Huntington National Bank Announces Appointment of Climate Risk Director and Environmental Strategy & Sustainability Director
Appointments reflect Huntington’s increasing focus on key climate and environmental related efforts and initiatives
|Analysts: Emily Smith
COLUMBUS, Ohio, November 22, 2021 - Huntington today announced its first-ever Climate Risk Director and Environmental Strategy & Sustainability Director. These actions reflect stakeholder feedback and illustrate the company’s increased focus on climate and environmental related efforts.
George Gonczar was named as Climate Risk Director, and in his expanded role he will oversee the development and implementation of a climate risk assessment, governance, and reporting infrastructure framework to identify risks related to climate change and implement effective mitigation strategies. A highly-engaged risk professional and respected leader, Gonczar will lead the work set to integrate climate-related insights into Huntington’s decision-making and help key leaders and clients achieve their climate-related objectives. He also will continue to lead Huntington’s Global Risk Assessment group.
Rebecca Karason was elevated from Energy Sustainability Director to take on the corporate role of Environmental Strategy & Sustainability Director, which strengthens alignment with the company’s ESG executive team. Building on the journey established in 2017 to reduce Huntington’s carbon footprint, Karason will be responsible for overseeing all environmental and climate strategies, which include developing Huntington’s carbon roadmap.
Over the next year, Huntington will evaluate the carbon footprint of the acquired assets from its acquisition of TCF Financial Corporation and determine how to integrate them into legacy Huntington’s carbon footprint.
“George and Rebecca bring significant expertise, leadership and vision at a critical time in the global imperative to address the challenges of climate change. In reviewing our own environmental performance, we see an opportunity to play a larger role to be a catalyst for progress on environmental sustainability.” said Steve Steinour, chairman, president and CEO. “As a growing bank dedicated to supporting people, businesses and communities throughout our expanded footprint, we recognize the responsibility we have to work together to build a more sustainable world.”
Led by its purpose to make people’s lives better, help businesses thrive and strengthen the communities it serves, Huntington is investing in its communities to address the environmental challenges faced by under-resourced communities. The bank recently announced a new $40 billion Strategic Community Plan which includes programs intended to address environmental and racial equity challenges and to help make customers more financially secure in the future
Huntington acknowledges that climate change is a serious issue and is committed to doing more to accelerate meaningful progress by reducing its carbon footprint and providing guidance to clients as they transition to a low-carbon economy. Huntington’s approach to environmental sustainability is guided by its Environmental Policy Statement, which outlines the bank’s pledge to protect the environment, address climate change, and manage environmental risks.
Huntington’s environmental stewardship efforts align with and support well-recognized and respected frameworks and guidance, such as the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, World Economic Forum agenda, and the principles of the Paris Agreement. Huntington’s Climate Risk Policy Statement aligns closely with TCFD’s Implementation Path, as well as with the U.S. Climate Finance Working Group’s best practices. More information is available in Huntington’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $174 billion asset regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumers, small and middle-market businesses, corporations, municipalities, and other organizations with a comprehensive suite of banking, payments, wealth management, and risk management products and services. Huntington operates more than 1,100 branches in 12 states, with certain businesses operating in extended geographies. Visit Huntington.com for more information.