Canadian bank CIBC announced today a series of new sustainability goals, including an ambition to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions associated with operational and financing activities by 2050, and a target to facilitate $300 billion in sustainable finance by 2030.

The new sustainable finance target marks a significant increase from the bank’s prior goal to commit $150 billion to sustainable finance activities between 2018 and 2027. CIBC stated that the increased ambition is being driven by strong positive response from clients and a growing opportunity in the market to further invest in their sustainability initiatives. Many of Wall Street’s largest investment banks have also recently been setting major sustainable finance goals, including JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Citi.

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Victor Dodig, President and CEO of CIBC, said:

“Increasing our sustainable financing commitment empowers our clients to take decisive action towards achieving their sustainability goals through effective, market-based solutions, and we’re encouraged by the strong response from clients as we approach this issue with a shared purpose.”

To support its net zero goals, CIBC will establish key areas of focus, including leading clients through the transition to a lower carbon economy, refining its operations, encouraging consumer behaviours that reduce climate impact, and sharing its progress with stakeholders.

CIBC’s commitment to net zero emissions in financing activities follows the recent announcement by the bank that it has joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), a global partnership of financial institutions with a mission to develop and implement a harmonized approach to assess and disclose the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with their loans and investments. The company also became the first Canadian bank to join RMI’s Center for Climate-Aligned Finance as a Strategic Partner earlier this year. CIBC has committed to set interim targets for financed emission reduction, and will begin reporting on key sectors beginning in fiscal 2022.

In its own operations, CIBC has committed to achieving carbon neutrality, and to source 100% of electricity from renewables by the end 2024.

Dodig said:

“Combatting climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing society. Achieving a successful transition to a low carbon future means taking action now to drive change, and establishing clear and measurable targets to drive progress over time.”