Sustainable Finance

We believe in not only managing our own operations in an environmentally sustainable manner, but in doing our part to finance the transition to a low-carbon economy.

In 2018, we formalized our approach to sustainable finance, forming a cross-functional Sustainable Finance Working Group, codifying our definition of sustainable finance, and beginning the work to more fully automate how we capture sustainable finance data.

Sustainable Finance Working Group

PNC's Sustainable Finance Working Group includes employees from business segments that are key to the success of PNC’s sustainable finance, green lending and environmental sustainability programs. The working group is responsible for defining PNC’s sustainable financing commitments and influencing strategies to ensure that we meet our sustainable finance goals.

The Sustainable Finance Working Group's first task was to address PNC's definition of sustainable finance. Our commitment to enabling our clients’ sustainable operations takes the form of providing financing and underwriting debt with an environmentally sustainable use of proceeds. Areas of focus include:

  • Renewable energy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Green building
  • Brownfield remediation
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Waste management and pollution control
  • Water quality and conservation
  • Air quality

Our sustainable finance commitment totaled more than $7 billion in 2018. This figure incorporates transactions from our public finance, capital markets, real estate, corporate banking, equipment finance, energy capital, consumer lending, community development banking and business banking lines of business. We also consider investments in our own facilities' green building and energy efficiency projects, as well as our charitable contributions that have an environmental sustainability component.

In 2019 and beyond, we will be exploring ways to transition from manual to automated sustainable finance data capture to ensure a greater degree of consistency and accuracy year-over-year. 

Green Bonds

Underwriting bonds that finance environmentally beneficial projects is an important part of our sustainable finance program. This includes both traditional and “green” bonds, which are underwritten and issued under the best practice guidelines of the International Capital Markets Association's Green Bond Principles, to which PNC is a signatory.

Learn more about PNC green bonds » 

Responsible Investing

As technology and science create new business and investment opportunities, they also create new responsibilities, which include considering our collective impact on future generations. By changing the dynamic between investors, businesses and the public, responsible investing can help ensure that today’s innovation is sustainable and our current decisions and actions position future generations for success.

We define responsible investing (RI) as an investment strategy that:

  • Proactively supports certain values or causes
  • Excludes or restricts portfolio exposures that may conflict with those values
  • Defines a specific, targeted impact and allocates capital toward that objective

At PNC, we view RI as an implementation strategy, rather than an investment philosophy or a separate asset class. It is a lens we can use to implement a portfolio that aligns with an investor’s unique goals, intentions, values or mission.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Integration

ESG is a set of standards that investors can use to evaluate investments and determine whether a company’s operations are "responsible." Environmental criteria look at how a company performs as a steward of the natural environment. Social criteria examine how a company manages relationships with its employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audit and internal controls, and shareholder rights. We have developed several proprietary investment strategies that take ESG factors into consideration.

Our approach to responsible investing is:

  • Focused on goals: Our process begins by understanding each client’s unique values and intentions.
  • Flexible: We build portfolios tailored to each client’s particular investment needs, restrictions and values. We do not believe a one-size-fits-all approach is always necessary or appropriate in implementing an RI portfolio.
  • Dependent on deep analysis: Robust quantitative analyses combined with strong qualitative research can generate meaningful insight that is not attainable by either method on its own, so we employ both to help derive optimal RI portfolio solutions for our clients.
  • Dynamic: Markets evolve, and portfolios need to adjust accordingly to generate attractive returns.
  • Long-term: While markets are ever-changing, we believe patient investors can capitalize on proven, long-term trends. Many of the thematic strategies we employ within portfolios may require taking a more secular view of the world, as demographic shifts and environmental trends can take considerable time to unfold.
  • Value-oriented: We seek to identify investment opportunities that are undervalued and/or mispriced by the market. We use our rigorous, disciplined and repeatable investment process as a guide to help determine what relative value ultimately looks like.

Responsible Investing at PNC in 2018

In 2018, we had $2.42 billion in RI assets under management across PNC Capital Advisors (PCA); Hawthorn; Wealth Management; and Institutional Asset Management. This represents a 15% increase from 2017.

The Investment Advisor Research team this year approved the introduction of two mutual funds, two separately managed accounts, eight passive exchange-traded funds and an Impact Investing Private Equity offering. Also in 2018, PCA’s Municipal Fixed Income team developed a proprietary process for scoring tax-exempt bonds and their issuers for custom Environmental and Social Impact managed accounts.

Supporting financial advisors with responsible investing resources and training was a top priority in 2018. The Responsible Investing team assisted advisors and stakeholders across PNC’s footprint in a variety of ways, including providing portfolio or investment-level ESG analysis and recommendations, participating in educational market visits, and sharing industry trends and thought leadership.

Strengthening Connections. Fostering Success.

2018 Corporate Social Responsibility

Summary of Our Efforts »

Download 2018 CSR Report

Download 2018 Executive Summary

Learn More About CSR

Stakeholder Engagement »

Download previous Reports and Newsletters »

PNC has invested over


in sustainable finance since 2016

PNC ended 2018 with


in Responsible Investing assets under management

Recognized for our Efforts

Corporate Awards & Recognition

Employer of Choice

  • 50 Most Engaged Workplaces™, Achievers (2018)
  • Most Admired for HR, Human Resource Executive magazine (2018)
  • 50 Happiest Companies in America, CareerBliss (2018)

Diversity & Inclusion

  • 2019 Employer of the Year, Disability:IN (2019)
  • Best Finance Companies for Women, Fairygodboss (2019)
  • Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI), Bloomberg (2019)
  • Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality, Human Rights Campaign (2019)
  • A. Leon Higginbotham Corporate Leadership Award, National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights (2018)
  • Top 50 Employers, CAREERS & the disABLED magazine (2020)
  • Top 70 Companies for Executive Women, National Association for Female Executives (2019)
  • 100% Score on the 2019 Disability Equality Index® (DEI®) Best Places to Work™
  • The Most Powerful Women in Banking and Finance, American Banker (2018)
  • 50 Best Companies for Diversity, Black Enterprise magazine (2018)
  • Best Companies to work for Women, WOMEN'S CHOICE AWARD® (2019)
  • Top Financial Companies, Professional Woman’s magazine (2019)
  • 2019 "Best-of-the-Best" Corporation for Inclusion, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) (2019)
  • Best Companies for Dads, Working Mother magazine (2018)
  • 50 Best Places to Work for New Dads, Fatherly (2018)
  • Top Supplier Diversity Programs, Black EOE Journal (2019)
  • Top Employer, Black EOE Journal (2019)
  • Top LGBTQ+ Friendly, Black EOE Journal (2019)
  • 50 Out Front: Best Places to work for Women & Diverse Managers, DiversityMBA Magazine (2019)
  • Best of the Best for Top Disability-Friendly Companies, DIVERSEability magazine (2018)
  • Top Financial/Banking Companies, Hispanic Network magazine (2018)
  • Top 1000 Company Worldwide for Millennial Women, Mogul (2018)
  • Best Companies to work for Multicultural Women, WOMEN'S CHOICE AWARD® (2019)

Military & Veteran Support

  • Best of the Best Top Veteran-Friendly Companies, U.S. Veterans Magazine (2019)
  • Top Veteran Friendly Supplier Diversity Programs, U.S. Veterans magazine (2019)

Community Investments

  • Outstanding Community Reinvestment Act Rating
  • Silver Halo Award, Engage for Good (2018)
  • Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award, Pro Bono Institute (2018)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Award, Financial Services Roundtable (2017)
  • Corporate Citizenship Award, Pittsburgh Business Times (2017)

Environmental Sustainability

  • 100 Most Sustainable Companies, Barron’s (2018)
  • Leader in Climate Disclosure, Carbon Disclosure Project (2017)


Important Legal Disclosures & Information

  1. Includes underwritings and financing commitments associated with municipal issuances, real estate financing and commercial loans and leases supporting environmentally beneficial assets, entities and projects, including energy efficiency, green buildings, renewable energy, pollution prevention, sustainable transportation and sustainable water management.

Read a summary of privacy rights for California residents which outlines the types of information we collect, and how and why we use that information.