Why we measure our environmental performance

All organisations face challenges as they seek to address climate change, improve operational efficiency and use resources more sustainably. 

It’s everyone’s job to reduce carbon emissions. We’re playing our part as a business while helping our customers transition too. 

We’re continuing to cut emissions in our operations. We have targets to:

  • source 100% of our operational electricity from renewables by 2025.
  • reduce our Scope 1 and 2 market-based greenhouse gas emissions by 72% against a 2022 baseline by 2030.

We’ve been certified carbon neutral in our operations for over a decade – the first Australian bank to get there.

Our environmental targets

Our environmental performance targets help us progress against our ambition and be accountable for progress in reducing our environmental impact.

In 2023, we updated our operational science-based Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction target to align our ambition to be net zero by 2050 with the best available science and pathway for a 1.5°C warming scenario. Our new target is for a 72% reduction in market-based Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 from a 2022 baseline and covers:

  • all direct GHG emissions (Scope 1 market-based method)
  • indirect GHG emissions from consumption of purchased electricity (Scope 2 market-based method) across all GHGs required in the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard.

This target has been prepared in accordance with the Sectorial Decarbonisation Approach (SDA) methodology published by the Science-Based Target Initiative and developed jointly by CDP, the World Resources Institute and WWF, as relevant to Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions only.

We achieved strong progress towards our target in 2023, through a combination of increased sourcing of renewable energy and improvements in energy efficiency.

You can find more information about our environmental performance targets and our 2023 environmental performance in our 2023 Climate Report (PDF, 3MB), opens in new window and 2023 Sustainability Data Pack (XLS, 1MB), opens in new window.

Performance against our environmental operational targets

  2019 / 2022 baseline Target 2023 performance
Scope 1 and 2 (market-based) Science-based GHG emissions
2019 / 2022 baseline
23,018 (tCO2-e)
72% reduction
2023 performance
35% reduction
Energy use
2019 / 2022 baseline
759,096 GJ
30% reduction
2023 performance
47% reduction
Office paper
2019 / 2022 baseline
514 tonnes
20% reduction
2023 performance
63% reduction
Customer eStatements
2019 / 2022 baseline
64% online statements only
increase to 80%
2023 performance
Water use (potable water withdrawal)
2019 / 2022 baseline
385,005 kL
5% reduction
2023 performance
53% reduction
Waste to landfill
2019 / 2022 baseline
1,871 tonnes
10% reduction
2023 performance
67% reduction
Vehicle fuels
2019 / 2022 baseline
120,686 GJ
50% reduction
2023 performance
37% reduction

Our assurances and certifications

We believe independent assurance and third-party validation of our performance is important. We undertake a range of annual assurance and third-party certification processes, which gives management and stakeholders confidence in the credibility of our approach and the data reported.

Learn more about our assurance process

Regulatory reporting

NAB Group is subject to a range of environmental regulation, including reporting requirements. The key regulatory requirements are as follows:

  • the Australian National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth) (NGER Act)

  • the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting requirements, which are implemented through the Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 (United Kingdom)

  • the UK Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS), introduced by the ESOS Regulations 2014.

Further information on these regulatory requirements can be found in our 2023 Annual Report (PDF, 9MB), opens in new window, in the 'Climate Change and Environment’ section. Our 2023 Climate Report (PDF, 3MB), opens in new window also includes further information in the ‘Metrics and Targets’ section.

 Assurance of our carbon neutrality

KPMG conducts limited assurance procedures over our carbon inventory in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Asia and the United States, and the progress we are making against our Scope 1 and 2 (market-based method) Science-based GHG emissions target.

The component of our Australian carbon inventory that must be reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act has been subject to reasonable assurance by KPMG.

KPMG has also conducted limited assurance over the following carbon risk disclosure information – (i) renewable energy disclosure; (ii) project finance sector segmentation and (iii) our environmental financing disclosure.

Third party certification for our carbon neutrality

In Australia, we achieved certification under the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Program, opens in new window for the emissions inventory we’re monitoring and reporting for our Australian operations. We achieved our initial certification in December 2010 and re-certify our carbon neutrality annually.

Download our latest annual Climate Active public disclosure summary (PDF, 632KB), opens in new window. See Performance and Reporting for previous disclosures.

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) became a Toitū net carbonzero certified organisation in October 2022. You can find out more about BNZ’s sustainability performance, opens in new window

Calculating carbon emissions, including financed emissions

Our carbon inventory includes greenhouse gas emission sources from operations in Australia, Asia, New Zealand, Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Work on our carbon inventory is ongoing. For some emissions sources, it’s difficult to get access to the activity data needed for accurate greenhouse gas calculations. However, we can provide a picture of the items in our inventory that have been calculated for each of our businesses.

The ‘Employee commuting’ category refers to emissions associated with employees travelling to and from their place of work and emissions associated with colleagues working from home. Emissions associated with colleagues working from home are included in the Group’s emissions boundary, but emissions associated with employee commuting are excluded from the Group’s emissions boundary.

NAB assessed its ability to accurately measure emissions associated with employee commuting in environmental year 2023 as limited. NAB is currently compiling data and developing its methodology to estimate emissions associated with employee commuting and will engage with stakeholders on this work in 2024. NAB’s influence on its employees’ commuting decisions is limited but changing, as hybrid working behaviours and expectations are developed and embedded. NAB offers end-of-trip facilities at many of its locations, though this intervention does not materially influence emissions reduction associated with employee commuting.

BNZ has commenced quantifying and disclosing emissions associated with employee commuting as part of its emissions boundary for Toitū net carbonzero certification. Offsetting requirement under the Toitū programme is for a minimum inventory which does not include employee commuting.

The ‘Investments’ category includes financed emissions, which are outside NAB’s operational reporting boundary and therefore excluded from our organisational footprint. In line with NAB’s requirements as a signatory to the NZBA, NAB reports financed emissions for ten emissions-intensive sectors. For more information on this approach, including NAB’s sector-specific lending portfolio decarbonisation targets, refer to Sector decarbonisation on page 30.

Download our Carbon inventory and exclusions for operational emissions (PDF, 226KB), opens in new window.

Download details about our methodology and emissions factors for Scope 1,2 and 3 emissions (PDF, 757KB), opens in new window.

  • NAB has adopted the ‘operational control’ approach to establishing its operational emissions reporting boundary More specifically, in Australia and the UK, the boundary requirements for most Scope 1 and 2 emissions are covered by the regulatory requirements of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (Cth) (Australia) and the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) requirements which are implemented through the Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 (United Kingdom).

    Using these regulatory reporting requirements to define our Scope 1 and 2 emissions and boundaries for reporting helps support us to meet our compliance obligations and ensures we are aligned with our regulatory reporting requirements.

  • We assess the relevance of Scope 3 emissions associated with our direct operations. Information on the Scope 3 categories included and excluded from our operational emissions boundary is available in the Supporting information section on pages 78-79 of the  2023 Climate Report (PDF, 3MB), opens in new window.

  • We’re connected to all parts of the economy through our lending and other banking activities and have an important role to play in financing the low-carbon transition. In 2022, we updated our approach to measuring financed emissions and published interim sector-specific financed emissions reduction targets for four sectors.

    Refer to pages 34-61 of NAB’s 2023 Climate Report (PDF, 3MB), opens in new window  for details on our financed emissions, and pages 66-73 for NAB’s methodology, including the complexities and limitations involved in measuring financed emissions.

Our approach to offsetting

We define ‘carbon neutral in operations’ as first avoiding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with NAB’s operational Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (excluding financed emissions) and then retiring quality accredited carbon offsets for residual emissions.

Our purchasing and retirement of offsets is guided by our Group Environment Reporting and Offset Management Policy (PDF, 251KB), opens in new window and is disclosed annually in our Climate Active Public Disclosure Statement as part of our carbon neutral certification which is available at www.climateactive.org.au/buy-climate-active/certified-members/national-australia-bank, opens in new window.

Our purchasing and retirement of offsets is guided by our Group Environment Reporting and Offset Management Policy (PDF, 251KB), opens in new window

While we have previously purchased and maintained a bank of Verified Carbon Standard  and Gold Standard international offsets, between 2020 and 2023, we’ve only purchased Australian Carbon Credit Units from Australian sources, with a focus on savannah burning projects which utilise traditional Indigenous land-practices, supporting economic development and cultural heritage preservation.

NAB's Australian operations are certified carbon neutral under the Climate Active Standard for Organisations. In New Zealand, BNZ and JBWere NZ are both Toitū net carbonzero organisation certified.

Forward purchasing offset model

We use a forward purchasing model to meet our carbon neutral commitment. This type of model calculates forecast carbon emissions for the forthcoming year using the actual carbon emissions reported in the prior year's audited carbon inventory.

Read more climate news

Learn how we’re working to be part of the climate solution on NAB News. 

Explore sustainability at NAB

Learn more about how we serve customers well and help our communities prosper.

Contact us

Use our Customer Support Tool

Solve problems quickly online with our easy-to-follow guides. Simply select a topic and we’ll direct you to the information you need.

Chat to us online

Our virtual assistant can help answer your general enquiries or transfer you to a specialist.

Stay in touch on social media

Connect with our social profiles online.

Important information