To mark our first anniversary of becoming carbonzero-certified, Westpac NZ will plant a native tree for every Youth Account opened during April.
Youth Accounts are for children and teenagers up to 19 years old.
Planting native trees is a continuation of Westpac NZ’s sustainability strategy, including becoming New Zealand's first Toitū carbonzero certified bank in 2020.
Westpac NZ Sustainability Senior Lead Kate van Praagh, said the initiative seemed like a natural alignment.
“We know how important biodiversity is to tackle climate change and how passionate our young Kiwis are about solving these issues, so this seemed like a natural fit,” she said.
Native trees help reduce the impact of climate change as well as improve biodiversity.
There are 27 different types of native New Zealand trees which will be planted, including Mānuka, Kānuka, Kahikatea, Tōtara and Kōwhai.
All the trees will be planted at Turihaua Station on the coast north of Gisborne as riparian planting.
This will help create a 2km green corridor for native birds as well as helping to minimise bank erosion and sedimentation.
So far, Westpac NZ has planted 2,450 trees since 2018, through Trees That Count.
Westpac NZ’s emissions are already quite low, but being Toitū carbonzero certified means actively reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. Remaining emissions are offset by purchasing voluntary native permanent forestry carbon credits.
To open a Youth Account, go to the Westpac NZ website to download the application form and contact your nearest branch to make an appointment to set up the account.