BNZ swears by Net Zero Banking Alliance

(United Nations Environment Programme 2021 Report)

Supplied Content
Auckland, November 6, 2021

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has signed up to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), committing it to work with customers to increase sustainability and reduce emissions that align to net-zero emissions by 2050.

In becoming the first New Zealand bank to commit to membership of the Net Zero Banking Alliance, an industry-led, UN-convened alliance of banks worldwide, BNZ will accelerate a reduction in operational and attributable Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions across its lending and investment portfolios. It will do this by incentivising emissions reduction and working with customers on transition plans that align their businesses to net-zero pathways.

Critical role in the society

BNZ Chief Executive Dan Huggins said that the Bank has a critical role to play as New Zealand transitions to a low emissions future, including supporting our customers to accelerate emissions reductions and deliver a healthier, greener future.

“Joining the Net Zero Banking Alliance shows that we are serious about leading efforts to lower emissions across our operations and all our portfolios to help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees,” he said.

According to him, BNZ’s operations are already carbon-neutral and committing to the NZBA will help focus its work to reduce emissions through the bank’s lending and investments.

“We are already working with large customers to develop transition plans that lower emissions and increase sustainability. Earlier this year, we launched New Zealand’s first on-farm Sustainability Linked Loan, tying environmental and social change to lower lending costs,” he said.

(BNZ Chief Executive Dan Huggins (Photo Supplied)

The Climate Action Toolbox

Mr Huggins said that BNZ intends to use the Climate Action Toolbox to support its small and medium business customers to measure and reduce emissions across their operations, and the bank will continue to develop its Responsible Investment Policy to further reduce exposure to carbon-intensive sectors such as Oil and Gas and Coal.

“The work to lower emissions is urgent. Every business and customer has a role to play in addressing climate change and we want to encourage action to get there faster,” he said.

The decision of BNZ to join the Net Zero Banking Alliance coincided with the COP26 Summit held in Glasgow, Scotland to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

About Net Zero Banking Alliance

The NZBA is convened by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and is the banking element of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, chaired by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance ahead of COP26.

Representing more than a third of global banking assets, with over 76 members from 35 countries and $54 trillion in total assets, the Alliance is a critical step in the mobilisation of the financial sector for climate. It recognises the vital role of banks in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net-zero emissions, encompassing both operational and attributable emissions, including Scope 3 emissions.

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