Climate Change Strategy at Northern Trust

Nov 20, 2020 12:30 PM ET

Northern Trust recognizes that the long-term viability of our business and our clients is tied to the health and well-being of our planet. We therefore commit to protecting the environment and mitigating any negative environmental impacts from our operations.

We align our business with the fundamental principle of sustainability —meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet their own needs. We do this by integrating environmental considerations into our company-wide processes, committing to continually improving our business practices and delivering tangible, positive results related to the environment. Northern Trust’s Workplace Services manages our real estate portfolio, procurement and facilities services with the objective of reducing the negative environmental impacts of our supply chain. We use energy to power our data centers and facilities, the majority of which are in North America. As a result, the bulk of our GHG emissions come from our North American operations. Since we began tracking our carbon footprint (comprised of the carbon dioxide equivalent of all GHGs produced from our operations) in 2006, we have improved our data collection processes and calculation methodologies to align with the GHG Protocol.

Working closely with our building managers, Northern Trust follows the environmentally friendly building strategies and practices outlined by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, which has awarded our offices in North America and APAC one LEED platinum certification, six gold certifications, two silver certifications and one general certification. In addition, we use reliable and sophisticated tracking programs to monitor and manage our environmental performance and calculate our annual carbon footprint.

In 2019, each of our offices located in Ireland signed the Business in the Community Carbon Pledge, which committed all signatory companies to reducing their Scope 1 & 2 GHG emission intensity by 50 percent by 2030. The pledge is a commitment for Irish businesses to invest time and resources into creating a more sustainable operation by increasing energy efficiency while striving to achieve the global carbon reduction targets set in the Paris Agreement to maintain global temperatures at less than 2° Celsius above preindustrial levels. After completing a comprehensive emissions study in 2017 that formed our baseline, we set a goal to reduce our total Scope 1, Scope 2 (using the market-based approach) and Scope 3 carbon emissions by 25 percent per full-time employee (FTE) by 2020. As of December 31, 2019, we have reduced our carbon emissions by approximately 32.35 percent since 2015 and achieved 100 percent renewable electricity usage in our Harlow and Bank Street locations in the United Kingdom. We are currently working with the Science Based Targets Initiative to develop a framework for the science-based targets for financial institutions generally and to set our own science-based target. In the meantime, we are committed to continuing our efforts to reduce our GHG emissions.

Click here to read more from the Northern Trust Corporate Social 2019 Responsibility Report