3 May 2010

Westpac first bank in New Zealand to offer carbon trading

Westpac is cutting through the green tape surrounding emissions trading and offering simple, practical and effective solutions to help New Zealand transition to a low carbon economy.

The bank has written to 600 representatives of the New Zealand forestry industry to discuss the option of dealing their carbon credits through Westpac, who will then package them up to help large carbon-liable companies trade off their carbon debits.

Westpac is the first New Zealand bank to offer this service and the first major financial institution to get actively involved in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. In fact, says Lloyd Cartwright, Managing Director of Westpac’s Financial Markets NZ, the bank is the first intermediary to enter the market beyond simply offering a broking service.

“This will provide the ‘missing link’ between smaller forestry companies with carbon credits on their books who are looking to monetise them now and corporate entities who need to acquire larger volumes of carbon credits to manage their liability,” he says.

“It helps ensure the forestry entities get good value for their carbon and also allows large liable entities to manage their carbon exposure in an efficient and cost effective manner,” says Cartwright. “And through this process we’re able to foster the creation of an actual market price for New Zealand units (NZUs).”

With a specialised Carbon Trading Team, based in Wellington, Westpac is no newcomer to the carbon trading scene. “We’re an internationally recognised trader, operating across New Zealand, Australia and European markets since 2006. This is really the next step for us to work with our customers to develop practical products and solutions, to help them transition into a low carbon operating environment,” says Cartwright.

Practising what it preaches:

  • Westpac New Zealand is working towards its own carbon reduction target of 20% by 2012. In 2009 the bank exceeded its target of total emissions and achieved a 28% reduction. Westpac’s overall Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction target for 2010 is a further 5% reduction on 2009 levels.
  • Westpac Banking Corporation was recognised as a global climate change leader at Money Magazine’s ‘Best of the Best’ awards taking the gold award for Climate Leadership.
  • Westpac Banking Corporation was also recognised as one of world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute (a research-based leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability) in 2008 and 2009.
  • In December 2008, Westpac New Zealand became the first bank in the world to attain the internationally recognised carbon emission reduction standard – CEMARS. Westpac Group has also been rated one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, announced at the World Economic Forum, every year since 2006.