Maintaining an open and constructive dialogue with stakeholders is essential for business. It's how we understand community expectations, identify issues and discover opportunities to improve.
Why is this important?
Sustainable business is good business. It is our responsibility to make good long-term decisions and help support a strong economy into the future. That is how we will continue to serve customers well and help our communities prosper for years to come. This means we assess and balance risks and opportunities to drive long-term value to our customers, colleagues, shareholders and the communities in which we operate.
What do we do?
As a major bank, our business touches many parts of the Australian economy. With an issue as big as sustainability that kind of scale and connectivity is needed to drive change. We’re determined to do our part, which is why we’ve embedded sustainability in our long-term strategy in three different ways:
- Firstly, we are driving commercial responses to society’s biggest challenges. We see taking sustainable action as both the right thing to do, and as a source for commercial growth.
- Secondly, we are walking the walk ourselves with resilient and sustainable business practices at NAB, ensuring that we are defining and then managing sustainability risks and opportunities.
- Lastly, we are innovating for the future, investing in technologies and practices that can help us benefit customers and communities for many years to come.
How we do it?
We apply a range of tools and approaches including philanthropy, corporate responsibility and, increasingly, shared value – leveraging our core assets and expertise as a bank to address social and environmental challenges at scale.
As an inaugural signatory to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Banking, we have committed to ensuring our business activities in their entirety contribute positively to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
We embed Social Impact management and reporting into governance structures and internal communications to ensure that it is understood by all our people.
We have established a Sustainability Council, chaired by the Chief Operating Officer and comprised of Executive Leadership Group members, to align activity across NAB and monitor our progress in achieving our sustainability goals.
Oversight of Social Impact activities rests with the NAB Board, who are provided with updates at least bi-annually on our positive societal impact as well as environmental, social and governance risks, and other related matters.
We actively engage with a wide range of external stakeholders to get their input and feedback to help inform our decisions. We conduct an annual materiality assessment to identify and prioritise the environmental, social and governance (ESG) themes that matter most to our stakeholders and to establish where we can drive the greatest impact. This assessment process is outlined in our 2021 Annual Review, which is available on our website.
Supporting global cooperation on the Sustainable Development Goals
Our commitment to the Principles for Responsible Banking underpins our work to align our activities with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations General Assembly as part of its 2030 Agenda. As a large bank, the finance we provide spreads across almost all activities – which means we have an impact on each of the SDGs, whether directly or indirectly. These impacts are both positive and negative.
We use the SDG framework in two key ways to:
- Innovate and create products and services that meet our customers’ needs.
- Guide our strategy to prioritise the headline Goals where we can play a transformative role.
The priority areas of our strategy are aligned with relevant SDGs where we can make a difference to the societal challenge.
Our priority goals are
- #7 Affordable and clean energy
- #8 Decent work and economic growth
- #9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
- #11 Sustainable cities and communities
- #13 Climate Action
- #15 Life on land.
These headline Goals are areas where NAB is working to achieve transformative impact. All the Goals are important, and we impact them all to varying degrees, but these six priorities are where we think we can play a transformative role based on our strategy, core business capabilities and partnerships. The SDGs are a collective impact framework and partnerships are at the heart of solving these global challenges. We will regularly review these priorities as our operating context changes.
1. A document outlining our approach to measuring our progress against our $70bn is available on our website. Prepared in accordance with NAB’s methodology (based upon the 1993 ANZSIC standard). Excludes exposure to counterparties predominantly involved in transmission and distribution. Vertically integrated retailers have been included and categorised as renewable where a large majority of their generation activities are sourced from renewable energy.
2. Affordable and specialist housing includes affordable housing, specialist disability accommodation, sustainable housing. This includes loans made under the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme for properties under the national median house price, and for borrowers with taxable income below the national median household income. Progress is based on total lending facilities committed, where first drawdown occurred during the target period. This number does not reflect debt balance.