Bringing Scotiabank’s purpose to life for all global stakeholders


With more than 23 million customers around the globe, Scotiabank is a leading financial services provider and Canada’s most international bank. 

Working with Scotiabank presented an exciting opportunity to reframe the bank’s sustainability communication strategy and narrative. Instead of simply reporting the company’s activities and commitments, we shifted the focus to the motivations behind those initiatives.

The challenge

In moving from a “what” to “why” perspective and dialogue, we were able to architect a CSR action plan more deeply aligned with the bank’s core purpose and business strategy. And in telling the bank’s sustainability story through the lens of “why,” we painted a clearer and more compelling picture of how CSR drives value for the Bank, its customers, shareholders, employees, communities, and society.

Our solution

The initial step was to conduct research that helped us create a unified, engaging vision of what sustainability means to Scotiabank and how it relates to the company’s broader purpose: making all people better off. We reviewed the bank’s audiences, industry trends, global sustainability megatrends, direct competitors and global leaders in the banking sector, as well as conducted an in-depth sustainability communications audit.

Utilizing our key research insights and out-of-the-box thinking, we developed the sustainability strategic framework — Better Future, Better Off — which set the foundation for Scotiabank to begin telling a more inspiring, purpose-driven story. We created communication plans and tools designed to present specific audiences with information that focuses on what’s most important to them, via channels that best resonate. The core of this strategy dramatically altered Scotiabank’s approach to sustainability communication, allowing the bank to move from a one-size-fits-all approach (a traditional report) and embrace a range of new communications tactics tailored to key stakeholder groups. Our work empowered the bank’s global sustainability team with the tools and messages needed to engage, educate and create internal sustainability champions for a wider messaging cascade. 

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Key outcomes

ESG strategy that is seamlessly integrated into the bank’s core business objectives, embedded in the day-to-day business culture and operations, and delivers meaningful value to a diverse group of Scotiabank stakeholders and broader society

Expansion from local to global CSR communications focus

Strategic communication planning that utilizes layered engagement and targeted storytelling

“thinkPARALLAX helped us develop a CSR narrative, communication plan and activation across multiple channels. With this communication strategy we not only connect CSR to the bank’s purpose but we also have clear guidance on how to talk about why what we’re doing matters to our stakeholders.”

Samantha Mesrobian
Director of Corporate Responsibility, Scotiabank