We have made it a strategic focus to increase lending to the clean technology and environmental services (CleanTech) sector, including industries such as renewable energy, waste minimisation, forestry, green buildings and innovative, emerging green businesses.
Since 2012, we’ve invested $327 million in gross new lending the CleanTech sector, taking our total sector lending to $1.17bn in 2015. We have committed to a new target of $100 million in gross new lending over the next two years.
We have partnered with recognised CleanTech leaders, Greenhouse Cleantech, to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the sector. We have surveyed approximately 500 New Zealand CleanTech and Environment Network (NZCEN) members and are using these findings to develop a national CleanTech industry programme, which can support our lending to this sector.
We are determined to work with others to influence stakeholders and develop business-led solutions. We are delighted that Karen Silk, Westpac General Manager Commercial, Corporate and Institutional Banking, is chair of the Sustainable Business Council’s Climate Change Leadership Initiative Governance Group. In 2015, this group published the Business Brief on Climate Change, presented to the Paris Climate Conference (COP21), which sets out where businesses want to lead on climate change through to 2020 and calls for the government to negotiate an ambitious, inclusive post-2020 global climate agreement.
Gary Nalder, Westpac Institutional Bank Director Asset Finance, sits on the Board of Drive Electric, a leadership organisation at the core of the emerging electric vehicle industry in New Zealand. Gary is assisting with the development of finance structures that support the uptake of electric vehicles in New Zealand, and provides valuable insights geared from the wide variety of customer groups that Westpac represents.