NAB launches carbon neutral progress report

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

A year ago NAB announced its aim to become carbon neutral by 30 September 2010 and today released its first progress report titled, Carbon Neutral Update.

Documenting progress towards this goal, the report is a key step in informing staff and stakeholders of the importance of reducing and neutralising NAB's carbon footprint.

Mr Ahmed Fahour, NAB Executive Director and CEO Australia, said the bank is focused first, and foremost, on making its current operations less carbon intensive.

"Last year 93 per cent of NAB's emissions came from the energy used in NAB buildings. NAB is seeking a 46,000 tonnes reduction of greenhouse emissions by 2010 through our energy efficiency program," he said.

"One of the biggest projects is the refurbishment of our 500 Bourke Street office to a 5 Star Green Star rating. This refurbishment alone is expected to deliver an annual saving of around 10,000 tonnes, and is the largest joint building owner and tenant refurbishment of its kind in Australia."

The bank also recently commissioned research to find out what employees think about the organisation's carbon neutral commitment and willingness to get involved in workplace change to help reduce NAB's environmental impact.

Conducted by Sweeney's Research the findings show that 92 per cent of NAB employees believe it is up to individuals to be responsible for the environment at work and almost 70 per cent agree that it is very important for a business to be strongly committed to the environment.

Commenting on the research, Mr Fahour said that while there were positive attitudes towards the environment changing behaviour in the workplace was much more difficult.

"Nearly half (46 per cent) of NAB staff said they are very motivated to be green at work and almost 30 per cent said barriers like time restrictions and high workloads prevented them from being more involved in environmental activities at work."

"Most NAB employees (76 per cent) said they want to know more about the bank's environmental programs, particularly what carbon neutral means for the business. The launch of NAB's Carbon Neutral Update will help address this knowledge gap."

In meeting its carbon neutral goal, NAB is working to reduce its 2006 carbon footprint of 230,000 tonnes by 46,000 tonnes through energy reduction initiatives. NAB also plans to purchase up to 10 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy sources, which is estimated to reduce emissions by a further 25,000 tonnes.

Emissions that cannot be reduced will be offset through the purchase of carbon credits. Current estimates suggest this will equate to approximately 159,000 tonnes.

Key outcomes from NAB's carbon neutral program include: " Revising the design standards for our branches and office buildings so that new or refurbished buildings are designed to meet stringent energy efficiency standards. " Reduction in energy consumption at NAB's Docklands office of almost 10% through installation of zoned and timed lighting, de-lamping in over-illuminated areas and installation of sensor lighting in medium to large meeting rooms. " Replacement of approximately 12,700 old computer monitors with flat screen monitors and some 32,000 desktops now go into sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity. " Replacement of more than 300 six cylinder vehicles with more fuel efficient four cylinder cars and introduction of nine Toyota hybrids (vehicles fuelled by petrol and electricity) to the job-required fleet. " Establishment of 18 green volunteer teams to help drive a reduction in energy, water, and paper usage and waste in the workplace. " Purchase of 2.5 per cent accredited GreenPower for the 2008 financial year.

These initiatives have saved approximately 16,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to date.

"NAB has also established appropriate governance structures and teams to manage and deliver its carbon neutrality program. Together with the savings achieved, this demonstrates that NAB is very serious about reducing its footprint," Mr Fahour added.

NAB is also hosting its first Environmental Expo on Thursday 3 April. The Expo will bring together some of Australia's leading companies like Origin, Qantas and Toyota who are helping the bank achieve its carbon neutral goal and working with the organisation to also assist the bank's employees achieve their own environmental aspirations.

For further information, please contact: Kerrina Lawrence Media Relations Manager National Australia Bank Limited T: +61 3 8641 3409 M 0417 034 738

* The information contained in this media release is for media advice purposes only. The contents are true and correct at time of publishing/issuing, however may change over time. For further information about NAB products or rates, please go to Interest Rates, Fees & Charges