We believe that working to promote sustainability — both for our firm and for our clients — is good business practice. This belief is reflected in our dedication to financing business opportunities with positive environmental and social impacts, actively mitigating environmental and social risks associated with client transactions, reducing our operational footprint, and setting similar sustainability expectations for our suppliers.
For many reasons, 2016 was a year not many of us are likely to forget anytime soon. Uncertainty, change and anger were all defining characteristics of 2016, but if I had to summarize the year in a word, it would be AGAINST. Against the status quo, long- serving leaders, and any perceived threats to what people in many places had long considered a predictable and secure future.
While the sources and multiple manifestations of this mood are being analyzed by many, at Citi we think the more important area of focus is: What do we, and should we, stand FOR?
As a company with clients in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions and with more than 200 million customer accounts worldwide, what we stand for is informed by many things. First and foremost, we're guided by our mission to responsibly provide financial services that enable growth and progress.
As part of that mission, we ask ourselves how our own actions and behaviors exemplify what we stand for. Do we hold ourselves to the highest ethical and business standards? What do we do on a daily basis to meet and live up to those standards? And, importantly, what do we do when we fall short? That's the big question that the second section of this report, "HOW WE DO BUSINESS," addresses. It makes clear that Citi stands for diversity in the workplace, requiring our colleagues to adhere to the highest ethical standards, running our operations in an environmentally friendly manner and safeguarding our clients' privacy.
In pursuit of our mission, we also ask ourselves how the work we do with our clients and in our communities around the world demonstrates what we stand for. The efforts detailed in the "SOLUTIONS FOR IMPACT" section are indicative of the many ways we can and do have a positive financial and social impact in the communities we serve. They demonstrate that Citi stands for building inclusive cities, working with governments on critical infrastructure projects, and financing solutions that protect against climate change.
When I think about the sense of uncertainty that permeates the world today, I grow only more committed to identifying and taking action on issues where Citi can use our global scale and expertise to make meaningful contributions. And while we don't have all the answers and can't solve every problem, we can and do stand FOR progress and will continue to do our part to conceive of and contribute to solutions that address some of society's most daunting challenges.