Climate-related issues have always dominated sustainable finance, so it may raise a few eyebrows that Euromoney has named as North America’s best bank for sustainable finance a firm that saw its fossil-fuel investments jump by 87% in 2021. Indeed, until very recently, this year’s winner still boasted a long-running membership of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which it has now let lapse.
But at its core, sustainable finance reflects both environmental and social impact at every level of the banking industry. Like its Canadian peers, Scotiabank cannot avoid its responsibility in financing the energy transition. The resource-rich country, whose fossil-fuel industry generated over 7% of its GDP in 2020, needs to catch up to global net-zero targets. But its commitment to delivering sizeable environmental, social and governance transition products to its most polluting clients, while doubling down on social impact projects, justifies its position as the winner in this category.
This year, Scotiabank has invested capital in transition-driven projects and technologies as it heads towards its new interim target of 100% non-emitting electricity for its Canadian operations by 2025 and 100% for its global footprint by 2030.
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