We’re proud that our Conservation Reserve is a world first for a bank. But why have we taken the unusual step of acquiring a private nature reserve on behalf of our customers, and what is the purpose of the project?
First steps into conservation
The bank started looking for the first of our three Reserve properties in 2008. The original purpose of this project was twofold:
- Our customers told us they wanted us to do more in the areas of climate change and environmental sustainability. We identified a private nature reserve as a way we could use our collective impact as a customer-owned bank to make a tangible difference
- We identified that the reserve could help us to offset some of the impact of our lending activities
A new vision for the future
When we first purchased the Minimay property, we were advised that several threatened species were likely to call the reserve. We had a rare opportunity to protect this important habitat in perpetuity. Working with Trust for Nature, a conservation covenant was placed onto the property so that it is protected forever from development and preserved for future generations. In 2010 and 2012 we purchased another two properties in the region – both of which are now under a Trust for Nature conservation covenant.
After 9 years of planting and habitat restoration, we’ve developed a new vision for the reserve that will see it become a thriving example of science-based conservation in action. Read more about our vision for the future.
A legacy for our customers
Since European settlement, vast areas of Australia have been cleared. Human activity and natural events such as fire, drought and flood continue to change Australia’s ecology. Such change can reduce biodiversity and threaten the survival of many native species. At present, more than 310 species of native animals and over 1180 species of native plants are at threat of extinction.1
In Victoria, between one quarter and one third of all the state’s land-based plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, along with numerous invertebrates and ecological communities, are threatened with extinction. According to Trust for Nature, most of Victoria’s threatened species live on privately owned land2 making reserves like ours crucial to protecting these precious species from extinction.