Citi endorsed the United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Banking initiative on Wednesday, the first major U.S. bank to do so.
The initiative is part of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), a U.N.-private sector collaboration that includes more than 240 financial institutions around the globe.
The U.N. says the principles define what it means to be a “responsible bank” and are meant to align banks with society’s goals as expressed in the organization’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
According to the U.N., the Principles for Responsible Banking initiative, which was launched in Paris last November, was created by 28 banks from around the globe, representing more than $17 trillion in combined assets.
Banks that commit to the initiative are required to set public targets and report back on their progress.
“The Principles for Responsible Banking mirror our philosophy and approach to developing sustainable solutions alongside our clients and setting clear and ambitious targets,” Citi CEO Mike Corbat said in a press release. “We remain laser focused on incorporating sustainability principles into everything we do to help ensure business success, improve our operations and contribute to a strong global economy. Our clients, colleagues and stakeholders expect no less.”
Citi’s existing sustainability efforts include its 10-year, $100 billion environmental finance goal, which it launched in 2014. The bank said its goal to record $100 billion worth of financial transactions that reduce the impacts of climate change is ahead of schedule and on track to be completed by 2020.
Citi's other efforts include the release of a climate disclosure report, which analyzes and discloses climate risks related to its business, as well as a commitment to source renewable power for 100% of its global energy needs by 2020.
Several other top U.S. banks have also made commitments to environmental causes in the past year.
Last year, Wells Fargo committed to providing $200 billion in financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030. The bank says it intends to provide more than 50% of that financing to clean technology and renewable energy transactions that directly support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Wells Fargo also has a philanthropic goal of providing $65 million to clean technology and environmental education efforts by 2020.
Bank of America has also announced environmental efforts that include deploying capital to low-carbon sustainable business activities.
The country’s second-largest bank says it will meet its $125 billion goal by year’s end and has already launched an additional goal of $300 billion by 2030.
JPMorgan Chase, the U.S.’s largest bank, has also made sustainability commitments. The bank plans to source renewable energy for 100% of its global power needs by 2020, as well as record $200 billion in clean financing by 2025.