Care for the planet

Manaaki te ao

Overview

Our aim is to support Aotearoa’s transition to a resilient, net zero emissions economy for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report highlighted the existential threat from climate change, as world leaders prepare to lift their commitments for rapid decarbonisation at the November 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
Aotearoa’s independent Climate Change Commission tells us that a transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is achievable and affordable. We believe business and the financial sector have a major role to play to reduce emissions and prepare communities for the impacts of climate change. We need to address climate change with urgency, understand the risks to our customers and our business, and help our communities to respond.

How are we supporting Aotearoa’s transition to a net zero emissions economy?

We’re addressing climate change with urgency by managing climate risks in our business, reducing, disclosing and offsetting our own emissions, helping our customers manage their transition to a low carbon economy and reducing the carbon intensity of our lending and investments over time. We want to ensure capital flows to the parts of the economy where it is needed most to facilitate the transition efficiently and effectively.
1. Net zero operations.

Measure, reduce and report our footprint and encourage suppliers and our team members to do the same.

2. Help Aotearoa take action on climate change.

Build climate change risk and opportunity into our lending and investment decisions, and help our customers to do the same.

Our journey supporting a cleaner, greener Aotearoa.

2021
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Funding the transition to net zero.

Our customers and communities want us to take action on climate change. Like every business, it’s our responsibility to reduce our negative impact on the environment and take on important challenges like social inequality and climate change.

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Accelerating sustainable finance to businesses in Aotearoa.

We’ve worked with our business customers to provide and support innovative sustainable financing, including the world’s first certified Green Loan for the shipping industry, Australasia’s first Social Loan and market-leading Sustainability-Linked Loans for Pāmu, Genesis Energy, The Warehouse Group and Summerset.

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Lending to climate change solutions and fossil fuel extraction and production.

Since 2012 we have reduced our lending to fossil fuel mining and production by 68% and we have stopped lending to coal mining and production. We’re the only bank in Aotearoa to transparently publish these figures.

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Leading for change.

We’re committed to aligning our KiwiSaver and other investments to a pathway which limits global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. We do this by investing in more climate change solutions, excluding all major fossil fuel activities and influencing the companies we invest in to take bold action on climate change.

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2020
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Our first Climate Risk Report.

Completed a scenario analysis to better understand the Bank’s exposure to climate risk and sea level rise, and disclosing financial risks based on the recommendations of the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

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Set a $10b sustainable finance target.

We were the first New Zealand bank to set a sustainable finance target in 2013. We have continued to increase our sustainable lending ambition and in 2020 we released a new target to enable $10b sustainable finance by 2025. We’ll achieve this by providing at least $6b of sustainable lending (such as renewable energy, green buildings, low carbon transport, social and affordable housing and vocational education), and facilitating $4b of sustainable bonds for our customers and Westpac NZ.

Warmer, healthier homes.

We introduced Westpac Warm Up, a $10,000 interest free home loan to help our customers make improvements to their home, as healthy and energy-efficient homes aren’t just good for the environment - they’re good for the whole whānau.

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First carbon neutral certified bank.

We became Aotearoa’s first Toitū carbonzero certified bank. We’re actively reducing our operational emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and offsetting the remainder by purchasing native permanent forestry carbon credits.

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2019
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Our first green bond.

We were the first bank in Aotearoa to raise funding by issuing a green bond.

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30% of our vehicles are now electric.

Converted 30% of our fleet to electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. We now have a target of 100% electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. We are now targeting 100% of our fleet to be electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids by 2025.

2018

Co-chaired the Sustainable Finance Forum.

Designed a roadmap to help Aotearoa shift the financial system that supports economic, social and environmental outcomes.

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Founding member of the Climate Leaders Coalition.

A group of companies committed to measuring and reporting and reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions and working with suppliers and our team to reduce their emissions.

2013

Committed to New Zealand’s first Sustainable Finance target.

We were the first bank in Aotearoa to set a target for sustainable finance ($150m in 2013) and have since raised our ambition and increased it to $10b by 2025.

2012

21% reduction in carbon emissions.

Against our 2008 baseline.

2010

First institution to market (NZETS).

In 2010 we were the first institution to make a market under the Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS).

2008

Our first carbon emissions reduction target.

Measured our carbon footprint and committed to reduce emissions by 20% by 2012.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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Material issues addressed

  • Climate change and environment
  • Biodiversity

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