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.
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
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.
Follow Me Printing is a print reduction initiative that allows staff to select documents to print from a networked printer, reducing unclaimed, misprinted or lost documents and thus saving electricity and paper. All printers across the Bank’s corporate sites are now Follow Me Printing enabled. The Bank also has a continuing commitment to purchase 100 percent carbon neutral paper for all sites.
A pilot project to assess the impact of new installations of PV Solar on energy consumption and costs has been rolled out this year at 7 branches across 3 Australian states, including South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.
To date, the pilot program has delivered annualised energy savings of up to 50% per site and reduced the Bank's CO2 emissions by more than 200 tonnes annually. More branch and office sites are currently being assessed to expand this project.
We are working to reduce business travel to cut our transport emissions. We also offset our carbon emissions from the 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 this year resulted in 13,650 trees planted across Australia, not just offsetting our travel emissions but improving water quality, reducing soil degradation and providing essential habitat for native wildlife. Since our partnership began with Greenfleet in 2014, more than 113,500 trees have been planted.
Support our customers
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.
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.
Understand and manage the risks
Our Bank considers the social and environmental outcomes of business decisions we make. As an example of these considerations, our Bank does not lend directly to projects in the coal and coal seam gas sectors, and will not start to do so.
Our Group has 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.
Our total C02-e emissions have fallen by a third in the past 5 years due to the implementation of numerous activities to reduce carbon emissions including energy efficiency initiatives, roof top solar installation in branches, decreased paper consumption, and reduced business travel.
* 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.