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Reducing our environmental impact

At CWB, we are committed to manage our environmental impact responsibility. We recognize that we have a part to play in Canada’s transition to net-zero emissions by managing our direct and indirect climate impact, supporting the ongoing success of our clients as they strive to achieve their climate goals and mitigating the risks associated with climate change.

Learn more about our approach in our 2023 Sustainability Report, located here.

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Operational emissions
We have an opportunity to reduce the direct environmental impact of our operations and further integrate environmental considerations into our business practices. A focus to enhance the resiliency and energy efficiency of our operations and use resources in a responsible and cost-effective manner supports our long-term growth aspirations and contributes to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. 

Since 2017, we have estimated our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions in alignment with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for the Alberta Capital Region, and expanded the scope to include our full national footprint in 2022.

Leveraging the guidance provided by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for absolute contraction targets in line with a 1.5°C pathway, CWB has committed to the following target: 

CWB commits to reduce absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions 42% by 2030 from a 2022 base year.

Looking forward, we expect our emissions to decline based on the decarbonization of electrical grids across Canada, particularly in Alberta, and the targeted actions we will take to reduce our carbon footprint.

Financed emissions
We are in the process of estimating our financed emissions leveraging the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) Global GHG Accounting & Reporting Standard, and started to disclose our progress in the 2023 sustainability report. At this time, we do not have a target related to Scope 3 GHG emissions reduction, and our focus is on improving the scope and data quality of our financed emissions estimates. At the same time, we will continue to investigate opportunities to support our clients in achieving their sustainability goals, which will have a positive impact on our Scope 3 emissions impact over time.

For more information about our GHG emissions, please refer to our latest sustainability report.

Building sustainably
In the space we occupy, we:

  • embed sustainable practices as we upgrade existing locations, including installation of occupancy sensors, LED lighting, and energy-efficient mechanical systems;
  • ensure efficient features are installed at all new CWB locations; and,
  • follow sustainability-focused industry standards in our design and construction processes.

Sustainable workplace practices
Throughout our operations, we:

  • support flexible and hybrid work arrangements, with expected long-term benefits to our carbon footprint based on reduced commuting requirements for our team members;
  • leverage digital tools to reduce printing, paper usage, courier services and travel;
  • encourage our teams to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle, including a focus on shredding and recycling paper;
  • manage recycling efforts and discourage the use of single-use plastics; and,
  • focus on recycling hardware and technology in partnership with a company dedicated to reduce electronic waste by recycling or refurbishing end-of-life electronic equipment, which is then donated to charities in our communities.

Responsible procurement 
To maintain strong ethical, social and environmental performance across our supply chain, we strive to work with partners and suppliers who operate in a manner that is aligned with our values and demonstrate responsible and sustainable business practices.  

Our Procurement team governs our sourcing activities across a broad range of suppliers, and we continue to further integrate ESG considerations into our processes. Our Third-Party Risk Management program, with support from Business Lines, Subject Matter Experts, and suppliers, facilitates a risk-based due diligence process for all suppliers.  As part of our due diligence processes for high-risk engagements, we assess the supplier’s approach to various ESG factors, including ethical business practices, policies and programs, corporate social governance, and other areas of reputational or legal concern. We also screen our suppliers for adverse media, sanctions, and watchlists.

The principles of our Supplier Code of Conduct align with our internal Code of Conduct and set out our expectations for our suppliers related to: 

  • Responsible business practices and business integrity including economic responsibility, social responsibility, ethics, employment practices and human rights, diversity and inclusion, health and safety, and environmental responsibility; and
  • Information and data management including information access controls, privacy and information security, encryption, and data retention and destruction. 

Lending responsibility

To manage environmental risks and help mitigate our overall impact on the environment, we evaluate potential risks as part of our credit granting process. We have a protocol in place to ensure that in-scope credit transactions are assessed for environmental risks and assigned an Environmental Risk Classification to determine the appropriate monitoring requirements that corresponds to the risk classification. We continue to further integrate environmental risk factors, including climate risk, into our Risk Management framework.