Climate change policy statement
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is committed to climate change action.
In 2020, the Bank built on and replaced the Statement of Commitment to the Environment the Executive team pledged to in 2010 with our Climate Change Policy Statement. Following an annual review, this was updated in October 2021.
Our four focus areas
To meet the commitment embodied within our Policy Statement, the Bank will concentrate its efforts on the following four focus areas of activity. These incorporate the direct and indirect environmental impacts and influence the Bank has through its operations.
- Reduce our footprint: We will reduce the carbon and environmental footprint of our own operations.
- Support our customers: We will support our customers and communities by taking actions required to mitigate, adapt and respond to climate change.
- Understand and manage the risks: We will optimise our climate change risk governance and risk management framework.
- Be transparent: We will disclose our climate-related performance.
Our action plan
Our climate change action plan outlines the action we will take for each of our four focus areas and is designed to:
- improve our climate outcomes;
- drive cultural change and engage our people and customers;
- enhance our climate change governance and risk management framework;
- report on our climate change performance.
Our focus areas in action
Here’s some examples of activities we already undertake in these focus areas. We look forward to expanding this activity as we enact our Climate Change Action Plan.
Reduce our footprint
Maintain carbon neutral status
Purchase 100% renewable energy by 2025
Reduce absolute emissions by 50% by 2030
Energy ratings for corporate sites
The Bank’s major corporate sites in Bendigo and Adelaide were designed and built with environmental sustainability and energy efficiency as a priority. Opened in 2008, the Bendigo Centre was the first 5 Star Green Star building in regional Australia, boasting a water treatment plant with the capacity to recycle 15,000 litres of waste water per day, underfloor air-conditioning for energy efficiency, and solar panels to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy.
The Bank’s Adelaide office building achieved a 5 Star Green Star rating for construction, design and interior fit out and a Green Council of Australia 5 Star Green Star Office Interiors certification. Using about half the energy of a typical office, the building features underfloor air-conditioning and central atria to encourage natural light, while more than 1,200 plants improve the health and wellbeing of staff and guests.
Solar Panel Installation
Following a successful pilot project to assess the impact of PV Solar Installations on our branches, additional branch and office sites are being assessed to expand the project across our branch network. As at 30 June 2021, 30 branches now have rooftop solar installed.
We are working to reduce our business travel emissions with a target in place to maintain travel at 25 percent below 2018/19 levels. We also ensure electric or hybrid vehicles are the default options for our business' fleet. In addition, we offset our carbon emissions from travel that is necessary by partnering with the not-for-profit carbon offset provider, Greenfleet, through their biodiverse revegetation program.
The Bank’s contribution to the Greenfleet program results in trees being planted across Australia, not just offsetting our travel emissions but improving water quality, reducing soil degradation and providing essential habitats for native wildlife. This support is in addition to carbon offsets that are purchased to attain carbon neutral status.
In a first of its kind initiative for a big bank, we have partnered with Melbourne-based, multi-award-winning recyclers, Upparel to embark on a major nationwide uniform recycling program to turn mountains of old clothing - from up to 470 Australia-wide branches - into soft filling that will be re-used and re-purposed for filling in products including furniture.
Staff sustainability group initiatives
Staff-initiated sustainability groups operate in both our Bendigo and Adelaide head offices. They collaborate to educate employees on sustainability initiatives in the office and work with building management to identify and implement initiatives such as food waste recycling.
For World Environment Day 2021, employees participated in a sustainability pledge campaign, sharing their ideas on how they are personally creating a more sustainable future. The most popular themes included: Reduce/reuse/recycle, compost, solar panels/battery, minimise packaging and vegetable patches.
Staff discounts to reduce their footprint at home
The Bank has partnered with various organisations including Tindo Solar, Upparel and Greenfleet to support its employees to reduce their own environmental footprint by offering access to staff discounts on solar panels and batteries, textile recycling and emissions offsets via tax deductible donations.
Our Community Bank network supports local communities to lower their footprint
Utilising profits generated through the Bank’s shared value model, we support community-led climate action initiatives, such as:
- School composting
- Energy and environmental forum initiatives.
- Education support
- Landcare initiatives
- Rural climate change session for farmers,
- Solar panels for community groups with physical infrastructure such as RSL, Scouts, bowls and golf clubs,
- Various tree planting initiatives.
Support our customers
Green Personal Loans
We’ve been offering Green Loans since 2002 and today our award winning, discounted personal loans support our customers to lower their carbon and environmental footprint by purchasing low emission vehicles, solar power systems, solar hot water, grey water treatment plants, top energy saving white goods and other approved investments.
Supporting farmers with climate management
The Bank is taking part in Deloitte’s Gravity Challenge 03 which seeks to solve real world problems across a multitude of sectors using space technologies and global collaboration. The challenge we set innovators to solve is “to equip Australian farmers with climate management tools to build resilience and strengthen their business viability.”
A collection of global innovators are working on the challenge and we look forward to announcing the exciting opportunities and efficiencies this may present to further support our customers.
Community Renewable Projects
The bank has provided funding to a number of community renewable energy projects such as Hepburn Wind and Warburton Hydro to support our customers and their communities to lower their carbon footprint.
National Home Energy Ratings Initiative
We’ve supported the NSW Government on behalf of the Commonwealth on a national home energy ratings initiative.
The intent of the national home energy ratings initiative includes:
- increasing the energy efficiency of existing homes across Australia
- reducing carbon emissions and tenants’ electricity bills; and
- making more Australian homes cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
This initiative may further increase opportunities for us to support our customers and communities to mitigate, adapt, and respond to climate change.
Understand and manage the risks
The environment in our business decisions
Our Bank considers the social and environmental outcomes of business decisions we make and believe we have an important role in supporting a transition to a lower emissions future. As an example of these considerations, our Bank does not lend directly to projects in the following sectors, and will not start to do so:
- Coal seam gas;
- Crude Oil;
- Natural gas;
- Native forest logging.
Whilst the Bank does not provide finance directly to projects in these sectors, it does recognise there are individual and business customers and their communities which rely on such projects for their livelihood and economic sustainability. The Bank will continue to provide finance and other services to those individuals and businesses who may provide support to those sectors. We recognise we play an important role in supporting communities, both today, and as we transition to a lower emissions future.
Climate Change Action Plan and Climate-related Financial Disclosures
The Bank has been registered as a supporter of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures since 2020.
Carbon neutral certification
The Bank was certified carbon neutral for its operations from financial year 2019/20 against the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard.
Carbon emissions disclosure
We have voluntarily reported our carbon emissions since 2011 to the world’s largest database of carbon information, CDP. CDP works with thousands of businesses globally, helping them to implement effective carbon emission reduction strategies.
View our most recent CDP Submission
The Bank has a target to reduce absolute emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2020 baseline. The table outlines our program towards this target:
Absolute emissions reduction target process
|Emissions (t C02e)*||Base year||Current year||% Change|
|FY2020||FY2021||To FY20 Baseline|
|Subtotal (Scope 1 & 2)||20,082.19||15,997.45||-20%|
Things you should know
* As some emissions data may not be available at the time some annual reporting is prepared, estimates may have been used in the annual reporting which varies from these figures. This variance is no more than 4% in the reported periods.
Emissions stated here are those which we can measure on a monthly basis.
Additional emissions such as those associated with employee commute, post and office equipment are captured through our annual carbon neutral accreditation process.
We’ve estimated that the COVID-19 lockdown measures contributed to an additional 1.67kt C02-e emission reductions in the FY2020 year. While it’s not expected that these reductions will persist to the same extent, in the long term, they do highlight some opportunities to reduce the footprint of our operations which we’ll explore.