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.

For detailed information please see our Climate Report (PDF 9.8MB)

NatWest Group and COP26

In our role as CoP26 banking principal partner, we want to show how to lead the way in helping people and businesses across the UK to tackle climate change.

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. For full details please see our climate report here (PDF 9.8MB)

Our climate strategy sets out ambitious targets including to: 

  • 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. 
  • Provide over £20bn additional funding and financing for climate and sustainable finance by 2021.
  • 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.

We have announced the following commitments:

Helping to end the most harmful activity:

  • Stop lending and underwriting to all companies with greater than 15% of activities related to coal, unless they have a credible transition plan, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement, in place by the end of 2021. We plan a full phase out from coal by 2030.
  • Stop lending and underwriting to major oil and gas producers unless they have a credible transition plan in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement by the end of 2021

Accelerating the speed of transition:

  • Support our UK & RoI mortgage customers to become more energy efficient with an ambition that 50% of our mortgage book is at or above EPC C or equivalent rating of C by 2030
  • Create products and services, and collaborate cross-industry to enable customers to track their carbon impact
  • Support the drive to decarbonise UK transport sector through the Future Mobility Group. This is a multi-disciplined centre of excellence working across the Bank and emerging mobility eco-system to enable us to invest in the development of our product and service offering, in addition to enhancing our market and risk insight to maximise the support for the decarbonisation of UK surface transport
  • Coutts Asset Management has set a target to reduce the level of carbon intensity for the equity component of their portfolios by 25% by end of 2021

Championing climate solutions:

  • Provide an additional £20bn funding and financing for climate and sustainable finance by 2021. This funding target has been brought forward and will now be delivered in one year (2020-21) as opposed to two years (2020-22) as was originally planned. Climate and Sustainable Finance Criteria 2021 (PDF 227KB).
  • Reserve at least 25% of places in our Entrepreneur accelerator hubs for businesses supporting environmental activities

Embedding climate into culture and decision-making:

  • Quantify our total climate impact and define sector-level targets by 2022
  • Revise executive remuneration to reflect achieving climate targets

Further initiatives and partnerships are being developed and will be announced through the course of the year.

Making our own operations Climate Positive by 2025

  • Use only renewable electricity in our direct global operations by 2025 (RE100).
  • Install electric vehicle charging infrastructure in more than 600 spaces across our UK and RoI portfolio by 2030 (EV100).
  • Upgrade our job need cars of around 300 vehicles to electric models by 2025 (EV100).
  • Improve Energy Productivity by 40% by 2025 against a 2015 baseline (EP100).

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).