BNY Mellon refreshed its approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in 2014 to ensure focus remains on areas of most importance and relevance to the company and to respond to evolving global trends. In this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, BNY Mellon President Karen Peetz discusses the changes to BNY Mellon’s strategy including social finance and what the company aspires to achieve in 2015. We’ve excerpted part of her Q&A below. Read the full Q&A here.
How did BNY Mellon’s approach to corporate social responsibility change in 2014?
Corporate social responsibility is deeply embedded in who we are as a company. It’s woven into our culture, from the way we engage and develop our global workforce to the way we partner with clients to develop solutions. Because CSR is inextricably linked to our business, we refreshed our approach in 2014, which was driven by the financial markets and the trends we saw across our business.
We also see investment opportunities emerging from global social, environmental and governance trends. In 2014, we formalized a focus on social finance, as we recognized the potential for investors in protecting and generating long-term value and while driving positive social and environmental change.
Tell us more about social finance at BNY Mellon. How is the firm responding to macro environmental and societal challenges with its products and services?
We define social finance as any investment activity that includes both financial returns and significant social and/or environmental impact. By expanding the definition of "social finance" to include socially responsible investing, development finance, environmental investing and impact investing, we demonstrate that BNY Mellon has a significant footprint in a growing segment that addresses both clients’ needs for financial return and their desire to see positive impact.
Our focus on this area is both a response to the opportunities and risks we see from complex global issues and recognition that creating a bridge between strategies allows investors to allocate their capital more efficiently according to their risk, diversification, liquidity and return needs. Because we work with corporations, institutions and investors across the investment lifecycle, we see social finance’s full potential from investment servicing to management.