Sustainability stories.

Helping New Zealand take action on climate change.

Climate change is a major threat to the planet and humanity, our economy and wellbeing. Tackling this threat means being more efficient with the resources we use, to steadily reduce our emissions. Taking action on climate change also presents opportunities – for new jobs, new technologies and new services. Our role as a bank is to help create a financial system that directs more funds towards sustainable purposes.

Westpac has committed to making up to $2 billion available to climate change solutions. To date, we have lent $1.6 billion.

First NZ bank to issue a green bond to combat climate change.

Westpac has become the first New Zealand bank to raise wholesale funding through a green bond.

  • Westpac (and other banks) lend money to customers to invest into their homes and businesses. These funds can come from either deposits from consumer or business customers or by issuing bonds to investors.
  • Green bonds are a type of bond issued exclusively to fund projects with positive environmental and/or climate impacts.
  • Issuing green bonds to international investors supports Westpac's sustainable lending targets, and utilises a growing global appetite for sustainable investment products.
  • Connecting climate-conscious investors with sustainable projects increases investment into climate change solutions, and contributes towards a more sustainable financial system overall.
  • We want to support our customers to transition to more sustainable business models, and direct more capital towards assets and outcomes to build a better future for all of New Zealand.
  • To achieve this, Westpac is expanding its Sustainable Finance function in New Zealand.
Solar panels
Sustainable Finance image

Leadership in taking climate risk seriously.

Climate change is recognised as a source of financial risk to our customers and the economy as a whole.

  • In 2018, Westpac published its Climate Change Impact Report, which looked at different scenarios for New Zealand to transition to a low carbon economy.
  • Taking guidance from the recently published recommendation of the Taskforce for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Westpac is now progressing a more detailed analysis of climate risks to the Bank itself.
  • Westpac joined the Aotearoa Circle in 2018, a partnership of public and private sector leaders committed to halting and reversing the decline of New Zealand’s natural resources.
  • Westpac General Manager, Experience Hub, Karen Silk, is the Co-chair of the Sustainable Finance Forum (SFF), the first project of the Aotearoa Circle. The SFF is designing a Sustainable Finance Roadmap to help New Zealand shift to a financial system that supports sustainable social, environmental and economic wellbeing. The SFF will identify opportunities and make recommendations to help New Zealand meet its Paris commitments to reduce our emissions and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Westpac was a founding member of the Climate Leaders Coalition to promote business leadership and collective action on climate change.
JN15855 10 19 Fossil Fuel Graph 2000px

Rebalancing lending from fossil fuel mining and extraction to climate change solutions.

Westpac has committed to making up to $2 billion available to climate change solutions. To date, we have lent $1.6 billion to businesses for climate change solutions.

Since 2012 our total committed lending exposure to fossil fuel extraction and production has decreased by 61% to $272 million. We’re the only bank in New Zealand to transparently publish these figures.

  • We review all lending applications against our Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Risk Policy.
  • Our focus is on taking a science-based approach to a just transition.
  • Research by New Zealand’s Interim Climate Change Committee shows natural gas will continue to play a role supporting peak electricity generation for some time, replacing more carbon intensive forms of energy generation (coal, diesel) when there is insufficient wind or water to generate electricity.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

E Inverted Icons WEB 07
E Inverted Icons WEB 11
E Inverted Icons WEB 13