US Bank ramps up sustainability drive

The environmental goals announced on Wednesday availed U.S. Bank another opportunity to prove that it is thinking the way bigger lenders think.

Following its US$8billion acquisition of MUFG Union Bank, Minneapolis-based US Bank repositioned itself as a lender as the nation’s fifth-largest commercial lender — and largest regional.

U.S. Bank’s climate-friendly goals have positioned it as a pacesetter for the rest of the players in its sector. The four largest U.S. commercial banks — plus investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — all committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 between September 2020 and March 2021.

U.S. Bank issued a publication on Wednesday indicating that it has joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), a consortium that intends to standardize the way lenders measure and reduce their climate impact. The lender committed to measuring and disclosing its carbon footprint using the consortium’s standards. It follows the footsteps of the likes of Morgan Stanley, Citi, and Bank of America who joined the group in July 2020.

“Managing our business in an environmentally sustainable manner is an important component of corporate responsibility and critical to the health of our economy,” U.S. Bank CEO Andy Cecere said in Wednesday’s press release. “We continue to take steps to enhance how we assess the financial and operational risks climate change poses to our company, our clients, and the world.”

U.S. Bank also committed Wednesday to incorporate climate risk into its risk management framework and indicated it has appointed a new climate risk executive to lead the strategy and coordination of climate-related risk management activities.

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