Why climate action is important for us all
We’re here to serve customers well and help our communities prosper. The success of our whole economy depends on the health of our climate.
Climate change presents significant risks and opportunities to the economy. In 2023, research commissioned by NAB revealed the economic opportunity for Australia by looking at the difference between an Australia that only meets its 2050 net-zero targets, versus an Australia that competitively trades in global decarbonisation. The research report, ‘All systems go: Powering ahead, opens in new window’ the second report in the ‘All Systems Go’ series by Deloitte Access Economics, opens in new window, finds by using Australia’s natural advantages in solar, wind and critical minerals could add up to $435 billion to the national economy by 2050.
Our climate strategy
Our strategy is designed to maximise the climate transition’s economic benefits for customers, NAB, and the community, and help to achieve emissions reduction targets consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
We continue to take a relationship-led approach that supports customers to reduce emissions and realise associated opportunities. NAB is connected to all parts of the economy through our lending and other banking activities, and has a key role in supporting our customers’ transition to a low emissions future, as well as their ability to adapt and pursue new climate opportunities.
In 2022, we also appointed our inaugural Chief Climate Officer. This reflects increasing requirements of all parts of the economy, and all parts of the bank, to support our customers in making the transition to a low emissions future.
For more details about our climate change strategy and governance, refer to our 2023 Climate Report (PDF, 3MB), opens in new window.
Action we're taking
Our main role in climate action is the financing we provide. Our actions are informed by the best science currently available. We’re investing in positive change and helping customers do so too.
While we continue to focus on reducing our own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions footprint, our greatest impact is through the finance we provide to customers.
We’re taking action to help our economy transition to one powered more by renewables, less by fossil fuels.
That's why we're continuing to provide finance to our energy generation customers and other high emitters as they transition to lower carbon operations, and working with them on their transition plans.
Reducing our emissions
Since 2010, we have been playing our part by reducing our own operational footprint through emissions avoidance and reduction, and then offsetting residual emissions. NAB has been certified carbon neutral by Climate Active’s Standard for Organisations in Australia since 1 July 2010. BNZ and JBWere NZ are both Toitū net carbonzero organisation certified .
We’re continuing to cut emissions in our operations.
Progressing to net zero
Our ambition is to act as a catalyst for climate action, supporting emissions reduction and aligning with pathways to net zero by 2050, consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100.
We fund more projects to expand the global supply of renewable energy than any other Australian bank. At the end of 2023, 73.3% of our total lending to the power generation sector was for renewables. Our exposure to renewables has gone up 80% since 2017 and will continue to grow.
Helping customers act too
Our customers are working towards lower emissions, and we’re working with them as they evolve their businesses. That includes:
- Supporting 100 of our largest GHG emitting customers as they develop or improve their transition plans.
- Helping colleagues better support customers to decarbonise and build climate resilience through bank-wide foundational climate training as well as additional targeted, sector-specific training for colleagues serving customers in sectors for which we have set sector decarbonisation targets.
- Helping customers become more resilient to natural disasters.
We’re providing finance, opens in new window to help customers reduce emissions, with tailored products and services, and we’re continuing to build new products that support customers to take climate action.
To help get Australia to net zero we’re working with industry on new technologies that tackle our toughest emissions challenges and participating in the:
- Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), opens in new window and UN Principles for Responsible Banking
- RE100 Initiative, opens in new window
- United Nations Global Compact Think Lab – Just Transition, opens in new window.
Lending less in some areas
As the world changes, so does our understanding of climate risk. We’re lending less in some areas based on this risk. We will develop a framework to assess Customer Transition Plans considering relevant external guidance. We expect Customer Transition Plans will consider elements such as: scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, interim and long-term targets consistent with the Paris Agreement, planned action to meet their targets, details about level of reliance on offsets and future technology development.
In 2022, we set interim 2030 sectoral decarbonisation targets for our lending portfolio in four of our most emissions-intensive sectors: power generation, oil and gas, thermal coal mining and cement production. In 2023, we set an additional three decarbonisation targets: iron and steel, aluminium, and transportation (aviation).
In setting these targets, we were informed by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks (UNEP FI Guidelines).
Read more about NAB’s ESG risk management. Further detail is also available in our 2023 Climate Report (PDF, 3MB), opens in new window.
We continue to build on our climate risk capabilities and processes.
We regularly review our environment, social and governance (ESG)-related credit policy and appetite settings, including those related to our exposure to emissions-intensive, climate sensitive and low-emissions sectors. These reviews consider a range of factors including:
- Various climate change scenarios for both transition and physical risk.
- Customer strategies and plans and their alignment to the Paris Agreement temperature goals.
- Industry trends.
- Trends in our exposures to these sectors.
This review process has led to implementation of ESG-related credit policy and risk settings, including for coal, oil and gas. These risk settings are complementary to our interim sectoral decarbonisation targets, which have been set to guide our lending across key sectors in our portfolio to align our lending portfolio to net zero emissions by 2050. Further details about our first tranche of interim sector decarbonisation targets is provided in the 'Metrics and targets' section of the 2023 Climate Report (PDF, 3MB), opens in new window.
Our 2022 annual risk awareness training also included a refreshed climate risk module to help all colleagues understand:
- highlights from the latest climate science
- the goals of the Paris Agreement
- the key elements of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework for managing climate risk
- actions NAB is taking to address climate change.
The training provided examples of climate-related physical and transition risks to help colleagues understand the impacts of climate change on our business, customers, and the communities in which we operate.
In 2023, we have completed work to update this module which provides a case study to help colleagues understand and recognise climate risk (both transition and physical risk) in a customer context. The module will be mandatory for certain risk and customer-facing colleagues and other colleagues may choose to complete the training. This refreshed module will roll out in 2024.
NAB has also invested in additional initiatives to strengthen all colleagues' awareness and understanding of climate change and our role in the transition, and to build engagement with NAB’s climate strategy. This includes refreshing climate-related resources on NAB's intranet, sharing a series of short educational videos developed together with Climateworks Centre Australia, as well as increased focus on climate change issues on our internal colleague communication platform.
We joined the RE100 initiative in 2019 and have a target to source 100% of NAB Group’s electricity consumption from renewable sources by 30 June 2025. We made significant progress in the 2023 environmental reporting year, increasing the proportion of electricity consumption sourced from renewable sources to 88%.
Working towards sourcing 100% of the electricity we need from renewable energy sources will continue to reduce our carbon emissions.
We’ve also set a science-based target to reduce our scope 1 and 2 (market-based method) greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2023, we updated our science-based target to use the latest version of the Science-Based target setting tool and align with a 1.5°C scenario . We report on our progress in our annual reporting suite. Learn more about our environmental performance.
We’ve taken several actions to help address climate change and support the transition to a low-carbon economy. This includes a target to provide $70 billion in environmental financing by 2025. We met and exceeded this target in 2022, having provided a total of $70.8 billion in cumulative environmental financing since 1 October 2015. In 2023, NAB provided $4.5 billion in new environmental financing . Learn more about our environmental financing activities on page 55 of our 2023 Climate Report (PDF, 3MB), opens in new window.
We’ve adopted three We Mean Business Coailition, opens in new window climate change aims to recognise the role we can play in supporting the transition to an inclusive net-zero economy in line with the 1.5°C pathway. We’ve taken further action that shows our intention to keep taking a leadership role, through how we source energy for our operations and support our customers through financing activities.
Engaging responsibly on climate policy
We 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 also strive to ensure our engagement on climate policy continues to be co-ordinated and consistent. We will communicate our position, actions and outcomes annually through our CDP (previously Carbon Disclosure Project) climate change survey response and annual reporting suite of documents.
Reporting climate change information
We’ve 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 and the recommendations of the TCFD. We continue to incorporate disclosure of relevant climate change related information in our annual reporting suite and have included carbon-related disclosures in our Half and Full Year Investor Presentations since May 2015.
Putting a price on carbon
We’ve put a price on carbon and aligned to the UN Global Compact’s business leadership criteria on carbon pricing.
We first established an internal carbon price in 2010, as part of action to achieve and maintain carbon neutrality. NAB will continue to disclose, in our annual CDP climate change survey response and other relevant corporate publications, how we use our internal carbon price.
We respond to the annual CDP climate change survey and have been certified carbon neutral in our Australian operations since 1 July 2010.
Read more climate news
Learn how we’re working to be part of the climate solution on NAB News.
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