ANZ commits to low-carbon corporate transition plans
(7 May 2019 - Australia) ANZ has pledged to support 100 of the group's highest carbon emitting business customers to identify their climate change risks, create transition plans and report publicly on their progress.
The Bank highlights that it is becoming ,less unusual for companies to publicly outline their low-carbon transition plans so investors, regulators and other stakeholders can assess their climate risk management. ANZ is improving its carbon disclosures and signalling that it expects customers to do the same over time. ANZ outlines that a robust plan incorporates governance, targets / policies and disclosure. Engagement is well-progressed, especially those with thermal coal operations. A number of energy customers, such as power generators have already disclosed robust plans, whereas others have signalled an intention to improve disclosure. ANZ has also started to engage with customers in other key sectors, and expect to meet with over 50 customers this year.
The plans vary depending on the sector, but some sector specific measures expected are transportation customers moving towards more fuel-efficient vehicle fleets, property developers or retailers reducing building energy consumption and agriculture customers switching to practices that lower energy use or non-energy emissions such as reforestation or energy efficient farm equipment.
ANZ, NAB, Westpac, and Macquarie reported on sustainability over the last fortnight and while all have committed to international sustainability reporting standards, the Big Four have been criticised for their relatively limited disclosures. ANZ and NAB have come under fire for "dragging their heels" with Julien Vincent, Executive Director of Market Forces, stating that the two banks had produced "virtually nothing" in their new set of interim results. "They're dragging their heels on climate-related financial risk disclosures. It's pretty disappointing" he added. Ethical investors have since come to the defence of the banks.
“Investors are asking for visibility and disclosure, and it has been well documented that debt investors see the emergence of the ESG bond market as a way to engage and steward in a way equity investors have been doing for quite a while now" said Katharine Tapley, ANZ Head of Sustainable Finance.