M&T sets big goals in 2nd annual ESG report

Bank aims to operate solely on renewable power by 2030, achieve carbon neutrality by 2035

Operating solely on renewable power by 2030 … achieving carbon neutrality by 2035.

For many, that would be an Environmental, Social & Governance plan too big to handle. M&T Bank Chair and CEO Rene Jones said his team is ready to take it on.

The goals were announced Tuesday, when the bank released “Together We Can,” its 2021 ESG report.

The second annual report highlights the progress the company has made toward its commitments since last year’s inaugural report — and the reason it is setting such stringent goals moving forward.

“As a bank for communities, we understand the unique needs of our customers and communities, and our ESG commitments provide significant support to improve the quality of their lives,” Jones said. “We are proud of the progress that we have made, but mindful that we have much more to do.

“We are building a sustainable infrastructure that supports our ESG initiatives, while partnering with like-minded organizations to form coalitions that are equal parts inclusive, diverse and transparent. Together, we will make great strides toward solving the pressing issues affecting our communities and our country.”

M&T officials said the report is guided by key ESG frameworks, notably the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, World Economic Forum’s Stakeholder Capitalism metrics and the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. Jones said the expanded approach reflects M&T’s mission to foster inclusion, create transparency on climate and support the vulnerable in its communities.

Over the past year, M&T officials say the bank has partnered with coalitions and organizations to expand its work, including:

  • The Council for Inclusive Capitalism: Joining business and public-sector leaders in a mission to build a more inclusive, sustainable, transparent and trusted economic system;
  • Risk Management Association’s Climate Risk Consortium: Co-founding as one of the member banks, to collaborate on governance, disclosure and risk management;
  • TCFD: Signing on as a supporter and aligning this year’s report to its framework;
  • Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials: Joining to assess and disclose greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, the report includes a new ESG Index, which discloses key areas of ESG performance and transparency on M&T’s diversity, equity & inclusion efforts, including data on hiring and promotion.

M&T Bank, which is headquartered in Buffalo, New York, has locations from Maine to Virginia, including 64 bank branches and 111 ATMs in New Jersey.