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BNZ Targets Net Zero By 2050; Working With Customers To Transition To Low Emissions Economy

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has today reported operational emissions reductions of 50% since 2019, increased sustainable finance lending and initiatives and tools to support business customers to reduce emissions.

The bank’s progress against sustainability targets, revealed today in its sustainability report, follows BNZ becoming the first New Zealand bank to sign-up to the Net Zero Banking Alliance, committing the bank to reduce emissions across its investment and lending portfolios to net zero emissions by 2050.

BNZ CEO Dan Huggins says, “The work to tackle emissions requires a partnership approach. BNZ has a critical role to reduce our impacts and support our customers to transition to a low emissions future.

“We are working with large customers on transition plans, incentivising environmental improvements with sustainability linked loans and have supported 6,000 smaller businesses to measure and reduce emissions with the Climate Action Toolbox,” he says.

In the last 12 months BNZ developed the first farm sustainability linked loan with Lewis Road Creamery producer Southern Pastures and completed low emissions transition plans with several large business customers. In conjunction with partners including the Sustainable Business Network and MBIE, BNZ also launched the Climate Action Toolbox, an online tool to support small and medium businesses to measure and reduce emissions.

Making a Difference

BNZ’s sustainability report shows progress against a number of initiatives under the two pillars of its sustainability strategy Kaitiakitanga - accelerating the just transition to a net zero emissions economy that supports the regeneration of the natural environment – and Manaakitanga - growing the long-term social, cultural and financial wellbeing of all New Zealanders. These include:

Kaitiakitanga

  • $618 million in Sustainable Finance in FY21
  • 38% reduction in car fleet with 100% electric and plug in hybrid car fleet by 2023
  • First farm Sustainability Linked Loan with Southern Pastures and launched Climate Action Toolbox

Manaakitanga

  • $12.5 million in no and low interest loans and advances since 2014 including;
    • $514,000 payday advances through PayNow, partnership with Paysauce
    • $1.7 million in interest and fee free lending for Habitat for Humanity home repairs programme.
  • Launch of the digital pledge and digital skills report
  • 92,000 people helped to be safer online with BNZ Scam Savvy

Mr Huggins says, “As well as climate change, we’re intent on tackling issues that support the development of a more inclusive economy that benefits more people.

“We are working with a range of partners to increase the availability and affordability of warm, dry and secure homes and are investing in our capabilities to support the development of a vibrant Maori economy.

“We are also focused on being an inclusive employer, supporting the wellbeing of our people and increasing gender and Maori representation in our organisation,” he says.

You can find out more about BNZ’s Sustainability Strategy and progress against targets here, as well as how BNZ is managing its exposure to climate change in its climate risk disclosure statement.

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