Citibank Korea strengthens community outreach programs, ESG drive
Published : Nov 11, 2021 - 15:33
Updated : Nov 11, 2021 - 15:33
Citibank Korea employees and members of Habitat for Humanity Korea pose for a photo during the bank’s “Citi Building Hope and Home” volunteering program aimed at building homes for the underprivileged, on Nov.3, in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province. (Citibank Korea)
As part of efforts to grow together with the local community, Citibank Korea, the South Korean unit of Citigroup, has carried out diverse social contribution programs, while beefing up management activities focused on environmental, social and governance factors, or ESG, the lender said Thursday. 

Based on three principles, including employee participation, long-term commitment and leading activity, the foreign bank has continuously fostered a volunteer culture among employees for its corporate outreach in partnership with nonprofit organizations, rather than just making monetary donations. 

For instance, the local branch of the US bank has conducted an annual event dubbed “Citi Global Community Day,” since 2006. Employees and their families from all Citibank units around the world have been participating in volunteer programs, especially green activities like picking up trash around neighborhoods. 

The bank has also been partnering with Habitat for Humanity Korea for their “Citi Building Hope and Home” volunteering program since 1998 to deliver donations and build houses for the homeless in small and medium-sized cities across the nation.

Besides its community outreach activities, Citibank Korea has also ramped up efforts to promote financial literacy education and nurture competent financiers.

More than 560,000 teenagers have received real-world financial education from the bank’s program named “Think Money,” launched in 2006 in partnership with the Young Women’s Christian Association of Korea. 

In addition, since opening in 2001, its “Ewha-Citi Global Finance Academy” has been providing curriculum on financial market and job experience opportunities to college students pursuing finance career.

Each of these programs have been conducted for more than a decade with the voluntary participation of the bank’s employees, serving as either volunteers or lecturers. 

Additionally, it has held the “Korea Social Enterprise Awards” since 2017 to reward excellent social enterprises committed to creating jobs and addressing social issues.

Citibank Korea is also seeking to gain an upper hand in ESG management. Recently, the lender joined hands with global communities to address climate challenges. It signed a partnership with the Korean office of global conservation group World Wide Fund for Nature last year and donated $250,000 for the organization’s campaign dubbed “Change Now for Tomorrow,” launched in 2018 to encourage companies to adopt sustainable business management. 

In an effort to promote the campaign, the bank sponsored the WWF-Korea’s “Climate Action Roundtable,” held in April to introduce practical guidelines and action plans for responding to climate change. 

“We have been planning and implementing various social contribution programs that encourage employees’ active participation. Our social outreach efforts will be continued to support people in desperate need and improve their quality of life,” an official at Citibank Korea said. 

By Choi Jae-hee (