The impacts of climate change and climate-related policy are having a growing effect on our business, our customers and the communities in which we operate. That's why we're taking action.
We recognise the direct contribution our operations can have to climate change and the impact climate change can have on our business, customers and suppliers.
We recognise increased competition for scarce natural resources has the potential to limit economic growth and business operations.
Why is this important?
Taking a strategic and sustainable approach to managing our business is not just important for the environment, it’s essential for the long-term growth and resilience of our organisation. We understand that our economy depends on a healthy environment. That’s why we’re committed to understanding and managing the environmental aspects and impacts (PDF, 309KB) and the dependency of our business on the environment and natural capital.
What we do?
We recognise that addressing environmental challenges like climate change, resource scarcity and natural capital loss and degradation is crucial. As regulations evolve and markets change, we understand our relationships with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, as well as our growth as an organisation, will partially depend on how we manage the environmental aspects, impacts and dependencies of our business.
Our Environmental Agenda
Our Environmental Agenda incorporates strategies covering:
- Climate Change – increasing impact of climate change and climate-related policy on our business, our customers and the communities in which we operate.
- Resource Scarcity – increasing competition for finite resources has the potential to limit economic growth and business operations.
- Natural Value – increasing pressure on the natural capital (environmental assets and services) that underpins our economic system could impact future asset and business value.
Download our Environmental Agenda (PDF, 301KB) .
Our commitment to managing our environmental impact is guided by our Group Environmental Management Policy (PDF, 182KB) and Group Environment Reporting and Offset Management Policy (PDF, 158KB). We recognise that a sustainable approach to the way we do business isn't only good for the environment, but it also makes us more resilient as a business. It's part of our strategy and plan for long-term growth.
Our environmental management practices are aligned to the ISO14001 Environmental Management System standard, and provide a consistent framework across our business. We implement environmental management practices in each region giving due regard to differences in regulatory requirements and operating practices.
In 2020, BNZ obtained their Toitū Enviromark Diamond level certification for its environmental management system, the highest level of certification under the Toitū Enviromark certification scheme. Diamond ceritification is aligned to ISO14001.
Our Group Non-Financial Risk Committee (GNFRC) supports the CEO and Group Chief Risk Officer to oversee the management of operational, regulatory and compliance risk, which includes conduct and prudential based regulatory risks, and oversight of the Group’s Environmental Agenda and performance (including our climate change strategy).
Environmental sustainability is a core part of our business supported by environmental specialists working in our Risk, Social Impact, Sustainable Finance, Hybrids and Equity Capital Markets, Specialised Finance, Agribusiness, Equipment Finance, Property and Procurement functions.
Environmental sustainability requirements are also embedded into our policies, standards and management frameworks, including our building design and operating standards, and our risk management framework.
Having the big conversations
We believe that business has a role to play in advocating on environmental issues.
From providing advisory services, information sessions and workshops, to taking part in consultation on policy developments and joining industry initiatives, we’re committed to engaging in meaningful conversations about environmental issues with our employees, customers, Government, industry peers, business and the broader community.
Internationally we participate in a number of working groups as part of membership of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). We have continued to work with other UNEP FI member banks on methodologies and processes to implement the recommendations made by the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
We also participate in a number of climate-related risk activities and projects to better understand, and implement, methodologies to assess, and manage, climate risk. In FY2021 this included:
- Supporting the Business Council of Australia's development of the blueprint for Achieving a Net Zero Economy by 2050.
- Working with researchers from the Food Agility CRC to develop a tool that catalogues and reviews investment opportunities for Australian farmers that support them to mitigate emissions and adapt to the physical risks of climate change.
- Continuing to work with the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) on ways to better equip the banking sector to implement recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Phase 2 of this work has involved examining a range of scenario tools to help increase the Group’s understanding of the spectrum of scenarios available and explore the availability of further data sets to assist with climate-related scenario analysis and risk assessment. The third phase commenced in January 2021 and is currently being developed. Outcomes and reports from the phases to date can be found on the UNEP FI website.
- Principles for Responsible Banking Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA) – participating in CCCA working groups. We were the first Australian bank to sign the Collective Commitment to Climate Action, incorporating a range of requirements to align our business with efforts to limit global warming to well-below 2 degrees Celsius, striving for 1.5 degrees Celsius. To achieve this, we have a goal to align our lending portfolio with net zero emissions by 2050.
- Energy Transitions Hub (the Hub) – continuing to work with the University of Melbourne with the goal of developing a process to overlay physical climate risk information on the Group’s lending portfolio for scenario analysis.
- Climate Measurement Standards Initiative [CMSI] – NAB joined and supported this cross-sector industry initiative which formed in FY2020. The CMSI includes representatives from across the banking, insurance and investment sectors alongside preeminent Australian climate scientists, working together under the auspices of the National Environmental Science Program’s Earth Systems and Climate Change (ESCC) Hub, professional services firms and finance sector industry bodies. The CMSI is focused on supporting implementation of the TCFD recommendations in addition to better understanding of the financial system’s exposures to climate-related risks. Reports are available here.
- Australian Industry Energy Transitions Initiative (AIETI) – NAB joined the collaborative industry initiative supported by ClimateWorks Australia and Climate-KIC in FY2020. The AIETI aims to accelerate informed action by Australian industry towards the achievement of net zero emissions in hard-to-abate sectors by 2050 while managing the transition to thrive in a decarbonised global economy.
- Climate-KIC Australia: NAB has been working with Climate-KIC Australia and other organisations on an Adaptation Finance Project. The project report can be found here.
We are also active members of the Natural Capital Finance Alliance and supported the Australian consultation process for the Finance Sector Supplement to the Natural Capital Coalition's Natural Capital Protocol which launched in April 2018.
NAB Group is also a member of a range of global finance sector and industry-led initiatives, and we’re signatories to, or have committed to, a number of voluntary corporate standards and principles. You can read more about this in memberships and recognitions.
Engaging our people
Our ongoing carbon neutral commitment continues to inspire and engage our people as we work towards creating a more environmentally sustainable workplace. We’re continually working to increase the environmental awareness of our employees and embed it throughout the business.
As part of this awareness, we’ve incorporated Environmental, Social and Governance risk (ESG) into our internal risk compliance training. And we use a range of channels, like our internal social media, intranet, email updates and video, to communicate with our people about our environmental initiatives.
We also assist our employees in reducing their own environmental impact through initiatives like interest-free loans for annual/season public transport tickets in Australia and the UK.
We have set environmental targets and report annually on our progress against these annually as part of our environmental performance and in our Annual Review (PDF, 2MB) and Sustainability Data Pack (XLSX, 866 KB). Aspects of our environmental performance and reporting are subject to independent assurance and third party certification.
We’re integrating natural capital considerations into our day-to-day decision making and risk assessment processes.