By Nancy FeigCiti (New York) announced it will direct $50 billion over the next 10 years to address global climate change through investments, financings and related activities to support the commercialization and growth of alternative energy and clean technology among the clients and markets it serves, as well as within its own businesses and operations. On May 8, Citi announced that the $50 billion target is a realistic estimate based on market-based activities and transactions with clients as well as energy saving, "green" projects within Citi's own operations. This target includes nearly $10 billion in activities Citi has already undertaken to address climate change to date.
"With a presence in more than 100 countries, Citi holds a unique position within the global community. This informs our commitment to bring forward the best solutions for our clients, while also benefiting the people and the communities where we operate," said Charles Prince, chairman and CEO of Citi.
"One area where we believe we have this opportunity is on environmental and climate issues, which pose a significant challenge to the world, to the global economy, and to clients and require forceful action," Prince said. "The comprehensive program we are announcing today is not a wish-list, but a realistic, achievable plan that serves a critical global need and responds to an emerging investment opportunity."
"This new initiative is an excellent complement to Citi's call for stronger, market-based climate policy in the United States and abroad," said Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. "Citi understands how profoundly climate change will transform the economy, and they are pioneering opportunities for the capital markets to meet the climate challenge.""
Citi's activities in the area of climate change span its entire business and operations. They include:
Corporate-Wide Citi will increase 10-fold, to $10 billion, its commitment to reduce its corporate environmental footprint through its own real estate portfolio, procurement and energy use, as part of its pledge to reduce GHG emissions by 10 percent by 2011. This ambitious undertaking across Citi's more than 14,500 global facilities is driven by the creation of a Global Energy Council; purchase of 52,283 MWh of green power for operations; and its goal of achieving environmental certification for the construction of all new office buildings and operations centers and evaluation of existing larger facilities. Citi Markets & Banking Citi's Markets & Banking group plans to invest in and finance more than $31 billion in clean energy and alternative technology over the next 10 years through the expansion of existing activities and the launch of new client services. With committed investments and financings approaching $7.5 billion to date, the Markets & Banking group sees opportunities to support companies working in alternative energies such as solar, wind, hydro and geothermal; helping to commercialize energy efficiency ideas; and facilitating investments in aging infrastructure using clean and efficient technologies. Citi Alternative Investments Various businesses at Citi Alternative Investments have been active in making environmentally friendly investments. For example, as part of the Sustainable Development Investment Program, CVC International has invested $150 million to date, including such notable transactions as Suzlon Wind Energy, a wind turbine manufacturer based in India, and Sindicatum Carbon Capital, a developer of projects that reduce GHG emissions globally. Citi Property Investors (CPI) invests in sustainable building projects. Its first such investment was in the Loreto Bay Company, a 5,000-home community in Baja California, Mexico that is one of the largest sustainable resort communities in North America.
Global Consumer Group Citi's consumer franchise is offering climate friendly mortgage, card and commercial finance products to its clients. In the summer of 2006, CitiMortgage and Sharp Electronics Corporation, the world's leading producer of solar cells and U.S. subsidiary of Sharp Corporation (Osaka, Japan), signed a joint marketing agreement that enables Sharp's Solar Energy Solutions Group offer home equity loans and lines of credit through CitiMortgage as an additional financing option for homeowners to purchase and install solar electric systems. The home equity program offers customers an affordable alternative to make this energy-efficient upgrade to their homes. Global Wealth Management Citi Investment Research issued more than 70 climate-related notes in 2006. A major thematic investment research report by Edward Kerschner, chief investment officer of Citi Investment Research, highlights the investment opportunities and implications of a changing climate. Additional Activities • Citibank, Citi Smith Barney, and Citi Cards now offer paperless statements to customers. For each client who elects to take advantage of this opportunity, a tree is planted.
• Citi actively engages on the issue of climate change with stakeholders, including clients, employees and non-governmental organizations and socially responsible investors.