The actions that NatWest Group takes on climate change matter, because every stage of the transition needs to be financed.

Alison Rose
NatWest Group CEO

Good for the planet, good for business

We want to deliver a more sustainable economy and future for the customers and communities we serve, which is why addressing climate change – one of the biggest issues of our time – is a key strategic priority for the bank. It sits at the heart of our purpose, because we know that tackling climate change is not only good for the planet, but good for our customers and our business too.

Our ‘Springboard to Sustainable Recovery’ report clearly highlights this. The report shows that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) can deliver a significant amount of the UK’s abatement targets, if they get the right support. And this, we believe, is a huge opportunity for businesses.

This was one of the key messages we wanted to highlight as a principal partner for COP26. Since then, it has been crucial that we build on that sentiment and the successes of the conference, strengthening our ambition towards achieving net zero through championing climate solutions, building powerful partnerships, supporting our customers, and reducing the impact of our own operations.


Financing the transition and providing practical steps

The actions that NatWest Group takes on climate change matter, because every stage of the transition needs to be financed. We are helping our customers to achieve their climate and sustainability ambitions: whether it is by supporting our UK mortgage customers to increase the energy efficiency of their homes, or by delivering the finance to enable green business solutions.

With the current pressure on energy supplies and the rising cost of living, these practical solutions are increasingly important and make the long-term case for investment more powerful. Energy efficiency is one of the best ways of defending against high energy prices, and if implemented in an affordable way, will benefit a significant amount of people. We also know that there is strong demand from consumers, with our Greener Homes Attitude Tracker showing that around 63% of the public want to make their homes more energy efficient.

As one of the UK’s biggest banks for retail customers, and a big supporter of business, we have a clear role to play not just in providing the financing, but giving our customers the practical tools they need to transition. 

A clear opportunity

The opportunity that the transition presents to businesses is clear. With the right support, the UK’s SMEs could create up to 130,000 new jobs, produce around 30,000 new businesses and deliver an estimated £160 billion revenue opportunity for the UK economy through the transition.

By helping more families and businesses to make moves like these now, NatWest Group can accelerate the shift to a greener economy. This is an opportunity for our customers and NatWest Group, because tackling climate change is not only a priority for the people, businesses and communities we serve, but also makes sound business sense.

We have made significant progress in turning our climate ambition into action since setting out our climate strategy in 2020. As a founding member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), and as a principal partner of COP26, in 2021 NatWest Group established itself as one of the leading voices for finance on tackling climate change.

Putting our customers first

As our customers face the growing cost-of-living crisis, we continue to put them first, helping them with the practical tools, support and financing they need to navigate the transition. As we do this, we aim to maintain our leadership position at COP27 and on the next big climate discussions: biodiversity and the circular economy – both crucial factors in keeping global warming to within 1.5ºC.

We recognise that we still must do more – individually as a business, and in partnership with others – to contribute to achieving the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and addressing biodiversity/environmental-related matters. We remain focused on the task ahead, aware of both our responsibility and the opportunity of being part of the climate solution.

Climate Matters

Our Climate Matters publication features a foreword from COP26 President, The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, and articles from our Head of Climate and ESG Capital Markets, Caroline Haas on carbon credits, as well as our Head of Climate James Close on what drives his passion for climate change.

Read now (PDF 3.9MB)

Caution about this article. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the ones of Alison Rose and do not necessarily represent the views of the NatWest Group. This article (i) has been prepared for information and reference purposes only; (ii) is intended to provide non-exhaustive, indicative and general information only; (iii) does not purport to be comprehensive; and (iv) does not provide any form of legal, tax, investment, accounting, financial or other advice. Click here to read the full Climate Matters document that contains cautionary statements relating to this content. (PDF 3.9MB) 

Please see NatWest’s 2021 Climate-related Disclosures Report for those views and other information including about our financed emissions and heightened climate-related risk sectors.

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