Citigroup Announces Enhanced Environmental Policy

Citigroup Announces Enhanced Environmental Policy

Rainforest Action Network and Citigroup today announced that Citigroup has adopted a comprehensive environmental policy that sets a new standard for the financial services industry. The policy provides a long-term framework for Citigroup to promote higher environmental standards through its business practices.

The policy sets standards related to endangered ecosystems, illegal logging, ecologically sustainable development and climate change.

“Today, Citigroup has articulated the strongest environmental policies yet of any private financial institution in the world,” said Michael Brune, executive director of Rainforest Action Network. “With this move, Citigroup joins a growing family of leading companies that are working to transform humanity’s greatest challenges into new opportunities for a sustainable future. This moment marks a milestone in worldwide movement to stop global warming and deforestation. We can not overstate the importance of changing such a vast enterprise and look forward to working together with Citigroup in the coming years.”

Citigroup’s statement highlights new policies that support and extend its recent signing of the Equator Principles, a set of environmental and social guidelines focused on project finance.

Today’s announcement outlines Citigroup’s policy to implement special measures aimed at protecting “high-caution zones,” areas whose ecological or social fragility must be taken into account if development occurs. It also articulates policies addressing the complex problems of illegal logging and climate change as well as a renewable energy and sustainable forestry investment initiative. To view Citigroup’s policies in their entirety, go to www.citigroup.com/citigroup/environment/initiatives.htm.

"Citigroup's new mortgages could make solar-powered, energy-efficient homes more affordable for hundreds of thousands of American households," stated Philip Radford, Associate with Clean Edge, Inc., a leading research and strategy firm on clean energy. "This type of innovative consumer financing has the potential to accelerate the growth of new solar installations."

“Investors are starting to recognize that funding the destruction of endangered ecosystems and indigenous communities is hardly a growth strategy for the 21st century. It’s like an ecological Enron, with long-term investors likely to be left paying the bills that will inevitably come due from financing irresponsible projects,” said Steve Lippman, senior social research analyst with Boston-based Trillium Asset Management, a socially responsible investment firm with over $700 million in assets under management.

“We aspire to operate according to the highest standards in every arena in which we do business, and the environment is no exception,” said Charles Prince, Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup. “Today’s announcement builds on our actions of the last three years in addressing the environmental issues that are of critical concern to our customers, our communities, and our various stakeholders. We believe we can make a difference by holding ourselves accountable for our own impact on the environment, by embedding our commitment to environmental responsibility in our lending practices, by embracing sustainable business opportunities, and by engaging in the public domain on these issues to help foster solutions to often very thorny questions.”
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