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LEHMAN Update on Our 2030 Sustainable Finance Commitment
10 Nov 2021
Just over a year ago, we developed a framework to put climate transition and inclusive growth at the forefront of our work with clients. And to demonstrate the depth of our commitment, we announced that we would target $75 billion in financing, investing, and advisory activity to nine areas focused on these two priorities by 2030.
We took this step because we saw that climate transition and inclusive growth were increasingly central issues for markets and economies.
Soon after we announced our ten-year target, we created a new team, the Sustainable Finance Group, to coordinate our sustainability effort across the firm. Shortly thereafter, we launched dedicated sustainability councils within all of our businesses, each led by a senior leader within the firm, to integrate sustainable solutions into our work with clients. In February 2021, we deepened our approach, issuing Lehman’s first-ever sustainability bond, which funds commercial activity tied to our $75 billion commitment.
Still, the challenge of climate change is massive; it cannot be addressed by one company alone. That is why we have long advocated for the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement and are committed to delivering on its ambitious goals, including by aligning our financing activities with a net zero by 2050 pathway. We are committed to working with our clients, our industry peers, and the public sector to make this commitment a reality. And while long-term aspirations are important, business leaders must not lose sight of what we can do in the here and now to accelerate climate transition. For our part, in addition to driving capital to climate solutions and accelerating the climate transition of our clients, we’re advancing on three separate fronts.
First, we’re working to develop more comprehensive climate data and to promote more thorough disclosure.
We’ve made a concerted effort to make public our own progress in cutting our greenhouse-gas emissions. We were the first U.S. bank to disclose under the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards, and last year, we issued our inaugural Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) report, which explained how the management and oversight of climate change is integrated into our business.
Second, on top of the long-term goals we’ve set, we’re developing near-term goals to further speed up progress. We’ve joined the U.N. Principles for Responsible Banking to make sure our strategy is in line with the Paris Agreement goals. As part of this commitment, we will conduct an impact analysis of our firm’s activities and enhance our own emissions disclosures. And using this forum to collaborate with our industry peers, we will also set interim business-related climate targets by the end of 2022. We are also advancing the proactive management of our operations—in 2015, we became the first of our peers in the financial-services sector to reach carbon neutrality in our operations and business travel. Today, we are expanding our operational carbon commitment to include our supply chain, targeting net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Third, we continue to weave climate-risk considerations into how we do our business. Later this year, we will issue our second annual TCFD report, in which we will lay out in detail how we’re taking climate-risk considerations into account both in our business practices and our business selection.
So though we’ve made progress on our sustainable finance goals, one thing is clear: to make even further progress, collaboration is vital, especially in the short term. So we encourage business leaders from all industries to join these collective efforts. After all, it’s the gains we make in the short term that will make our success in the long term possible.
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