As published on LinkedIn

The topic of sustainability is undergoing a remarkable evolution in response to the rapidly changing world we live in. You can see the importance of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors reflected in the events of just the last few years. Climate-related events are on the rise, affecting communities and disrupting lives. Social justice has come to the forefront as a priority, as the effect of issues like systemic racism on individuals and as a limiting factor on our collective potential have become clear. Governance has grown in importance for banks, particularly in an increasingly digital economy. 

Against this backdrop, the role of corporations is also changing. It’s no longer enough to have the right policies in place to address these issues within their own walls. It’s now imperative to act for the betterment of all stakeholders and play a role in driving change across society.

Building on CIBC’s strong history of taking action across ESG priorities, we recently shared our refocused strategy to enable a more secure, equitable and sustainable future for all of our stakeholders.

As a bank, we see ourselves as a critical enabler in helping our stakeholders realize their sustainability ambitions. Our efforts in this space are not new – our refocused strategy is meant to take the passion and commitment that we have demonstrated across our team to meet this unique moment in time across our economy and our society.

Our strategy includes three pillars:

Accelerating climate action to address climate change and support the transition to a sustainable, lower carbon future. We have established our ambition to achieve net-zero emissions from our operations and financing activities by 2050, with interim financed emissions targets in key sectors to be established in 2022. In addition, we joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance to be part of a global effort among major banks to accelerate decarbonization strategies.

Aligned to our purpose to help make our clients’ ambitions a reality, we have invested in commercially viable solutions to support our clients as they make this critical transition. This includes the launch of Project Carbon, a platform to bring transparency to the market for voluntary carbon credits.

Creating access to opportunities to help build equitable and resilient communities where ambitions are made attainable for all.

An inclusive economy lifts our society and benefits everyone. To support this outcome, we remain committed to support small and medium sized enterprises across our bank, including $4.8B in new loan authorizations in fiscal 2021. We have consistently focused our community investments on education and career opportunities, including recent commitments to the Black community, Indigenous peoples and persons with disabilities to further promote economic prosperity and opportunities for growth.  

Our recent launch announcement for the CIBC Foundation represents the next step in our commitment. CIBC made donations totalling $70 million in fiscal 2021 to launch the Foundation, with plans to grow to $155 million over time.

Building integrity and trust to safeguard data, ensure we act responsibly, promote accountability, and enhance the client experience by leveraging technology and empowering our people.

To support our clients, we consistently add to the layers of security in place including new technology such as digital identity verification and voice biometrics to prevent fraud.

Recognizing the opportunities that come from emerging technologies, our investment in market-leading public cloud technology will reinforce and expand critical foundations in data protection and security. This will enable us to support faster, real-time, data driven decisions, and to quickly launch and scale new innovations for an enhanced client experience.

Across our bank, we’re committed to channeling the momentum we have to make an even greater impact in these areas in support of our stakeholders. We recognize that the best path forward is to work in partnership with stakeholders to create the sustainable future we all want, and we will continue to play our part to enable our clients to achieve their sustainability ambitions.