Canada’s Challenger Bank to Disclose Financed Emissions

TORONTO, Nov. 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Equitable Group Inc. (TSX: EQB) (TSX: EQB.PR.C) (“Equitable” or the “Bank”) today became the first Schedule I Canadian Bank to quantify its entire Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions portfolio, reflecting its commitments to sustainability and transparency.

“We are thrilled to continue the momentum from our recent announcement of the Bank’s carbon neutrality and the informative developments resulting from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) with the disclosure of our entire Scope 3 emissions, including financed emissions,” said Andrew Moor, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that what gets measured gets managed and are committed to exploring Challenger ways to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Scope 3 Emissions: A Canadian Banking First

Equitable is the first Schedule I Bank in Canada to fully disclose its Scope 3 GHG emissions portfolio, arising from its own operations as well as from its $35.4 billion lending portfolio. This significant accomplishment was enabled by the Bank’s sophisticated data management systems and comprehensive understanding of customers’ business activities. Scope 3 calculations captured activities such as business travel, purchased goods and services, capital goods, waste generated in operations, and employee commuting, as well as emissions from Equitable’s vehicle, mortgage, and commercial real estate financing activities.

Scope 3 Category1

2020 GHG Emissions (tCO2e)

Category 1: Purchased Goods and Services2

6,874

Category 2: Capital Goods2

204

Category 3: Fuel and Energy-Related

Activities

104

Category 5: Waste in Operations3

8

Category 6: Business Travel2

326

Category 7: Employee Commuting4

461

Category 15: Investment Emissions (i.e., Financed Emissions)5

531,734

Total Scope 3 emissions

539,711

This first quantification of Scope 3 emissions revealed that most of the Bank’s Scope 3 emissions arise from its mortgage lending portfolio.  These results have provided the Bank with meaningful insights into its Scope 3 emissions, have underscored the need for better data availability across the industry, and have ignited internal conversations on what reductions might be achieved in Scope 3 emissions.

Because Equitable operates all digital infrastructure on Microsoft Azure, its operations are more efficient and achieve greater energy and emissions reductions in comparison to banks that rely on traditional on-premise server farms.  According to The Carbon Benefits of Cloud Computing: A Study on the Microsoft Cloud conducted by Microsoft Corporation and WSP, the Microsoft cloud is up to 93 percent more energy-efficient and can result in 98 percent lower carbon emissions than traditional enterprise data centers. Microsoft also recently announced a series of significant new investments to incorporate sustainable technologies into current and future datacenter design and operations.

Methodology and Assurance

Equitable engaged WSP in Canada to quantify the Bank’s Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions applying methodologies from the GHG Protocol and the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials.

About Equitable

Equitable Group Inc. trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: EQB and EQB.PR.C) and serves nearly three hundred thousand Canadians through Equitable Bank, Canada’s Challenger Bank™.  Equitable Bank has grown to become the country’s eighth largest independent Schedule I bank with a clear mandate to drive real change in Canadian banking to enrich people’s lives.  Founded over 50 years ago, Equitable Bank provides diversified personal and commercial banking and through its EQ Bank platform (eqbank.ca) has been named #1 Bank in Canada on the Forbes World’s Best Banks 2021 list.  Please visit equitablebank.ca for details.

About WSP

As one of the world’s leading professional services firms, WSP provides engineering and design services to clients in the Transportation & Infrastructure, Property & Buildings, Environment, Power & Energy, Resources and Industry sectors, as well as offering strategic advisory services.  WSP’s global experts include engineers, advisors, technicians, scientists, architects, planners, surveyors and environmental specialists, as well as other design, program and construction management professionals.  Our talented people are well positioned to deliver successful and sustainable projects, wherever our clients need us. wsp.com/en-CA

[1] Scope 3 categories not included were not applicable or relevant to the bank’s operations.

[2] Emissions estimated using spend data and the US EPA EEIO database.

[3] Emissions estimated using a 2019 waste survey for the bank’s Toronto office.  Average amount of waste generated per employee was applied to all other office locations.

[4] Passenger kilometers estimated per office based on employee home address (city).  Mode of travel was assumed based on city-specific data for office locations.

[5] Vehicle lending: emissions were estimated using motor vehicle type with distance travelled assumed based on regional statistical data.  Mortgage and commercial real estate lending: Emissions were estimated based on number of buildings, building type and location-specific average energy consumption.  Business lending: very small proportion of financed emissions, estimated using economic activity-based emissions and company revenue.  Emissions associated with lending for construction of commercial real estate are excluded from the inventory as they are currently optional for reporting under the PCAF standard.

SOURCE Equitable Bank

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For further information: Richard Gill, Senior Director, Corporate Development & Investor Relations Investor Relations & Finance Manager, [email protected], 416-513-3638; Sarah Farano, [email protected], 416-513-4144