Financial Service Activities
Chief Sustainability Officer
Stock Exchange and Ticker
T: 212 640 2000
- Anita Borg Top Companies for Women Technologists
- Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index (since 2016)
- Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index—100% score (since 2004)
- Forbes America’s Best Employers for Diversity—ranked #24
- Forbes Best Companies to Work for in Spain—ranked #1
- FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For—ranked #8
- FORTUNE 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials—ranked #9
- FORTUNE 100 Best Workplaces for Women—ranked #2
- FORTUNE Best Workplaces in Financial Services & Insurance—ranked #3
- FORTUNE Best Workplaces in New York—ranked #1
- FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies— ranked #13
- Great Place to Work: Best Workplaces for Parents—ranked #21
- Great Place to Work: Best Workplaces in Italy—ranked #2
- JUST Capital—JUST 100 List
- Newsweek and Statista America’s Most Responsible Companies—ranked #13
- PEOPLE 2021 Companies that Care—ranked #48
- Working Families Top 10 Employers in the UK
- Seramount 100 Best Companies—ranked top 10
- Seramount Companies for Dads
- (A-) CDP (CLIMATE)
- FTSE4GOOD INDEX SERIES
- (AA) Rating – MSCI (ESG)
- Low Risk – SUSTAINALYTICS ESG RISK RATING
- Ranked #1 in J.D. Power 2021 US Credit Card Satisfaction Study for 11th time in the last 15 years
- Ranked #1 for our mobile app and website in the J.D. Power 2021 US Online & Mobile App Credit Card Satisfaction Studies
American Express Sustainability Report
Evaluation of American Express
American Express Company (AMEX) published this report to provide qualitative and quantitative information on the company’s approach to managing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) opportunities and risks. The report covers the calendar year 2021 and in some cases, highlights from programs and initiatives launched in 2022, are covered. Furthermore, the report follows Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting guidelines.
AMEX report is clear and comprehensive. Goals are well defined and progress can be easily measured, for the most part. Although AMEX mentions the SDGs they focus on, the company does not link goals, nor progress with the SDGs. The report is structured around the 3 pillars of the SDGs, namely promote diversity, equity and inclusion (D,E&I), advance climate solutions and build financial confidence, and each pillar contains information on the goals, progress and initiatives taken to address the goals. Important to note is AMEX’s support for small and medium size businesses, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, AMEX not only provided these businesses with educational resources, expanded access to credit and loans, grants, marketing support, but also encouraged their own customers to buy from small businesses, by ‘rewarding’ their purchases.
Highlight for the environmental progress is that AMEX has been carbon neutral since 2018 and continues to maintain this neutrality.
The Certificates and Awards received by AMEX only adds more value to the rating as the company has received numerous rewards regarding the management of the workforce, as well as from the customers feedback on the company.
Overall, AMEX sustainability efforts are clearly visible in the report and with only little progress remaining to achieve, AMEX is rated a B with a positive outlook.
American Express Company Activity
American Express Company provides charge and credit payment card products, and travel-related services worldwide. The company operates through three segments: Global Consumer Services Group, Global Commercial Services, and Global Merchant and Network Services. Issuing a wide range of proprietary consumer cards is the responsibility of the Global Consumer Services. The Global Commercial Services segment serves the corporate and small businesses with proprietary cards, payment and expense management services, and commercial financing products. And lastly, The Global Merchant and Network Services segment operates a global payments network that processes and settles card transactions, acquires merchants, and provides multi-channel marketing programs and capabilities, services, and data analytics. The company was founded by Henry Wells, William G. Fargo and John Warren Butterfield on March 28, 1850 and is headquartered in New York, NY.
American Express Sustainability Activity - As per company declarations
In terms of sustainability, AMEX refers to the ESG framework established in 2020. The framework includes three main priorities: promote diversity, equity and inclusion (D,E&I), advance climate solutions and build financial confidence.
Among some of the initiatives taken within the D,E&I are strengthening a culture of inclusion and belonging across the company, supporting under-representedowned suppliers, partnering with non-profit organisations to promote equality and others.
Addressing the climate crisis, AMEX is focusing on minimising the carbon footprint and helping customers and communities do the same, committing to net-zero emissions by 2035, carbon neutral and 100% renewable energy in operations. Examples of initiatives include investments in the development of facilities to meet green certification standards and in “Backing Low-Carbon Communities”. Additionally, new digital tools are available for corporate customers to better understand and manage their carbon footprint. And lastly, AMEX is planning on converting the majority of plastic cards to be made of at least 70% recycled or reclaimed plastic.
Helping small businesses build financial confidence is one of AMEX’s ESG priorities, especially during the times of inflation, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages and ongoing pandemic impacts. Examples of initiative include “Shop Small campaign to help jumpstart spending at small businesses. “Backing Small” brings together all AMEX’s grant programs that focus on small businesses. AMEX also helps individuals and business owners with providing financial literacy, training and mentoring programs through longstanding partnerships with Junior Achievement worldwide.
Certificate & Labels, Standards and Frameworks
American Express in the news: Press Reviews and Social Media
The first $1 billion sustainability note issued by American Express will mature in 2029, with the proceeds going toward social and environmental initiatives. The framework lists a variety of initiatives that could receive funding from the notes, including those that promote the circular economy, green buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy, socioeconomic advancement and empowerment, access to basic services, and affordable housing.
The world’s top B2B travel platform, Amex GBT, is a division of American Express Global Business Travel. The NZCE pledge was introduced at the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow in 2021 to assist clients in measuring and minimizing the environmental impact of business travel and meetings. In order to create an industry-wide roadmap toward net zero by 2050, American Express Meetings & Events is working with NZCE initiatives to create a common framework for measuring events’ greenhouse gas emissions. At the yearly industry trade show IBTM World, taking place in Barcelona from November 29 to December 1, the company will be in charge of the Sustainability stream.
Highlights from American Express Sustainability Report
- AMEX has been a CarbonNeutral® company since 2018, powered by 100% renewable electricity across global operations
- Published inaugural DE&I Report in 2021 and continued to provide additional data on hiring, promotions, and retention by race and ethnicity in this report
- Exceeded $1 billion in spending towards the DE&I Action Plan announced in October 2020 by expanding access to capital and financial education to underrepresented-owned suppliers, and by partnering with nonprofit organisations focused on promoting equality
- Maintained 100% pay equity across genders globally and across races and ethnicities in the US for the 2nd consecutive year
- 76% of US participants in the American Express Leadership Academy in 2021 were from underrepresented groups, exceeding the goal of 75% by 2024
- $265M in community development loans and investments through the American Express Center for Community Development in 2021
In 2021 joined the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition and Global Future Council on Sustainable Tourism to help promote sustainable travel practices
Targets vs Progress Reported
|Reduce energy use by 35% across managed facilities compared to a 2011 baseline by 2025||- Goal exceeded in 2021, as AMEX managed to reduce by 57% the energy use through initiatives such as lighting retrofits, HVAC equipment upgrades, and new building control systems, as well as temporary work-from-home arrangements|
|Commit to net-zero emissions by 2035, in alignment with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)||- Operations are already carbon neutral
Mitigating GHG emissions from global operations, includes onsite solar electricity generation, energy attribute certificates (EACs), and carbon offsets:
In 2021, produced approximately 561 MWh of renewable solar electricity at our North Carolina data centre and Brighton, UK office
Purchased 202,170 MWh of EACs, in alignment with the technical guidance from RE100
Purchased 22,770 MTCO2e of carbon offsets in 2021, including wind power development, reforestation, and forest conservation projects
|Remain carbon neutral across operations||- Carbon energy purchase decrease from 107% to 101% between 2019 and 2021|
|Reach 40% of owned and leased space with LEED certification (or comparable) by 2030||- Achieved carbon neutral operations for Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions through renewable energy credits, carbon offsets, and reduced GHG emissions. Operations include all our managed facilities, field sites, and data centres|
|Achieve green building certifications for 60% of our operations by 2025||- As of year-end 2021, approximately 56% of operations have achieved green building certifications|
|Reduce water use from our managed facilities by 10% per colleague compared to a 2019 baseline by 2025||- Due to COVID-19 affecting the implementation practices towards achieving this goal, AMEX is temporarily suspending reporting on this goal and is currently reviewing the methodologies|
|Provide at least $10 million to support initiatives, partnerships, and programs that address the adverse effects of climate change and pollution on communities from 2021 through 2025||- New partnerships announced in 2022 with American Forests, C40 Cities, National Park Foundation, and Earthwatch Institute, to fund projects and initiatives to support nature-based solutions and sustainability efforts in local communities, particularly in urban areas|
|Achieve zero waste certification for US headquarters (reach 90% waste diversion from landfills)||- In 2021, 32% waste diverted from landfills at US headquarters|
|Reduce waste generated from our managed facilities by 10% per colleague compared to a 2019 baseline by 2025||- Due to COVID-19 affecting the implementation practices towards achieving this goal, AMEX is temporarily suspending reporting on this goal and is currently reviewing the methodologies|
|Divert 60% of office waste generated from our managed facilities away from landfills by 2025||- In 2021, 54% of office waste generated was diverted from landfills, but there is no mention about how it was diverted|
|Eliminate single-use plastics across our operations by 2025||- Due to COVID-19 affecting the implementation practices towards achieving this goal, AMEX is temporarily suspending reporting on this goal and is currently reviewing the methodologies|
|Source 100% of our direct marketing, customer communications, and office paper from certified responsibly managed forests by 2025||- On track, at 96% in 2021|
|The vast majority of plastic cards issued by AMEX to be made from at least 70% recycled or reclaimed plastic by the end of 2024||- In summer 2021, launched first card made from recycled PVC in Canada In 2022, announced that France will become the first market to shift to recycled plastic for almost all of plastic cards
- Partnered with Delta Air Lines for the the Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards to be made from 70% reclaimed plastic that achieved CarbonNeutral® product certification
- Since the 2019 launch of the Card Take Back Program, recycled more than 1.3 million cards, including cards returned by Card Members
|Maintain 100% pay equity across genders globally and across races and ethnicities in the US||- Median pay for women globally at AMEX was 106.7% of the median pay for men
- Median pay for racially/ethnically diverse colleagues in the US was 95.2% of that for white colleagues
|$4 billion to spend toward DE&I initiatives (including underrepresented-owned suppliers)||- Through initiatives such as Blueprint, “Backing BIPOC Businesses”, designed to support the advancement of Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) business owners in Canada, 100 small businesses owners received support|
|Double annual spend with underrepresented-owned suppliers in the US from a 2019 baseline to $750 million by the end of 2024||- In 2021, introduced more than 65 new underrepresented owned suppliers and in 2022 started working with select suppliers to begin tracking diverse supplier spend within their own supply chains
- $550M spend with US underrepresented owned
|Increase spend with Black-owned suppliers to at least $100 million annually||- $72M annual spend with US Black-owned|
|Support small businesses, by reaching $100 billion in spending by consumers at small, independently-owned retailers or restaurants on Small Business Saturday and during other Shop Small campaigns from 2021 through 2025||- $23.3B in reported spending by US consumers on Small Business Saturday in 2021 including independent retailers and restaurants|
|Provide $50M in grants by 2024 to nonprofits focused on addressing inequality and promoting social justice, including those led by members of underrepresented groups||- Since late 2020, more than $14 million provided in grants to these organizations;
- Social purpose leadership training for diversity organizations
- Leadership programs that support women leaders in the nonprofit sector
- The New York City LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project
- Grants to support organizations such as NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and NAF (formerly the National Academy Foundation) that are reducing economic, health, educational, and racial disparities through the new Backing Equal Futures grantmaking
- Established strategic partnerships with organizations such as United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Thurgood Marshall Fund, and HBCU Connect to provide career readiness programming and access to internships and full-time career opportunities to Historically Black College and University (HBCU) students and alumni
- Grant funding of $250,000 to support the Trevor Project’s international expansion of crisis services to Mexico and an LGBTQ+ advocacy strategy in the U.S. with the goal to meet vulnerable LGBTQ+ youth with life-saving support across multiple fronts
|Invest $500 million to build more resilient and equitable communities from 2021 through 2025||- Support small business needs, job creation and retention, and affordable housing, including the development of more than 1,900 units of affordable housing
- In 2021, $265M in community development loans and investments through the AMEX Center for Community Development in 2021
|Provide at least five million individuals with tools, resources, and educational content to improve financial well-being from 2021 through 2025||- As of May 1, 2022, MyCredit Guide and Score Goals had more than 4.5 million enrolled users where they have access to VantageScore® 3.0 credit score and detailed TransUnion personal credit report, as well as a credit score simulator to see how actions like paying down debt or opening a new account could affect their score
- In 2021, the US-based Credit Intel Financial Education Center site attracted 2.8 million unique visitors—up from 1.1 million in 2020, where consumers can enhance their knowledge about building credit, understanding credit reports, and understanding different types of credit cards, features, and benefits, as well as how credit scores work—and how to improve them