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Corporate Social Responsibility

Environmental Principles

As a leading global financial institution founded more than 125 years ago on the principles of service, expertise and integrity, Northern Trust is committed to the principles of sustainable development.  We recognize that our commitment to financial success must also consider the broader environmental impact of our operations.  Being a responsible business directly affects our financial success and is integral to our culture of caring.

Northern Trust believes in transparency, accountability and continuous improvement. We have adopted the UN Global Compact principles and UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically:

UN Global Compact Principles:

  • Implement a precautionary approach to addressing environmental issues through effective programs (Principle 7)
  • Undertake initiatives that demonstrate the acknowledgement of environmental responsibility (Principle 8)
  • Promote and use environmentally sustainable technologies (Principle 9)

UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Use only energy efficient appliances and light bulbs (Goal 7)
  • Avoid unnecessary use and waste of water (Goal 6)
  • Implement responsible consumption and production (Goal 12)
  • Take action to reduce climate change (Goal 13)

Our environmental principles provide strategic direction and common guidance on the commitments Northern Trust has taken to protect the environment. 

Underpinning our commitment to fulfilling our adopted principles are the following actions:

Precautionary Principle - We will:

  • Apply robust systems to reduce risk and positively promote opportunities by understanding the potential environmental impacts of our work.
  • Employ management systems and procedures specifically designed to prevent activities and/or conditions that pose a threat to the environment.

Environmentally Sustainable Technologies – We will:

  • Actively engage with employees and key stakeholders to identify and drive the implementation of innovative technological solutions.

Responsible Practices – We will:

  • Comply with all applicable legislation and stakeholder requirements. To fulfil our obligations, we will implement programs and procedures to monitor compliance.
  • Display this statement in all Northern Trust offices to inform employees, visitors and interested parties of our commitments.
  • Promote our principles by integrating them into all company policy areas, delivering training events and conducting seminars.
  • Ensure key stakeholders are identified and proactively engaged.
  • Set environmental objectives and performance indicators covering all business-critical

Carbon and Energy Efficiency

We recognize our business’s carbon foot-print and share the concerns of our stakeholders about the need to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our activities.  Our aim is to:

  • Embed energy efficiency and low-carbon technology and fuels in to our property portfolio.
  • Work with our clients to provide services and products related to sustainable investments.
  • Reduce emissions arising from transport and travel.
  • Embed principles via behaviour-change programs.

Responsible Consumption

We are committed to responsible procurement of products and services.  We require our suppliers to embrace best practices by adopting our Code of Conduct. This code sets the expectations and requirements for all suppliers doing business with Northern Trust with regard to human rights, labour, health and safety, environmental practices, monitoring/compliance and ethical business conduct.

Resource Management

We have established targets to reduce our consumption of natural resources. We have adopted the waste management and water management hierarchies, which ensure these issues are considered at all phases of our operation, including new developments and projects.