Scotiabank this week released its 2021 Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) report. Brian Porter, President and CEO, wrote the following message introducing the report.
I have long believed that banking is a calling. Banks are drivers of prosperity, partners that enable the success of businesses small and large, a critical part of the social fabric, and engines of economic growth that lift everybody up. How we choose to bank impacts the world around us, from individual communities, to our broader society, to the natural environment. That is our purpose – to be there, for every future – as a force for good.
One of our key areas of focus over the past year has been on environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters, and specifically in developing, implementing and investing in initiatives across the three areas in order to maximize our positive impact. We have already taken tangible steps and introduced innovative programs to make real progress on issues such as climate change, economic resilience, and diversity, equity and inclusion. ESG matters will continue to be of critical importance to our Bank.
This year, Scotiabank joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, reinforcing our commitment to playing a significant role in supporting and financing the climate transition through this years-long journey. Our goals are ambitious, but achievable. As detailed in our NetZero Pathways Report, we will be a net-zero bank by 2050. We are establishing Bank-wide, quantitative, time-bound targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with both our financing activities and our own operations. We are also doing our part to contribute to the necessary discussions, analyses and actions that will help the world achieve its net-zero objective, including the launch of our $10 million Net-Zero Research Fund last year. We are banking on the low-carbon transition, closing a USD$1 billion 3-year Sustainability Bond offering – the largest by a Canadian corporate or financial entity in 2021 – with proceeds funding the financing or refinancing of green or social assets, businesses and projects.
The Bank deepened its commitment to strengthening communities across our footprint in 2021 by launching ScotiaRISE. Through ScotiaRISE, we are investing $500 million in communities over the next ten years to promote economic resilience among disadvantaged groups, by removing barriers to advancement and increasing access to opportunities.
It is also important to us as an organization that we reflect the communities that we serve. This year more than 40% of Vice Presidents in Canada are women, and we are on track to achieve our diversity, equity and inclusion goal for women to make up 40% globally by 2025. We were proud to be named one of the top 25 most Diverse and Inclusive companies globally by Refinitiv for the fourth year in a row. We were also included in Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index for a fourth time for our commitment to transparency in gender reporting and workforce gender equality.
I would like to extend my gratitude to our winning team of 89,500 Scotiabankers for their contributions during another challenging year. Across our footprint, our team has risen to the occasion and continued to do the right thing, while putting our customers first. They have demonstrated once again why we are a Leading Bank in the Americas.
Brian J. Porter
President and CEO, Scotiabank