Environmental policy

We’re committed to responsible conduct in all our activities to:

  • Protect and conserve the environment;
  • Safeguard the interests of our stakeholders from unacceptable levels of environmental risk; and
  • Support the principles of sustainable development.

We integrate these practices into our core business activities such as stakeholder engagement, facilities management, procurement and more through the principles of our Corporate Environmental Policy (PDF, 135 KB) Opens in a new window..

Policy implementation is the responsibility of the Environmental Risk Management group. This group engages with the bank's business and functional groups to facilitate policy and program implementation and best practices across the bank. In support of the CIBC Corporate Environmental Policy requirements, we’ve developed further requirements within our Environmentally Responsible Procurement Standard and the Environmental and Social Credit Risk Management Standards and Procedures.

Our due diligence process

Our Environmental Credit Risk Management group developed and proactively manages our Environmental and Social Credit Risk Management Standards and Procedures, which help employees identify environmental and related social risks pertaining to credit evaluation and financing. The standards require graduated levels of environmental and related social due diligence depending on the level of identified risk. CIBC’s Environmental Credit Risk Management group directly participates in the credit evaluation process by reviewing environmental and related social due diligence information in prescribed circumstances. In 2022, we completed specialized environmental and social due diligence reviews on 686 transactions totalling over $26 billion.

Our Global Reputation and Legal Risk Policy also requires that each credit transaction be examined for potential reputation and legal risks, including those of an environmental or a social nature. Transactions that may pose significant risk are escalated to the Reputation and Legal Risk Committee for senior executive review. For transactions flagged as having unacceptable environmental, social or governance risks, we engage with the company and require that they mitigate the risks as a condition of financing.

Pre-assessed environmental consultant list

As described in CIBC’s Environmental and Social Credit Risk Management Standards and Procedures, the Environmental Credit Risk Management group is responsible for maintaining CIBC’s Pre-Assessed Environmental Consultant List for Canada.

The consulting firms on the Pre-Assessed List are based on ECRM's ongoing review of third-party environmental reports, submitted as part of the transactional due diligence process. This list identifies firms that meet our criteria in terms of expertise, quality of service and other standards when performing environmental site investigations and assessments.

Consulting firms that are not included on the Pre-Assessed List are in no way prohibited from providing environmental consulting services to CIBC clients. CIBC does not formally endorse any specific environmental consulting firms.

Our lending approach

Our due diligence procedures include a review of environmental, social and governance considerations. Our loan approvals may include a review by our senior Reputation and Legal Risks Committee where reputation risk, along with transaction structuring is considered. Depending on the outcome of this review, CIBC may choose not to proceed with financing.

We will limit support for practices such as: 

  • The practice of commercial whaling or the use of dynamite or poison in fishing activities.
  • Activities exhibiting insufficiently strong mitigation of the degradation of protected critical natural habitats.
  • Operations or investments relating to, or directly resulting in, the transfer of equipment for international military (including internal security) operations.
  • The trade-in or manufacture of equipment or material for the specific purpose of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, we won’t directly finance entities that:

  • Show evidence of human rights abuses or evidence of modern slavery such as forced labour, human trafficking or child labour.
  • Are involved in exploration or development related to oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
  • Directly relate to the trade-in or manufacture of equipment or material for the specific purpose of land mines or cluster munitions, or directly deal with mining of conflict minerals.
  • Manufacture or trade-in activities deemed illegal under host-country laws or regulations.
  • Are subject to economic trade and other government sanctions that would violate the laws of the country in which CIBC operates.
  • Involve a business or individual engaged in activities inconsistent with accepted ethical behaviour in the community.
  • Are directly in the business of unregulated internet gambling.

Our stance on coal:

  • CIBC will not lend to any client or project where the proceeds are known to be primarily used for the purposes of developing a new coal-fired power plant, a mountaintop removal coal mine or a new standalone thermal coal mine.
  • CIBC will not lend to any new utility client or new power generation client with high reliance on coal-fired power plants with more than 60% total power generation (MWh) from coal.
  • For all existing and new utility or power generation clients with less than or equal to 60% total power generation (MWh) from coal, CIBC has adopted a Thermal Coal Management Protocol to apply a structured evaluation process to complete detailed assessments of the client’s efforts to reduce or eliminate thermal coal use, where applicable.

Equator Principles

The development and construction of large-scale infrastructure and industrial projects such as renewable power plants, bridges, railways, etc. can negatively impact local communities and the natural environment. 

CIBC became an Equator Principles Financial Institution (EPFI) in December 2003. As an EPFI, the Equator Principles are incorporated into our internal E&S risk policies, standards and procedures.

In partnership with our clients on all in-scope new development projects that we finance or advise on, CIBC applies the Equator Principles risk management framework to identify, assess, and manage environmental and social risks and impacts. This ensures that in-scope projects are developed in a socially responsible manner and reflect sound environmental practices.

The Environmental Credit Risk Management (ECRM) group reviews all in-scope Equator Principles transactions and provides training for lending and risk adjudication groups regarding compliance with the requirements of the Equator Principles. In 2022, ECRM reviewed 25 Equator Principles transactions that reached financial close.

Equator Principles Opens in a new window.

ESG Data Tables