Westpac NZ has set emissions intensity targets for its Dairy and Sheep and Beef lending portfolios, as it seeks to future-proof its customers and its own business from the impacts of climate change. As part of Westpac’s Net Zero Banking Alliance commitment to finance climate action to help the economy transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the new portfolio level targets are:
- Dairy Sector: 10% reduction in financed emissions intensity (tCO2-e/t of Fat and Protein Correct Milk) by 2030, from a 2021 baseline.
- Sheep and Beef: 9% reduction in financed emissions intensity (tCO2-e/t of fresh weight/carcass weight) by 2030, from a 2021 baseline.
Westpac NZ General Manager of Institutional and Business Banking Reuben Tucker says the targets are for improvements in the emissions intensity of the bank’s lending, rather than outright reductions.
“The world needs good-quality food and we want our Agri customers to continue supporting production through their operations, but also to consider how they can do so more efficiently,” Mr Tucker says.
“New Zealand has some of the best farmers in the world. We want to help them stay ahead of the pack by future-proofing their businesses to deliver products that cater to the preferences of increasingly climate-conscious consumers in key export markets. We believe that efficient and sustainable farmers can do this and be profitable.
“We know farmers have a lot on their plate at the moment. This is why we want to work together with customers to better understand the risks and opportunities, and ultimately set their businesses up to be more successful long-term. This means asking them to measure their emissions and share their information with us. Many of our farmer customers are doing this already.”
Westpac NZ has already enabled more than $1bn of lending through its Sustainable Farm Loan, launched in June. This product incentivises best farming practices, including developing emissions reduction plans.
The bank has also commissioned the Westpac NZ Lincoln University Agribusiness Climate Change Report and the Journeaux Economics On-Farm Greenhouse Gas Mitigations report to provide customers with insights on how to build more sustainable and resilient farms.
“We’re committed to supporting Aotearoa’s transition to a net-zero emissions economy and these targets are part of that,” Mr Tucker says.
“We encourage customers to get in touch with us if they have any questions or concerns about these targets – our bankers are here to help.”
About the Net Zero Banking Alliance
The Net Zero Banking Alliance is a group of banks worldwide, who have committed to supporting the transition to net-zero by 2050. As part of this, a member bank is required to set science-based emissions reduction targets for its most material lending portfolios.