NatWest Group and COP26
We are determined to be a leading bank on addressing climate change. Being one of the principal partners of COP26 is a clear demonstration of that.
Leading the way in addressing the causes of climate change
We are clear that climate change is one of the most important issues we face. We know that we must act now if we are to build a resilient economy for the future. This means not just preparing ourselves and our customers for change but also looking at how we can help our customers to take advantage of the many opportunities transitioning to a low carbon future offers.
How do we tackle climate change?
Our ambition is to be the leading bank in the UK & RoI helping to address the climate challenge. Climate is a key areas of focus in our purpose-led strategy alongside enterprise and learning.
- At least halve the climate impact of our financing activity by 2030 and intend to do what is necessary to achieve alignment with the 2015 Paris agreement.
- Having surpassed our previous £20bn target in H1 2021, in October 2021 NatWest Group announced an additional £100 billion Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing by the end of 2025.
- Make own operations climate positive by 2025, having already achieved our ambition to make them net carbon zero by the end of 2020.
We recognise that climate change is a critical global issue which has significant implications for our customers, employees, stakeholders, suppliers, partners and therefore NatWest Group itself. Taking the necessary actions to address the climate challenge has the potential to create jobs, transform communities and touch every family in the country. To tackle climate change, we must think long term and act quickly, working in partnership with others to achieve together, what cannot be achieved alone.
Climate change is a significant challenge, probably the greatest we are likely to face in our lifetimes. Solving this will require UK and international industry, regulators, governments and experts to come together and find solutions. We are determined to not just play our part, but to lead on the collaboration and cooperation that is so critical to influencing the transition to a low carbon economy.
Our work so far:
- NatWest Group has been externally recognised by Inframation Deals League Table as a leading lender to the UK renewables sector by number of transactions over the past 10 years. In 2020, NatWest Group was ranked 1st in UK project finance renewables lending.
- Provided £12.0 billion against the £20 billion Climate and Sustainable Finance commitment in 2020. As a result of this progress, the timeline for the commitment has been brought forward from 2022 to 2021.
- We achieved a score of A- in the 2020 CDP Climate Change Survey, one of the strongest scores amongst our peers.
- Net Zero Carbon was achieved across our own operations in 2020. We achieved this through a combination of emissions reductions, alongside offsetting residual Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions (business travel) through the purchase of internationally-recognised TIST (The International Small Group and Tree Planting Program) Carbon Credits. In recognition of the exceptional circumstances in 2020, we have also offset all emissions from home working. We plan to be Climate Positive in our own operations by continuing to reduce our direct emissions, 25% by 2025 against a 2019 baseline, while maintaining carbon offsetting at 2019 residual levels.
- Since launching in October 2020, we have written £315m of Green Mortgages, which are only available on the most energy efficient properties.
- 37 % of UK and RoI customers’ homes with an EPC rating were at or above EPC or equivalent rating C in 2020.
- Market leading policies on reducing the most harmful activities, including prohibitions on project financing for coal power plants, thermal coal mines, oil sand or arctic oil projects. In February, we announced further changes to our policy to prohibit project financing for fracking as well as oil and gas exploration.
- NatWest Markets has helped our clients issue 36 green bonds totalling c.£22bn to support their environmental activities.
- 1,600 colleagues participated in specialist climate education programmes at the University of Edinburgh and University of Cambridge.
- Founding signatory of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking which commits us to aligning our strategy with the overall objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
- Jointly the first company globally to commit to all three of the Climate Group’s initiatives on electric vehicles (EV100), renewable energy (RE100) and energy productivity (EP100).
NatWest Group and the Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) are to join forces for the next two years to support the development of a common framework of farm sustainability metrics and an accompanying assessment tool that will enable farmers to measure their environmental and social impact and give them actionable insight to help them to reduce their emissions.
NatWest has announced that it has adopted the Green Home Finance Principles (GHFPs), established by the Green Finance Institute. NatWest is the first high street bank in the UK to become an adopter of the principles for its Green Mortgage.
NatWest has today announced the introduction of a new carbon footprint tracking feature for its mobile app to help customers reduce the climate impact of their spending.
The bank also confirms its ambition to reach net zero carbon on its financed emissions by 2050.