Praça Alfredo Egydio de Souza Aranha,
100 Torre Olavo Setubal,
São Paulo, Brasil
Email: submit inquiry form to https://www.itau.com.br/itaubba-en/about-itau-bba/customer-service/
CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
Matias Granata: Chief Risk Officer (supervises climate risk governance policies)
Report created by Madeleine Bruce
Itaú Unibanco is the largest private sector bank in Brazil and provides financial products/services to individual and corporate clients in Brazil as well as abroad. Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. is the result of the merger of Banco Itaú and Unibanco, which occurred in November of 2008.
Itauú Unibanco operates through segments of Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, and Activities with the Market and Corporation and is headquartered in São Paulo, Brasil. The bank is ranked by Forbes as one of the largest companies in the world based on business assets and market value.
Itaú’s history dates back over 90 years and today the bank today has more than 90,000 staff professionals, as well as nearly 60 million clients and over 95,000 shareholders.
Company Sustainability Activity
Calling themselves agents for transforming the world, Itaú Unibanco is alert to what the future of sustainability is bringing and remains dedicated to building a better world.
The histories of Itaú and Unibanco reveal common concerns with ethics and transparency, respect for the law and the valuing of employees. These values are exemplified through the upholding of customer satisfaction and the promoting of culture and education. Itaú Unibanco’s focus on education, culture and social welfare are just a few aspects of the company’s CSR impact.
The bank builds its sustainability agenda by basing its actions on 8 Positive Impact Commitments which include:
- positive lending
- offering for the future
- inclusion through entrepreneurship
- healthy relationships with the customer
- ethics to change the world
- sustainable innovation
Highlights (as of 2020)
- Unibanco along with Brazil’s largest private banks, Bradesco and Santander, have unveiled in June 2020 an integrated plan aimed at effectively contributing to the sustainable development of the Amazon region
- Introduced ten measures for the preservation and prosperity of the Amazon region, population and economy
- The Bank reached 99.84% ESG coverage for all Itaú Asset Management’s eligible assets, ten years after Itauú first started their ESG journey
- The Fundo Itaú Index ESG Água purpose is to invest in 50 global companies operating in the water segment, fostering positive externalities to society and the environment
- In January 2021, we issued Itaú Unibanco’s first proprietary sustainable bond, amounting to US $500 million
- Completed solar panel financing valued at R$79.5 million
- Continuance of the Itaú Women Entrepreneurs program to support the development of women-led businesses using an online platform that offers solutions and tools that empower women, introduce inspiring referrals, and facilitate networking between female entrepreneurs
- 2020 launch of the Supplier Guide to Environmental and Social Responsibility and Positive Impact, aimed at sharing ethics guidelines and best practices across supply chains
- 2021 goal of 96% renewable energy in administrative buildings in Brazil achieved in 2020
- Reduce energy consumption by 15% in 2013–2021
- By 2021 have 96% of energy for administrative buildings from renewable sources
- Reduce the absolute number of kilometers traveled by 7% in 2018–2021.
- Reduce 4% of Scope 1 emissions by 2021
- Reduce 6% of Scope 2 emissions by 2021
- Implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate- related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) on climate-related strategy, governance, risk management, targets and metrics by 2022
- Reduce water consumption by 13% from 2013-2021
- Reduce water consumption by 51% per R$1 million in operating revenues in 2013–2021
- Integrating ESG issues that are material to the market in main reports
- Carrying out environmental, social and corporate governance assessments in 100% of applicable assets, externally certified, by 2022
- Having a regular offer of impactful responsible investment products in the bank’s portfolio for Brazil by 2022
- Taking into account risk, return and effect variables of environmental and social issues in Itaú’s loan portfolio by 2025, and continuing to foster a positive impact on the economy
- Allocating R$15 billion, through products and services, to renewable energy generation and services by 2025
- Increasing the volume of credit for women-led small and medium-sized businesses, reaching R$11 billion in total credit by 2024 (21% of the total bank portfolio)
- Including 300,000 entrepreneurs in a low-cost financial services platform by 2021
- Providing differential offers for delinquent clients or those heavily in debt
- Training 90% of employees in topics impacting Integrity and Ethics Program every two years
- Ensuring at least 95% of employees sign up to the Integrity Policies
- Increasing the number of black employees in the organization
- Increasing the number of women in leadership positions at the bank
- Improving employee attraction, selection and development programs for people with disabilities
- Unibanco reduced energy consumption by 27%, in 2013–2020 (goal exceeded)
- By purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), the bank certified that 100% of the energy consumed in Brazil comes from renewable sources
- Reduced absolute number of kilometers traveled by 38.5% in 2018-2020
- In 2020, implemented 79% of projects in response to TCFD recommendations
- Reduced absolute Scope 1 emissions by 21% in 2018–2020
- Reduced absolute Scope 2 emissions by 30% in 2018–2021
Water Use/Waste Management
- Water consumption reduced by 62.36%, in 2013–2020
- Reduced waste generation by 31.21% in 2017–2020
- Reached a rate of ESG coverage of 99.84% of managed assets and have started the analysis of potential external certifiers to meet 2022 goal
- Bank launched new off-the-shelf ESG and responsible investment products in 2020: ESG funds themed around clean energy and water, the ESG international allocation fund and ESG active management equity fund
- Over R$400 million in assets in ESG funds in December 2020 and will continue to engage the WMS areas to achieve their goal by 2022
- R$48.1 billion allocated through products and services to positive impact sectors from Aug 2019 to Dec 2020
- Increasing the volume of credit for women-led small and medium-sized businesses to R$9.09 billion (December 2020)
- Inclusion of 200,000 entrepreneurs (December 2020) in a low-cost financial services platform
- 93% of employees trained in topics impacting Integrity and Ethics Program (July 2020)
- 93% adherence – employees renew their adherence to the Integrity Policies every year (December 2020)
UN Sustainable Development Goals
UN SDGs Compliance
SDG 4: Quality Education
- Itaú Unibanco has invested in initiatives to promote and enhance the quality of the Brazilian public education system, thus helping improve learning with equality, reduce inequalities, and ensure the full development and decent inclusion of children, teens and youths in society
- The bank has supported cultural education through the development of art and culture, by providing a diverse array of cultural assets to improve the quality of life and cultural development of Brazilian society
- Private social investment in 2020 for education was valued at 285.31 R$ million
- Itaú Excelência Social (FIES): FIES is an investment fund that invests in socially responsible companies and aims to improve the quality of education in Brazil (the fund allocates 50% of its management fees to qualify the performance of civil society organizations (CSOs) that contribute to the full development of children and adolescents)
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- Unibanco administrative buildings are fueled with 96% renewable energies
- The bank has funded and invested in renewable energy projects for over a decade, this includes the Fundo Itaú Index ESG Energia Limpa which has invested in 30 global companies operating in the clean energy generation segment, such as biofuels, solar energy and wind energy.
SDG 13: Climate Action
- For 5 years, Itaú Unibanco has been part of the CDP Supply Chain Program, an initiative aimed at discussing climate change with the suppliers of our supply chain. In 2020, 93% of invited suppliers participated in the program
- The bank makes clear its position on climate change through commitments such as incorporating the recommendations of the TCFD on governance, strategy, risk management and climate metrics as well as increasing funding on climate-related issues
SDG 15: Life on Land
- Itaú Unibanco along with Brasil’s two other largest banks have formulated an integrated plan aimed at effectively contributing to the sustainable development of the Amazon region
- The plan includes 10 measures designed from 3 action fronts identified as a priority to the region: environmental conservation and bioeconomy development, investment in sustainable infrastructure, and guarantee of basic rights for the population of the Amazon region
Commitment to sustainability/sustainable development is clearly a priority for the Brazilian bank Itaú Unibanco. The company’s transparency in its reporting is admirable and their Annual Report 2020 specifically shows great advancement in eco-friendly practices.
The bank could benefit from a section that specifically describes SDG alignment although the bank does say they “use the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help develop [their] positive impact commitments.” However, lack of SDG elaboration is not necessarily a major hindrance as Itaú exhibits explicit targets/KPIs and good progress on them. Further, the bank has the backing of several awards and certificates.
Lastly, the bank does not have any known bad press relating to sustainability. In fact, the bank has a sufficient amount of good press, especially relating to their conversation plans in the Amazon region.
Overall, Itaú Unibanco shows a prime example of sustainable business in the financial world.
Thus, for the reasons described above, B on the Impakter Index.
Analyst Outlook: Positive
The bank is heading in a positive direction for the foreseeable future. The company seems dedicated to bettering its sustainability agenda and seeking out areas for improvement.
As mentioned, the company should implement a section of their annual report covering which SDGs they specifically align with and why, but the report itself is so transparent and descriptive it’s easy enough for the reader to conclude which goals they stand by. Itaú Unibanco is certainly a good example of a decently sustainable financial institution.