €1 billion of financing by 2023.

On the environment, the CEO said: “With no Earth there are no people and no banks. We need to move fast and decisively,” mentioning the bank’s updated coal policy as an example that has also been highlighted as best in class in the industry. He also added that “There needs to be a consistent global ambition, not just a European one, we must progress and make a real impact.”

When asked how to differentiate between ‘green’ and ‘brown’ financing, Mr. Mustier spoke about the need for a taxonomy on how to define and measure carbon footprint as a key part of financing the transition to a low carbon economy.

He also added that sustainability will be increasingly important in attracting investors to companies that do the right thing particularly in the selective post-Covid environment.