The Bank of Nova Scotia is a Canadian multinational banking and financial services company founded in 1832. Headquartered in Toronto, it is one of Canada's Big Six banks. It offers personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking and capital markets. As of 2021, it had more than 92,000 employees and CAD 1.16 trillion in total assets. The bank trades on both the Toronto and New York exchanges.
In terms of senior leadership accountability, the responsibility for sustainability issues within Bank of Nova Scotia lies with the board of directors. Moreover, the bank discloses a target to increase representation of women in senior leadership roles to 40% globally by 2025. The financial institution publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment and discloses actions it takes to address any pay gaps, such as pay adjustments for select populations. In terms of its approach towards impact management, the financial institution acknowledges that its financing activities have both positive and negative impacts. It has also identified and prioritised its social and environmental impacts through a materiality assessment process which included feedback from external stakeholders.
As a member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), Bank of Nova Scotia has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. It also discloses that its asset management arm is a member of Climate Action 100+ and collectively engages with its investees on the topic of climate change. Regarding climate solutions, the financial institution discloses that it underwrote CAD 4.9 billion in green bonds and CAD 0.7 billion in green loans in 2021. Furthermore, these bonds are aligned with the International Capital Market Association’s Green, Social, Sustainability, and Sustainability-linked Bond Principles. The financial institution aims to finance CAD 100 billion in climate solutions by 2025. Since 2018 it has mobilised CAD 58 billion for climate-related finance.
Bank of Nova Scotia has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights. It also discloses categories of stakeholders whose human rights have been or may be affected by its activities. The financial institution has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights, as well as bribery and corruption, concerns or complaints. Moreover, the financial institution has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption. Bank of Nova Scotia discloses the proportion of women, people of colour or visible minorities, and aboriginals in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category.
In terms of its approach to senior leadership accountability, Bank of Nova Scotia has an opportunity to link the remuneration of its executive or management teams to sustainability performance criteria. Moreover, women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only five out of 13 board members are women. Bank of Nova Scotia has an opportunity to describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with clients and investees, across its financing activities.
Bank of Nova Scotia could disclose interim emissions reduction targets at the group level, such as a 45% reduction in financed emissions by 2030. It also has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, specifically on alignment with the Paris Agreement. Regarding nature and biodiversity, no evidence was found that the financial institution is committed to minimising its negative impacts or financing regenerative solutions.
Bank of Nova Scotia has an opportunity to describe its process for identifying human rights risks and impacts across its financing activities. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, the financial institution could also disclose the amount of finance directed towards, for example, women-owned businesses, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or low-income developing countries.
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Net income: CAD 9.95 billion; Total assets: CAD 1.16 trillion