Westpac NZ Announces a Suite of Sustainability Initiatives
Westpac New Zealand has launched a slew of new sustainability initiatives, including a new sustainable finance loan for farmers.
The bank will increase its interest-free loans to assist customers in making their homes warmer, healthier, and more energy-efficient.
Westpac New Zealand has also launched a new Responsible Banking and Investment Position and a new commitment to align its banking operations with a future with net-zero emissions.
Catherine McGrath, the chief executive officer of the bank, states that the bank is committed to assisting customers who wish to take positive action.
“Climate change is a growing threat to our environment, communities, and business. Cutting emissions reduces risk, helps protect the world we live in for future generations and also creates opportunities to do things in new ways,” she says.
According to McGrath, the bank has decreased its emissions by 60 per cent.
“With today’s announcement, we’re lifting our game across the bank to support our customers to reduce their carbon emissions.”
A small group of farmers are participating in the Sustainable Agribusiness Loans pilot programme.
According to McGrath, the loan is the first of its kind, requiring agricultural clients to adhere to all Sustainable Agriculture Finance Initiative recommendations.
“This guidance includes practices to reduce emissions, improve long-term resilience and deliver more sustainable outcomes in terms of water, waste, pollution and ecosystems.”
Once farmers commit to complying with the recommendations, they have two years to reach their objective and will receive discounted loan rates.
“Agriculture is a key part of New Zealand’s economy, and we provide high-quality food and produce to the world. We must take an innovative approach to lend to help our customers achieve their sustainability goals while remaining productive.”
Source: Rural News