There’s an oft-repeated phrase that “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second- best time is now.” DTCC has taken that literally this holiday season by donating to the nonprofit group, One Tree Planted, to plant 11,000 trees around the world.
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Supporting these ongoing tree-planting projects in the United Kingdom, the Philippines, India, the United States and Rwanda is just one part of our focus on sustainability. And it reflects our larger commitment to our environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts—the framework for which is based on the World Economic Forum’s “Measuring Stakeholder Capitalism core metrics and disclosures” and its four pillars: People, Planet, Prosperity and Governance.
As a global company, we recognize our responsibility to serve the communities where we live and work. Sometimes, that takes the form of volunteering in food banks, working with school children or holiday gifts for our neighbors in need. As of September, our colleagues contributed more than 7,000 volunteer hours and set a company record by donating $700,000 through personal contributions and matching gifts, with the total philanthropic company giving at $4.7 million.
Focusing on the future also means thinking about the world we will leave to our children. We’ve prioritized reducing our energy footprint—cutting consumption 30% from 2016-2021—and generating on-site solar power to offset about 4% of our total annual electricity usage in 2022, with a goal of 9% next year. And we’re developing a road map to move toward net-zero by 2030.
And to help preserve natural resources such as trees and ink used to print physical securities certificates, our firm continues to push the industry toward dematerialization. While we still have work to do, we’ve reduced the number of physical certificates from more than 1 million in 2015 to about 780,000 in September—a 23% drop.
In the coming year, I’m looking forward to sharing more information about our ESG program and our plans to develop it in the future. I’m also excited to work with our ESG task force to expand our efforts to address a number of key areas, including risk management, diversity, equity and inclusion, board diversity, business ethics, training and development, volunteerism and philanthropy.
To paraphrase a bit, the best time to move forward is now.