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2022-04-28 10:05 am
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Net zero by 2035: it’s time to raise the bar on climate action

We know 2050 is too late.
The time for decisive action on climate change is now.

Climate change is an issue we know you feel strongly about. We’ve been listening and it’s one we share, too.  

At Bank Australia, it’s time for us to step up and go beyond what we’ve already achieved. We want to help Australians build the future we all deserve.

In our climate action strategy, reducing emissions is an essential first step. We’ve also realised our role is supporting communities in Australia to respond to climate change in a way that’s regenerative and focused on a just transition.

We don’t have all the answers yet but scroll down to explore how we’ll:

  • work with our customers to reach net zero emissions in our operations and portfolio by 2035
  • finance regenerative projects and services
  • help people reduce their emissions
  • support First Nations voice to lead the way on climate action. 

Read our Climate Action Strategy here.

Let’s build the future we all deserve.

We’ll be net zero by 2035

We will achieve net zero operations and portfolio by 2035

Most of our emissions come from our lending portfolio from the homes that we provide loans to build and buy (our scope 3 emissions, for the climate nerds). We’re going to work with our customers to reduce their emissions from electricity and gas use.

We’re also going to keep reducing our emissions from running the bank. We’ve been using 100% renewable electricity since 2019 and we’ve switched our fleet cars to hybrids. Next, we want to get our buildings off gas and work out how we can support our staff to reduce emissions when they travel to and from work.

We will have a validated 2030 science-based emissions reduction target

We need a pathway to net zero, so we’re using the leading global standard for setting near-term emissions reduction targets from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

We’ve developed draft targets for 2030 using the methods for financial institutions and we’re seeking validation from the SBTi. We’re expecting to announce our targets within 12 months.

We will explore directly investing in projects that draw down emissions

We’ve been carbon neutral since 2011 and we’re Climate Active certified. We do that by offsetting all of our operational emissions by buying carbon offsets from registered carbon offset projects.

Now, we want to explore whether we can combine our expertise regenerating land on our conservation reserve with creating our own carbon offset projects. We plan to start this investigation on our newest conservation reserve property, Salvana.

We’re going to support customers to take action

We offer support and products to assist our customers to better understand and reduce their emissions

Our customers tell us that action on climate is their top priority, so we’re planning to scale up ways to offer support and products to help our customers take collective action.

Our Clean Energy Home Loan was designed to encourage customers to build or buy homes that don’t have as much of an impact on our earth. We’re always working to improve this, including launching our Eco Plus option that takes us a step closer to net zero homes.

As we build out our climate strategy, we’ll be engaging with our customers to find out how we can help them take the climate action they want to see.

We’re scaling up our funding of solutions

We will be financing $1.5b of clean energy transition and conservation by 2025

As a bank, funding regenerative products and services is an important part of our contribution to climate action. In 2021, we were financing $400m of lending and investment to clean energy transition and conservation across green property, electric vehicles and green bonds. We’ll now be working to grow that to $1.5b by 2025.

We’re linking conservation and climate

We're a leading voice on corporate conservation innovation to draw down carbon from the atmosphere, while protecting and preparing our conservation reserve for a warmer climate

Private land conservation is an important path forward to protecting more of the precious environment from development forever. We’ve been protecting land on our conservation reserve since 2008, and we want to share what we’ve learned to show that this is something other landholders in Australia can do too.

On our conservation reserve, climate change resilience is a priority action area under our current 10-year strategy. We’re working on a climate-adjusted direct seeding project, which includes developing a climate-adjusted seed provenance collection from ground-cover and mid-story species on the reserve, as well as sourcing seeds from both hotter and drier, and cooler and wetter locations that might be suitable for our reserve in future.

We know climate change is about justice (not just emissions)

We are actively supporting the economy in the Latrobe Valley as it transitions from fossil fuels

We’ve got a long history in the Latrobe Valley and we’re still there. One of the larger credit unions that merged into what is Bank Australia today was the Enterprise Credit Union, the credit union for employees of the Victoria’s former State Electricity Commission. A third of our staff are based in the Latrobe Valley and we’re committed to continuing to support the community as it transitions from fossil fuels.

We’re committed to the Latrobe Valley community – in 2018, we completed a major renovation of our National Contact Centre in Moe to make room for more employment growth in the Latrobe Valley. We also work with community customers like the Gippsland Climate Change Network and help them progress the switch to renewables.

We are seeking guidance from First Nations voices and support their leadership on climate action

We know and recognise that First Nations voices can lead the way on climate action.

‍We began our own Reconciliation Action Plan journey in 2010, becoming the first customer owned bank to develop a RAP. We still have a way to go but we’re committed to the work we know we need to do.  

On our conservation reserve, we’re working with Barengi Gadjin Land Council to implement Indigenous Land Management practices. Indigenous Land Management has maintained this land for tens of thousands of years. This knowledge is essential to addressing the climate crisis on our reserve and across Australia, and is valuable for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working with plants, animals and the ecosystems.

The climate is changing and we’re working to understand what that means for our business

We will assess, disclose and manage the risk posed to our business by a changing climate

Climate change is here. We need to analyse the risks climate change poses to our business as a bank and lender. Following the framework of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, we’re thinking about physical risk, like damages to homes we finance, transition risk, like changes in the economy as we transition away from fossil fuels, and liability risk, like failure to take appropriate action.

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