Employee green teams help NAB cut emissions by 15%

5 June 2009, World Environment Day

More than 600 employee volunteers have helped the NAB cut its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15% since 2006.

Launching the NAB's 2009 Carbon Neutral Update in Melbourne today Group Executive for Group Business Services at NAB Gavin Slater said the15% cut in emissions achieved by the bank was a testament to the enthusiasm, commitment and activism of employees to make a difference and ensure their workplace is more environmentally sustainable.

"We are pleased with the progress we are making towards becoming carbon neutral by September 2010. NAB’s program of purchasing renewable energy and refurbishing workplaces using environmentally sustainable design principles has of course been important to cutting emissions, but the real champions of this result are the employees who are helping reduce NAB’s environmental impact everyday.”

Sustainability is a big part of the organisation’s culture as evidenced through the work of NAB’s green team community – a voluntary employee support group which has grown to about 600 members.

This year’s report details some of the initiatives and results delivered by NAB’s green teams including campaigns to increase recycling and reduce waste.

Since 2006 the NAB has saved around 21,000 tonnes of annual emissions from reduced energy use across its operations and another 12,000 tonnes by boosting its renewable energy purchase.

“We all have a critical role to play in creating a more sustainable future and today’s result is something that our people can be really proud of,” Mr Slater added.

NAB’s commitment to carbon management was also recognised in September 2008 when it topped the Global 500 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for non-carbon intensive industries segment, and became the highest scoring Australian bank.

As part of its carbon neutral commitment, NAB will also acquire carbon offsets for emissions that cannot be avoided or reduced and has commenced a global procurement process to establish a panel of preferred offset providers for short and longer term offset acquisitions.

For more information about NAB’s environmental programs, including a copy of this year’s Carbon Neutral Update, please visit www.nab.com.au/environment

NAB Carbon Neutral Update 2009
Fact Sheet

  • In March 2007 NAB committed to become carbon neutral by September 2010.
  • NAB’s carbon neutral program is focused on reducing emissions from the buildings it occupies and business travel. The bank is also increase the amount of energy purchased from renewable sources and will acquire carbon credits to offset emissions it cannot reduce or avoid.
  • As part of its energy efficiency program, NAB has set a 20% emissions reduction target from its 2006 base year level. Around 21,000 tonnes of annual emissions have been reduced so far and on track to exceed 20% reduction target. A further 12,000 tonnes have been saved through 5% renewable energy purchase.
  • In October 2008 NAB ranked equal first (alongside Barclays, Merrill Lynch & Co and Munich Re) in the Global 500 Carbon Disclosure Leaders Index for the non-carbon intensive industries segment.

Key energy reduction projects

  • Construction has commenced on a $6.5 million onsite gas-fired generator at NAB’s main Victorian data centre. The use of gas and capture of the excess heat to power cooling and heating equipment looks to create a more holistic approach to energy management. On completion the facility will save around 20,000 tonnes of emissions each year.
  • Major office building refurbishments are underway in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide, which are expected to reduce emissions by 20,000 tonnes. Melbourne’s 500 Bourke Street refurbishment is aspiring to attain a five star green star rating and reduce emissions at the site by 10,000 tonnes per annum.
  • With NAB’s branches and business banking centres accounting for approximately 40% of total energy use, 200 sites will be upgraded through the use of low energy lighting and signage, air conditioning time control, insulation and smart metering.
  • Increasing number of low-emission vehicles in car fleet – currently have 40 Toyota Prius’ in fleet with the aim to increase to 140 by September 2010.

Staff involvement

  • Carbon neutrality is a big part of NAB’s culture and more than 600 employees have joined the organisation’s voluntary green team community.
  • Annual research conducted by Sweeney’s Research shows:
    • More employees are printing double sided (87% compared to 79%), recycling bottles/cans (80% compared to 72%), recycling paper (80% compared to 74%), and avoiding printing through use of soft copies (78% compared to 71%)
    • Awareness about environmental initiatives at NAB has increased from 74% in 2008 to 80% in 2009, and 63% are aware of specific changes or initiatives in their building, up from 44% 12 months ago.

Media contact:
Sandie Pullen,
Environment Communications Manager,
0423 341 600 or 03 8634 2591

1 The financial services and telecommunication industries are working with handset manufacturers to bring forward the availability of the NFC handset technology and roll out of merchant contactless readers over the next few years.

2 The research was conducted by Synovate with fieldwork conducted between September and November 2008. The research consisted of three parts: an online survey with participants, a qualitative online blog and in-depth interviews with participating merchants.