Citi Taiwan shares its ESG commitments with AmCham members – 台北時報

Written by Amanda

Citi Taiwan shares its ESG commitments with AmCham members  台北時報

  • Staff writer

The world has over the past two years been facing the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on top of the challenges brought by climate change. While much attention has been given to the transformation and recovery of the economy and businesses in the post-pandemic era, the world expects the private sector to help avoid the next global disaster by doing more for sustainability.

On Sept. 7, Citibank Taiwan (台灣花旗) chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) was invited to share with more than 50 members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (AmCham) the group’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) strategic goals and practices from Citi headquarters to Citi Taiwan, as well as how Citi fosters public-private partnerships.

Drawing on the experience of the pandemic, Mok said that one thing the world has learned from the fight against COVID-19 is the importance of collective action. In the face of global challenges, whether it is the pandemic or climate change, no industry can stand alone or be left out. As an important industry that leads economic development, the financial industry plays a pivotal role in promoting sustainable development and ESG principles.

Photo courtesy of Citibank Taiwan

Mok shared that Citi’s path to sustainability began in 1997, when Citi participated in the UN Environment Program Finance Initiative. In addition, Citi is one of the international financial institutions that promote the financial industry’s own Equator Principles.

On her first day in office in 2021, Citigroup president Jane Fraser announced Citigroup’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, including the group’s own operations by 2030.

Meanwhile, Citigroup is committed to achieving US$1 trillion in sustainable financing by 2030, including US$500 billion in environmental financing and US$500 billion in social financing.

Mok also explained Citi’s ESG long-standing strategies and goals in Taiwan from three perspectives.

First, Citi Taiwan is aligned with the group’s overall goals and strategies. To achieve the US$1 trillion commitment, Citi Taiwan is dedicated to providing clients with ESG-linked products, such as sustainability-linked loans, to meet sustainability goals together with clients.

Second, Citi complies with laws and regulations, and started issuing its own third-party audited sustainability reports from 2019. Furthermore, Citi upgraded its ESG Taskforce in 2021, with the board of directors overseeing the implementation of Citi’s ESG strategies.

Third, Citi continues to deliver on its commitment to sustainability in Taiwan. In 2016, the Citi Foundation launched the “Pathways to Progress” program, which has so far contributed more than NT$70 million (US$2.2 million) to help more than 1,000 young people successfully start their careers. This year, Citi also completed the first charitable carbon credits project in Taiwan with our NGO partners, pioneering the industry with an innovative ESG approach.

At the end of the AmCham event, Mok took questions from the audience and was asked about what else, besides the requirements of the authorities, can drive companies to support ESG.

According to Mok, it is necessary to follow the regulations, but if it is only for the sake of compliance, the path to sustainability will not last long. There must also be corresponding incentives, he said.

Citi has incorporated incentive elements into the sustainable financial products that it provides to its clients. If a client achieves ESG goals, Citi will provide discounts or rebates to motivate the company to continue on the path to sustainability.

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Hi there, I am Amanda and I work as an editor at impactinvesting.ai;  if you are interested in my services, please reach me at amanda.impactinvesting.ai

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