TORONTO, March 8, 2021 /CNW/ - CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) today released its 2020 Sustainability Report, providing an update on the bank's sustainability progress across all areas of its operations. The report also provides examples of how CIBC is tackling relevant sustainability challenges head on – from climate change and social justice issues to the economic challenges faced by families, businesses and communities.
"2020 was an unprecedented year for the global economy as we faced a pandemic that had deep repercussions for society. Guided by our purpose of helping make ambitions real, we responded to COVID-19 and the accompanying social and economic disruption by decisively supporting our clients, team members and communities," said Victor G. Dodig, CIBC President and CEO. "We also mobilized our people, resources and expertise to move towards a lower carbon world and a more sustainable and inclusive economy."
Over the past few years, CIBC has accelerated its contribution to creating a more sustainable future. In 2020, the bank intensified its investments in key environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. Highlights from the past year include:
- CIBC made continued progress against its target of mobilizing $150 billion for environmental and sustainable finance by 2027, achieving 28% of its 10-year target over the last three years.
- CIBC issued a US$500 million, five-year green bond to help finance new and existing green projects, assets, and businesses that mitigate the risks and effects of climate change. These include renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, natural resource conservation, biodiversity conservation, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention and control.
- CIBC was recognized by CDP as one of the highest-ranking Canadian financial institutions and in the top-tier of global banks for climate change actions with a score of A-.
- The bank expanded its inclusion targets to ensure that newly-recruited team members reflect the communities and clients served by CIBC, including actively seeking top talent from the Black community. CIBC President and CEO, Victor Dodig, co-chairs the BlackNorth Initiative, which encourages leading organizations in Canada to make specific commitments to combat anti-Black systemic racism.
- CIBC invested $75 million in more than 4,800 community organizations across North America, toward its target of $350 million between 2019 and 2023.
- More than 6,500 CIBC team members volunteered and raised funds in the annual Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure, which was reimagined as a hybrid virtual and physical experience.
Variable compensation tied to ESG
Building on these results, CIBC aligned its variable incentive plan to its ESG performance, becoming one of the first Canadian banks to link employee and executive pay to ESG-related criteria. As more investors seek to invest in companies that perform better on ESG metrics and policy makers increasingly look to banks to support the transition to a low-carbon economy, CIBC's incentive compensation will be tied to performance towards its sustainable finance investment target and other key metrics.
Transparency in reporting
CIBC's approach to sustainability reporting continues to evolve, reflecting the bank's commitment to continuous improvement, transparency and being responsive to the information needs of its stakeholders:
- During 2020, CIBC completed a materiality assessment to better understand the issues that matter most to stakeholders. The bank commissioned an independent research consultancy to study priority issues and drivers of trust among CIBC's key stakeholders.
- CIBC's reporting is aligned with international standards, including the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
More recently, CIBC has announced the following commitments:
- RMI's Center for Climate Aligned Finance as a Strategic Partner and the first Canadian bank to announce its partnership in the Center's efforts to develop the agreements and tools necessary to align financial decision-making with the long-term decarbonization of the real economy.
- Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), an initiative led by the financial industry to develop a harmonized global standard to measure and disclose the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of loans and investments.
- CIBC is further investing in Black leaders, changemakers and entrepreneurs by doubling funding for education and resource programs for the Black community to $2 million annually. This includes the creation of a scholarship program, and the opportunity for internship and mentorship experiences, aimed at supporting members of the Black community in achieving their ambitions.
For more details on our progress, please read CIBC's 2020 Sustainability Report and accompanying ESG Data Tables detailing the bank's five-year performance trends, and our website to learn more about sustainability at CIBC.
CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Small Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network, and locations across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at https://cibc.mediaroom.com/.