Scotiabank hikes renewable energy financing

The increase comes as the company underscores its sustainability commitments in four areas

Canadian banking group Scotiabank nearly doubled its financing to the renewable energy sector in 2018, compared to the previous year, as it launched its sustainable business strategy.

In the company’s Sustainable Business Report – published on Thursday (28 March) – it confirmed it financed renewable projects for $8.5bn in 2018, up from $4.7bn in 2017. It has also started to implement the recommendations from the Task Force for Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Brian Porter, president and chief executive of Scotiabank said the company’s strategy was focused on four areas that are linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

He said: “We are very proud to launch the Bank’s new sustainable business strategy. Our strategy is focused on the four areas – Trust, Economic Inclusion, Young People and Climate Change – where we believe we can make a significant and positive impact across our footprint.

“We are confident that our refocused strategy will benefit our customers, communities and society, over the longer-term.”

In other SDG-related activities, the bank launched a women’s initiative in 2018, to encourage female business owners across Canada, though access to capital, education and membership.

The bank was also acknowledged by two major schemes monitoring diversity over the past 12 months, appearing on the Thomson Reuters’ 2018 Diversity and Inclusion index and the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index.

As part of its sustainable business agenda, the banking group broadened its old corporate social responsibility strategy, highlighting the importance of its work in the areas of climate change, economic inclusion, and the support of young people.

The 2018 Sustainable Business Report is available here.