Westpac NZ seeks emissions reduction for rural lending portfolio

It's targeting a 10% reduction in emissions
calendar icon 16 November 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Westpac New Zealand is targeting a reduction in the emissions produced by the livestock-based farming sector it lends to as it works to cut planet-warming gases from its lending and investment portfolio, Reuters reported, citing the bank on Wednesday.

The bank, a subsidiary of Westpac Banking Corp, said it was targeting a 10% reduction in emissions relative to production by 2030 from its dairy lending portfolio and wanted to see a 9% reduction in its sheep and beef lending portfolio. The reductions are based on a 2021 baseline.

Westpac NZ General Manager of Institutional and Business Banking Reuben Tucker said the targets are for improvements in the emissions intensity of the bank’s lending, rather than outright reductions.

Tucker said they were asking farmers to measure their emissions and share that information with the bank.

“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,” he said.

The move comes after dairy giant Fonterra Co-Operative Group said last week it want its nearly 8,500 farms to reduce emissions by 30% by 2030 in part because finance was going to become more difficult if reductions were not made.

Westpac NZ in June launched a farm sustainable loan, which provides a lower financing rate for farmers working to improve sustainability practices and build more resilient farms.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.