Fifth Third Bancorp (Nasdaq: FITB) today announced that it has set a new sustainable finance goal of $8 billion to be achieved by 2025. This goal continues the Bank’s leadership in environmental sustainability, having become the first Fortune 500 company to achieve 100% renewable power through a single, solar project, earning an A- Climate leadership score from CDP, and receiving an EPA Green Power Leadership Award, all of which occurred over the past year.
Fifth Third Bank Chairman, President & CEO Greg D. Carmichael, said, “By setting this $8 billion sustainable finance goal, we are expanding our commitment to partner with clients to make a real difference for our planet. We are proud to be part of the solution to address climate change through our financing of quality renewable energy projects and other climate solutions.”
The Bank’s sustainable finance goal includes lending commitments and financing for renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydropower). It includes the financing of projects like the Bancroft Station Solar Farm in Early County, Georgia. Fifth Third financed the roughly $110 million construction-to-term facility for Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation in 2019. The solar farm loads power onto the Georgia transmission grid and is supplying Facebook’s Newton Data Center with 100% renewable energy.
“At Silicon Ranch, we believe in the power of collaborative partnerships,” said Virginia Williams, senior vice president of project finance at Silicon Ranch. “We naturally seek to work with financial partners who share this value and are grateful for the strong relationship we have built with Fifth Third. Their support of projects like Bancroft Station enable us to meet the goals of our customers and bring significant capital investments to underserved communities.”
Approximately $4 billion in renewable energy lending and capital raising services have been provided by Fifth Third since 2012. These services have led to the completion of more than 3.5 GW of renewable energy projects across more than 50 clients. In 2018, Fifth Third established its national renewable energy finance center of excellence and drastically expanded the Bank’s sustainability practice. In August 2019, the practice was further expanded through the addition of a renewable energy investment banking team. Today, approximately 25 Fifth Third employees are dedicated full-time to sustainable financing and advisory activities.
The current sustainable financing strategy and policy for lending excludes more speculative development financing, such as construction projects prior to being “shovel ready” or without a power purchase agreement, as well as projects with less certain off-taker contracts, including those that require taking merchant and/or wholesale energy price risk.
More information regarding Fifth Third’s new $8 billion sustainable finance goal, including the financing of the Bancroft Station Solar Farm, will be published in the Bank’s inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which will be available online on Sept. 30, 2020. The report will include environmental data and a comprehensive Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure index.
The establishment of this $8 billion sustainable finance goal is the latest in a series of steps—many of which align to the United Nations Sustainable Finance Goal No. 13 Climate Action—that Fifth Third has taken to be a leader in environmental sustainability. Fifth Third also recently published a new Environmental and Social Policy that identifies sectors that pose heightened environmental and social risks. The policy provides guidance on sectors or activities that are prohibited or that are subject to enhanced due diligence and may require escalated review and approval. In 2017, Fifth Third established five bold sustainability goals to be achieved by 2022 and has, to date, achieved its goals for 100% renewable power, a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20% reduction in water usage. The Company continues to pursue its remaining 2022 goals, which are a 25% energy use reduction and a 20% reduction in landfill waste.
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of June 30, 2020, Fifth Third had $203 billion in assets and operated 1,122 full-service banking centers and 2,456 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of June 30, 2020, had $405 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $49 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.
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