UniCredit, founded in 1998, is a pan-European Commercial Bank that provides services in Italy, Germany, Central and Eastern Europe. It is headquartered in Milan and is the 34th largest bank in the world by assets, serving over 14 million retail clients and 1 million corporate clients worldwide. It had EUR 916.671 billion in total assets in 2021.
In terms of senior leadership accountability, the responsibility for sustainability within UniCredit lies with the board of directors. The bank publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment and has been a signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles since 2015. The current board of directors is gender balanced with six out of 13 of members being women. Moreover, UniCredit discloses the ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men in its operations among senior executives, middle management, and all staff.
UniCredit has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. It also discloses the monetary amount of its green bond issuance, renewable energy projects, and energy-efficiency loans to individuals and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, the bank discloses time-bound targets for its climate solutions as it aims at financing EUR 25 billion in new environmental lending to support the green transition between 2022 and 2024.
UniCredit has a publicly available policy statement in which it commits to respecting human rights as well as a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption. Furthermore, the bank has grievance mechanisms accessible to all workers, external individuals and communities to raise human rights or bribery and corruption concerns. UniCredit discloses the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by age and gender. Regarding finance for usually excluded groups, the bank discloses the amount of microloans to Italian women entrepreneurs. Moreover, it discloses a global tax strategy for which the tax affairs department is responsible.
In terms of its approach to senior leadership accountability, while UniCredit states that it plans to introduce sustainability criteria into the allocation of stock options, there is no evidence that it currently links the remuneration of its executive or management teams to sustainability performance criteria. In terms of gender equality, Unicredit also has an opportunity to reach at least 40% female representation in senior leadership positions. Moreover, the bank could describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with clients.
In addition to its 2050 net-zero target, UniCredit could disclose interim emissions reduction targets at the group level, such as a 45% reduction in financed emissions by 2030. The bank also has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, specifically on the alignment with the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, UniCredit could align its green bonds and renewable energy investments with internationally recognised frameworks. Regarding nature and biodiversity, no evidence was found that the bank is committed to minimising its negative impacts or financing regenerative solutions.
UniCredit has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its financing activities. Furthermore, no evidence was found that UniCredit has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect the health and safety of workers. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, the bank could disclose the amount of finance directed towards low-income developing countries.
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Revenue: EUR 17.95 billion; Total assets: EUR 916.67 billion