Citigroup Develops Three-Pronged Approach to Mitigate Climate Change Impact

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Citigroup [C-NYSE] is actively addressing the risks of climate change with an ambitious three-pronged climate resilience plan. With its business spread across 160 countries, Citi clearly has a global stake in tackling the challenge of climate change.

Citi has exceeded its 10-year goal of directing $50 billion towards efforts to mitigate climate change, including providing finances for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and improving the sustainability of Citi’s operations. The bank has managed to reduce its emissions by 25 percent, and met its 2015 operational environmental goals for GHG and waste two years ahead of time.

Finance for energy efficiency is one of the three prongs of Citi’s climate resilience plan. It has developed the“Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans” (WHEEL) program in association with partner Renewable Funding. WHEEL provides backing for state energy efficiency loans, employing public funds to reduce the interest rate of the loans. This results in reduction of the investors’ risk and reduces the cost for homeowners.

The second prong of Citi’s plan is related to managing the bank’s own operations to ensure they can run under environmental stress. The bank realizes that its operations, on which consumers, businesses and international relief agencies depend for money to pay for critical resources, must have the ability to endure even in worst-case scenarios. Superstorm Sandy brought into sharp focus the potential vulnerability of critical operations during such conditions.

The third prong of Citi’s climate resilience strategy focuses on extending risk management to environmental and social risks. The bank’s experience of Sandy’s impact on its operations and the company’s work in energy efficiency and developing new asset classes has allowed it to better understand clients’ potential risks in environmental and social risk scenarios, particularly in sectors that are considered more vulnerable. Citi’s direct operational experience with disasters helps the organization understand the ramifications and how it would impact its clients.

Source: Green Biz

Image Credit: Flickr via Philippe 2009

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