Canada’s biggest bank, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), is demonstrating its commitment to accelerating clean economic growth and helping communities transition to net-zero. Yesterday, the bank committed to providing $500 billion in sustainable financing by 2025 and to achieving net-zero emissions in RBC’s lending by 2050.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, requiring us to work more closely with our clients, peers, across industry sectors and with government to help build a sustainable economy for future generations,” says Dave McKay, president and CEO, RBC. “Our updated climate strategy reinforces the important role RBC has to play in helping clients and communities through the transition to a net-zero economy by 2050. Our commitment to advancing our clients’ ESG goals and accelerating society’s progress is underpinned by our belief that capital can be a force for positive change.”

RBC’s initial commitment of $100 billion in sustainable financing was achieved in 2020. In addition to setting an expanded sustainable financing target, RBC has committed to:

  • Net-zero emissions in its lending by 2050, aligned with the global goals of the Paris Agreement
  • Joining the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) and RMI’s Center for Climate-Aligned Finance
  • Measuring and reporting financed emissions for key sectors starting in our 2022 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Report
  • Setting interim targets to reduce financed emissions and building out climate-related stress testing programs at future dates
  • Achieving net-zero emissions in its global operations annually; reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 70 per cent and sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable and non-emitting sources both by 2025

Setting interim targets is critical to ensuring RBC’s long-term net-zero lending commitment is tracked and met. Measuring and reporting financed emissions for key industry sectors starting in 2022 will help RBC take significant strides in how the bank accounts for climate-related factors in its lending and financing.

RBC has long-established environmental leadership, dating back to 1991 when it launched its first corporate environmental policy. In 2017, RBC was the first Canadian bank to publish a TCFD aligned disclosure outlining the steps it was taking to manage climate risks and opportunities, and describing the organization’s ongoing commitment to climate-related disclosures.

As part of delivering on its enterprise climate strategy, last year RBC convened an executive-led Climate Working Group, focused on the development of climate-related products and services, risk management frameworks, research and partnerships as well as thought-leadership.

RBC will share more information on climate-related commitments and performance in its 2020 ESG Performance Report and 2020 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures Report in early April.

For further information, visit: RBC Climate Blueprint

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