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Fifth Third publishes 2012 report on corporate responsibility

180px-Fifth_Third_Bank.svgFifth Third Bancorp recently published its annual report on corporate social responsibility, demonstrating the tactics used by the bank to “earn a reputation for being a good corporate citizen.”

The bank focuses on several areas, including consumers, communities, businesses, employees and the environment, as part of its corporate responsibility.

Since 2004, the bank has sponsored the Young Bankers Club, which provides financial education to fifth-grade students, and more than 7,000 students have graduated from the program. Last year, the bank upgraded the program to meet national and state mathematics standards and to encourage the expanded adoption of the program.

Fifth Third’s Fair Lending and Responsible Banking division “provides key oversight to ensure that our complete product and service suite is accessible to all market segments.” The bank said its approach involves making decisions “in the best interest of [its] customers by providing reasonably priced products, defining clear terms and disclosures and offering fair and consistent service.”

In terms of community focus, the bank seeks to ensure resources are targeted towards “critically important issues and needs within the market.”

“We strengthen communities through lending and investing in affordable housing, community facilities and other revitalization projects by keenly listening to key stakeholders and analyzing market condition,” the bank said in its report.

Over the past two years, the bank’s Enterprise Investment Fund provided $2.3 million to local communities. Last year, nearly $1 million in grants were given to affiliates.

Additionally, the bank said it was committed to small business, adding that affiliates provide small business credit through several government and non-profit organizations, including the Small Business Administration. Last year, the bank was ranked No. 1 in small business banking advocacy.

“We attribute this recognition to our commitment to getting to know our customers and addressing their needs with smart, specific financial solutions,” Fifth Third said.

The bank said it has worked to “foster an engaging and inclusive culture for [its] 21,000 employees, measure how well [it’s] succeeding and identify areas where [it] still need[s] to develop.”

Last year, the bank was named by the Michigan Business and Professional Association and National Association for Business Resources as one of the 101 “best and brightest” companies to work for. The bank has trained more than 180 individuals with disabilities over the past seven years.

Fifth Third’s environmental initiatives include energy efficiency audits conducted at its largest facilities last year. Electricity consumption fell by 38.8 million kilowatt hours last year, a 16 percent decrease from 2007 levels.

Three branches of the bank earned recognition from the U.S. Green Building Council last year, and the bank increased its purchasing of renewable energy certificates to 30 percent of its projected electricity consumption last year.

Fifth Third also participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which encourages organizations to measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emission and strategies for managing climate change risks.

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