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This page provides highlights of our benchmarking of climate-related disclosures included in the 2021 annual reports of 35 major global banks. With such reports, it's ultimately about the numbers. Metrics need to be quantified, targets further defined and progress tracked. Without the numbers, it is difficult for users of annual report to understand and assess the extent of the banks’ commitments and progress in achieving their targets and to make informed comparisons.

There are three key areas where banks disclose information on climate-related metrics and targets in their annual reports: financed emissions; green or sustainable financing and operational emissions. Common targets that banks disclose in these three areas are:

  • reducing financed emissions to net zero by 2050 or earlier;
  • providing a committed amount of green or sustainable financing by 2030 or earlier; and
  • reducing operational emissions to net zero by 2030 or earlier.

Four out of five banks disclose information on climate-related metrics and targets in their annual reports. The nature and extent of information disclosed varies significantly among the banks in our analysis.

Information on financed emissions is critical but remains vague in the reports. The lack of a universal standardised methodology, amid evolving requirements, data and formulae, make it difficult to calculate these emissions.  

A handful of banks in our analysis provide more detailed disclosures in this area, typically sharing the following information:

  • More details on financed emissions, such as the methodology that the bank is using or intends to use and quantitative details of financed emissions or preliminary numbers of certain sectors
  • Sector-specific targets for carbon-intensive sectors — in particular, those related to fossil fuels

Get more insights

Read our benchmarking analysis on how banks reported on climate-related matters in the 2021 reporting season. The report includes the scope and approach of our analysis, and how we have assessed the disclosures as ‘more detailed’, ‘less detailed’ or ‘no disclosures’ provided.