Kiwibank to Make Sustainable Business Loans More Widely Available

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by KnowESG

From September 26, 2022, Kiwibank will offer sustainable business loans with preferential interest rates to its business banking customers. Through its cooperation with sustainability fintech Cogo, it has become the first bank to enable qualifying business customers to quantify their carbon footprint. Kiwibank is committed to fostering the success of New Zealand businesses and will continue to balance performance and purpose under its Responsible Business Banking policy.

Kiwibank will offer preferential interest rates on sustainable loans to all eligible business banking customers, allowing more New Zealand companies to implement sustainability initiatives to help reduce their carbon footprint.

The loans provide Kiwibank's business customers access to preferential pricing for recognised sustainability purposes, regardless of the industry they operate in (retail, information technology, or fast-moving consumer products).

Additionally, to provide businesses with the tools they need to monitor the performance of their sustainability initiatives, the B Corp-certified bank has teamed with sustainability fintech Cogo to enable qualifying company customers to calculate their emission footprint.

Kiwibank Chief Executive Steve Jurkovich said: 

“New Zealand is a country of small and medium enterprises that not only make a critical contribution to our economy and our communities but are essential for the future prosperity of our nation.

“Sustainable finance shouldn’t be reserved for big businesses alone. We will be the first Kiwi bank to offer an off-the-shelf sustainable loan option for all businesses, no matter their size or industry type. This is about providing the support small and medium enterprises need to thrive in the global economy of the future. We will help them fund and realise their sustainability credentials to earn investor and customer trust.

"As a certified B Corporation, we well understand that enduring commercial success is linked to more than just financial assets. Sustainability is a growing concern for all of us and a major component of the resilience and long-term performance of organisations. This is business banking for better."

Kiwibank will ensure that it withholds banking services from entities outlined in its Responsible Business Banking policy, such as fossil fuels, casinos, military-grade weapons, and tobacco.

Kiwibank Head of Sustainable Finance Tom Williams said: 

“Around half of SMEs are already taking active steps to improve sustainability, but when it comes to measuring their emissions, many don’t know where to start or are too busy running their businesses to take further action.

“To achieve our nation’s goal to reduce emissions, every Kiwi business needs to take action. Kiwibank will be encouraging businesses to make better decisions by mainstreaming access to sustainable finance and giving those businesses the ability to easily track their carbon footprint.”

Cogo uses categorised transactional data, such as power and fuel expenditures, to assign a carbon footprint to each transaction. 

Featured Article: SDGs for SMEs - The Importance of UN Goals for your Business

Qualifying Kiwibank business banking customers will be able to calculate their carbon footprint at no cost and with no effort. The web-based application will also provide information and recommendations on how to minimise corporate emissions and increase productivity.

The New Zealand-owned, B Corp-certified bank is the first bank in Aotearoa to provide its business banking customers with a digital carbon control solution.

Cogo APAC CEO Julie Lindenberg said: 

“As a country, New Zealand has always been vocal about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but achieving this will take leadership. Our collective action can have a dramatic impact in terms of addressing climate change.

“Kiwibank is leading the banking industry in New Zealand by recognising the key role banks have to play in enabling individuals and businesses to spearhead this change. The time to reduce our carbon footprint is now. We cannot wait. We’re proud to be the go-to solution for change for the world’s largest banks, and we’re excited about kicking off this change in Aotearoa, in partnership with Kiwibank.”

Source: Kiwibank

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