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Environmental policy

Our Environmental Policy includes pledges to use energy and water more efficiently, to recycle more and to increase our customers’ environmental awareness. It also commits us to keeping our operations carbon neutral, which we’ve done since 2011.

To make our operations carbon neutral, each year we calculate the greenhouse gas emissions from our operations and purchase carbon offsets equivalent to our emissions. We report on our emissions and offsets each year in our annual Corporate Report, and have our emissions and offsets checked as part of our assurance process.

We generate more than 10% of our power at our head office with solar panels on our roof. We’re always looking for ways to improve, which is why we’ve committed to switching to 100% renewable electricity by the year 2020. We’re planning to make this switch by participating in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project.

Melbourne Renewable Energy Project

We’re part of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project – a group of organisations that have combined their purchasing power to build a new wind farm in regional Victoria, owned and operated by Melbourne based clean energy company Pacific Hydro.

The Melbourne Renewable Energy Project group is led by the City Of Melbourne and includes Bank Australia, University of Melbourne, RMIT, National Australia Bank, the City of Port Phillip, Moreland City Council, City of Yarra, Federation Square, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Zoos Victoria, Australia Post, Citywide, and NEXTDC.

The group plans to purchase 88 GWh of energy, which is the equivalent to powering more than 17,000 households in Melbourne for a year.

The first wind turbine towers will be installed in early 2018 with the project set to be complete in early 2019. The wind farm at the agricultural community of Crowlands, 205kms from Melbourne, was first proposed in 2007 and is now being made possible thanks to the unique partnership.

Photo credit: Pacific Hydro

Our commitments

Ahead of the Paris climate change talks in 2015, Bank Australia made seven commitments as part of We Mean Business, a global platform to demonstrate business leadership on climate action. These commitments have helped shape priorities of our environmental management action plan for the coming years.

Our commitments are:

Adopt a science-based emissions reduction target
We will ensure our emissions are in line with global budgets for limiting temperature increase to under 2°C

Put a price on carbon
We will set an internal price per tonne of carbon and use it in decision making

Commit to 100% renewable power
We will switch our electricity supply to renewable sources

Responsible corporate engagement in climate policy
We will engage consistently and positively with policymakers on climate change
 

Report climate change information in mainstream reports as a fiduciary duty
We will include information on climate-relevant topics in our Corporate Report

Remove commodity-driven deforestation from all supply chains by 2020
We will stop purchasing products that contribute to deforestation

Reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions
We will track and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

We are also a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, and a Founding Partner of the Victorian Government’s TAKE2 pledge.

Carbon Neutrality 2017

Our operations remained carbon neutral in 2017. Our greenhouse gas emissions were 1494 tonnes, which was a decrease of 2% compared to the previous year. Our main emissions reduction activity in 2017 was switching to LED lighting at our head office and most branch locations.

The decrease in emissions was achieved despite the bank’s growth, including four new branch and office locations that were added through our merger with Intech Credit Union. Emissions per full -time equivalent (FTE) staff member decreased by 13% in 2017 compared to the previous year. Since 2013, we’ve decreased our absolute operational emissions by 21%.

Emissions source

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

Change 2016 to 2017

Change 2013 to 2017

Scope 1 - direct emissions

         

 

 

Car travel - company owned

 21

 19

 16

 19

 21

11%

0%

Gas - scope 1

 49

 55

 63

 76

 85

-11%

-42%

Total scope 1

 70

 74

 79

 95

 107

-5%

-34%

Scope 2 - indirect emissions

         

 

 

Electricity - scope 2

1,001

 978

 1,184

 1,243

 1,340

2%

-25%

Scope 3 - other indirect emissions

         

 

 

Gas - scope 3

 4

 4

 5

 6

 7

-11%

-46%

Electricity - scope 3

 103

 117

 152

 165

 178

-12%

-42%

Car travel - company owned

 1.1

 1.0

 1.3

 1.5

 1.7

10%

-35%

Car travel - employee owned claims

 14

 10

 11

 6

 5

47%

169%

Car travel – packaged & job needs cars

 44

 31

 45

 47

 42

42%

5%

Air travel

151

 99

 76

 94

 118

53%

28%

Office paper (6.3 tonnes)

 0 

 12

 13

 14

 14

-100%

-100%

Statements paper (3.9 tonnes)

 0

 6

-

-

-

-100%

NA

Printing jobs, including paper and production

 40

 140

 51

 62

 23

-71%

71%

Waste – general waste to landfill

 66

 56

 52

 53

 46

17%

42%

Total scope 3

423

 475

 407

 449

 435

-11%

-3%

TOTAL EMISSIONS

 1,494

1,527

 1,670

 1,788

 1,882

-2%

-21%

TOTAL per FTE

 4

 5

 5

 6

 6

-13%

-32%

Notes

1. Our greenhouse gas emissions are defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol:

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions that we own or control (for example, owned motor vehicles)
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions, including emissions from the generation of purchased electricity
  • Scope 3: Other indirect emissions that are a consequence of our activities but have sources that we do not own or control (for example, air travel). 

2. Increases in several emissions sources were due to:

  • Waste: an increase in full-time equivalent staff members;
  • Air travel: extra travel required by the merger with Intech Credit Union;
  • Car travel: new cars added to the fleet through the merger with Intech Credit Union.

3. Emissions from paper use (office and statement paper) are recorded as zero because National Carbon Offset Standard-certified carbon neutral paper was used.

4.Emissions from printing decreased back to a usual level in 2017 – in 2016, extra printing was required due to the rebrand to Bank Australia.

Carbon offsets, 2017

Offset type

Registry

Serial numbers

Year retired

Tonnes of CO2-e

VCU—Tasmanian forestry

APX

4147-176344788-176345601-VCU-016-MER-AU-14-641-16042012-15042013-0

2016-17

814

ACCU—savannah burning

ANREU

3,745,332,012-3,745,332,824

2016-17

813

Total offsets purchased and retired

1,627

Total emissions

1,494

Surplus offsets banked for future years

133

 

Planet
23 Sep 2016

Planet
8 Jul 2016

Planet
28 Jul 2015

Planet
22 Jan 2016

Planet
27 Jul 2015