We recognise that climate change is a significant and complex challenge requiring action at all levels – local, state, national and international - and by all stakeholders.
We believe an effective United Nations agreement will:
- provide both context and a framework for national actions and policies
- facilitate international cooperation
- address the challenge of climate change.
It will also support the globally agreed goal to limit global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, as well as giving regard to science-based reduction targets and the policy and market mechanisms necessary to assist in achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.
An effective international agreement should assist in providing business with the certainty and frameworks it needs to scale up global investment in low carbon technologies and infrastructure and lead to the creation of significant new business opportunities.
We believe the financial sector has an important role to play in assisting the transition to a low carbon economy, through both the energy we purchase directly and through financing. This transition however, needs to take place in a considered and balanced manner, supported by a stable policy environment that can underpin the transition and provide investment certainty over time.
Our five commitments
In recognition of the role we can play in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy that limits global warming to less than 2°C, NAB has adopted three “We Mean Business” Coalition climate change commitments1. In addition, we have made two further commitments that demonstrate our intention to continue to take a leadership role through how we source energy for our operations and support our customers through financing activities.
1. Undertake financing activities of AUD $18 billion over the seven years to September 2022 to help address climate change and support the transition to a low carbon economy
We’re the leading arranger (by market share) of project finance for renewable energy in Australia, having arranged more than $4.9 billion in project finance since 2003.2 We have increased and broadened our activity, including a number of industry-leading initiatives such as:
- Launching the first Climate Bond by an Australian issuer and the first bank-issued Climate Bond Standards certified bond globally to finance A$300m of renewable energy assets. We have since been recognised as a 'Green Bond Pioneer' by the Climate Bonds Initiative and London Stock Exchange for our work in developing the Australian green bond market.
- Providing discounted finance for energy efficient equipment and small scale renewable energy with the support of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.
Accordingly, this commitment of AUD $18 billion in financing activities builds on our leadership position and continues to support the transition to a low carbon economy. This new financing activity includes:
- new lending
- debt market activity
- provision of risk management products
- development of financing solutions
- advisory, arranging and underwritting activities.
Finance will be provided to our customers to assist them in undertaking climate change mitigation activities such as renewable energy installation and energy efficiency initiatives, including low-carbon property, low emission transport, in addition to climate change adaptation activities.
2. Source 10% of our Australian electricity demand from new and additional renewable energy projects by 2018
Minimising the environmental impact of our business is a key focus of ours. In 2010, we became the first Australian bank to achieve National Carbon Offset Standard certified carbon neutrality and we maintain this through an on-going focus on energy efficiency and other carbon reduction initiatives. We’ve achieved this by:
- reducing the amount of energy we used by our equipment, lighting, heating and cooling
- installing solar panels on branches
- switching from brown coal-fired grid electricity to tri-generation and co-generation at two key sites
- purchasing offsets to neutralise remaining emissions.
Sourcing 10% of the electricity we need from new and additional renewable energy sources will continue to reduce our carbon emissions and help scale-up Australian-based low-emissions infrastructure and renewable energy generation.
3. Engage responsibly on climate policy
We will continue to engage in dialogue with key stakeholders, including customers and the wider community, to help inform how we advocate on climate policy with all levels of government. We will also ensure that our engagement on climate policy is co-ordinated and consistent and we will communicate our position, actions and outcomes annually through our CDP climate change survey response and annual report suite of documents.
4. Report climate change information through mainstream reporting channels
Consistent with our commitment to transparency and integrated reporting, we are committed to identifying, developing and implementing ways to improve disclosure on carbon risk exposure through collaboration with other financial institutions, both in Australia and internationally. We have publicly reported on our GHG emissions since 2003. We are aligning our GHG reporting with internationally recognised climate change reporting frameworks, such as the Climate Disclosure Standards Board’s Climate Change Reporting Framework. We continue to incorporate disclosure of relevant climate change related information in NAB’s Annual Financial Report and have included carbon-related disclosures in our Half and Full Year Investor Presentations since May 2015.
5. Commit to putting a price on carbon and align to the UN Global Compact’s business leadership criteria on carbon pricing
We first established an internal carbon price in 2010, as part of our commitment to achieve and maintain carbon neutrality. This has helped to drive investment in energy efficiency initiatives and helps us to achieve GHG reduction targets. We will continue to maintain the use of an internal carbon price and publicly communicate our understanding of how market mechanisms can help achieve GHG reductions. NAB will also continue to disclose, in our annual CDP climate change survey response and other relevant corporate publications, how we use our internal carbon price.
1. Commitments 3, 4 and 5 adopt three of the CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project)-led “We Mean Business” Coalition global climate change commitments.
2. Project Finance International 2006-2016 Asia Pacific Initial Mandated Lead Arranger League Tables – MidYear 2016 US$ Project Allocation, NAB analysis ranking against four major Australian banks – cumulative volume as at 30 June 2016.