Meanwhile, our direct exposure to thermal coal mining has reduced by around 83 per cent since 2015; this is less than 0.02 per cent of Group exposure at default (EAD). We are on track to exit all direct lending to thermal coal mining well ahead of our 2030 target.
In determining these targets, we’ve undertaken extensive engagement with our customers which they have welcomed. They understand the market dynamic is changing and they want to work with us.
As our customers gradually switch to low carbon energy or bring online lower-emission production assets, we expect to see the emissions intensity of our portfolios decline towards our 2030 targets.
However, the transition is likely to be uneven and there will be challenges, in some sectors more than others.
The challenge was evident this year as the emissions intensity of our power generation portfolio increased due to short-term financing of some existing customers. They needed help to manage record high wholesale prices, requiring them to post collateral to margin accounts to cover these positions.
This does not translate to an increase in ‘real world’ emissions, as they are existing customers and assets.
Another challenge in this sector is to finance the new green energy infrastructure required while ensuring existing providers - that are investing in energy generation, storage and transmission - are supported.
We are also mindful of energy stability and security concerns. We remain committed to our power generation target and remain well below the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2050 pathway.
We’re already seeing strong progress in other sectors. Our property customers are one example where the emissions intensity of both office buildings and our shopping centre portfolios have decreased significantly.
Finally, a few months ago we met with key customers, regulators and peers in the UK and the European Union to discuss their responses to climate change.
Several themes came up frequently in our conversations, one of which was the importance of building internal capability and capacity to support the transition. We’re doing this by:
- building a deeper understanding of climate risk and opportunities through formal training;
- using external partnerships to bring in specialist expertise. An example is our partnership with Pollination; and
- setting remuneration incentives at the most senior levels of the organisation.
These discussions were an opportunity to get a pulse check and some guidance on what may come next here in Australia.
ANZ has a key role to play by directing our finance, services and advice to help our customers shift to low-carbon business models. That’s at the heart of our Environmental Sustainability strategy.
That’s why we are now setting a $A100 billion by 2030 sustainable solutions target to further back our customers on the right path and speed up the process.
For example, we were a Lead Arranger and Joint Sustainability Coordinator for a five-year JPY10 billion sustainability-linked syndicated credit facility for Louis Dreyfus - a leading agri company with operations in more than 100 countries. The interest rate is linked to performance of environmental key performance indicators such as reductions in emissions and water usage.
We also provided a $A1.45 billion green loan for the Intellihub Group - a leading provider of metering infrastructure and data solutions. The funds are being used to rollout smart meters across Australia and New Zealand.
And were Lead Arranger, Bookrunner and Joint Sustainability Coordinator in a US$1.35 billion refinance for Brambles - a global supply chain logistics company specialising in reusable pallets, crates and containers. We delivered its inaugural sustainability-linked revolving credit facility which has key performance indicators relating to emissions reduction, sustainably certified timber and women in management roles.
These examples demonstrate the growth of our environmental sustainability capabilities right across our portfolio.
Aside from our customers, we are also engaging with government, regulators, shareholders, civil society, industry associations and, importantly, regional communities. These interactions ensure we are aware of issues concerning all parts of the community and is critical to a just transition.
Largest emitting business customers
All of this helps support the work we do with 100 of our largest emitting business customers who contribute approximately 147 million tonnes of direct (Scope 1) emissions from their Australian-based operations, around 30 per cent of Australia’s national total.
This year we had ongoing discussions with 99 customers on their transition plans and efforts to protect biodiversity. At end of September, 61 per cent of these customers have well developed or advanced transition plans, compared with 42 per cent last year.
When we engage with our customers, we consider three key elements that constitute a robust low carbon transition plan: governance, targets and disclosures.
For example, we have one customer initially assessed in 2021 at category ‘D’ level with no public plans in place. Over the past year their plans and actions have significantly evolved and they now have:
- a clear governance framework outlining senior management oversight;
- public targets and strategies up to 2030; and
- they published their first Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) report
As a result, this customer has moved to category ‘B’ - meaning we consider their transition plan to be ‘well developed’.
For customers with more work to do, we’ll continue to work with them on Paris-aligned plans. We’re hopeful most of these customers will continue to improve and develop their plans. Indeed, 29 of our largest emitting business customers have been upgraded since last financial year.
For the hopefully small number of customers that aren’t heading in the right direction by 2025 - ultimately, we may not be the right bank for them.