NatWest announced the launch of its digital Carbon Planner
By Joy Dumasia
NatWest announced the launch of its Carbon Planner, a free-to-use digital platform designed to help the UK businesses manage their future fuel and operational costs and reduce their carbon footprint to help them go and grow greener. The launch follows the bank’s broader commitment to lend £100 billion to businesses in Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing by 2025.
Alison Rose, Chief Executive of NatWest Group, said: “Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges we face today, and small businesses have a critical role to play in helping the UK realise its green ambition. NatWest Group is committed to supporting its customers to understand and reduce their emissions. The launch of Carbon Planner is an important example of how we are putting tools in the hands of our customers to use their own data to cut costs and carbon emissions.”
The NatWest Carbon Planner is a tailored solution that provides personalised actions based on customer- data, enabling customers to make decisions as part of their plan when looking to reduce their carbon emissions while outlining the financial impact of adopting such actions. NatWest’s A Springboard to Sustainability report estimated that 55-70% of business cases to reduce emissions will make financial sense for SMEs by 2030.
NatWest suggests that businesses better understand the commercial and carbon impact of their business operations, they will be in a stronger position to navigate the current inflationary challenges and make decisions about reducing their carbon emissions. With an ever-increasing focus on climate, the Carbon Planner can also help businesses with the ongoing management of their carbon reduction strategies.
Solange Chamberlain, Chief Operating Officer, Commercial & Institutional Banking, NatWest Group, said:“Businesses are coming under increasing pressure due to rising costs. Many are fundamentally strong businesses which are experiencing a massive shock to input prices. As a bank, we can help businesses invest to save by switching from volatile commodities to renewable sources with predictable prices and support businesses in taking actions to measure, evaluate and act to reduce their climate impact. Every business should consider if cutting carbon could cut costs, and it’s important that we support the business community explore their options through access to finance to invest in cost-reducing measures like energy efficiency.”
The bank’s research also revealed that 87% of the UK SMEs are unaware of their business’s total carbon emissions, despite good intentions – with almost half (45%) of UK SMEs recognising it is important to lower their emissions in the next five years. NatWest engaged with environmental management consultancy Green Element to develop the questions, actions and model. The bank also worked with other 3rd parties to develop the tool, including consultancies and academic experts.
Will Richardson, CEO Green Element, said: “Working with NatWest on this project has been a phenomenal experience. Being a part of the solution and solving problems is at the core of what Green Element do. Having worked in this space for 20+ years, seeing a large banking group push boundaries and help with the 1.5 degree goal we are all trying to reach is just brilliant to be a part of.”
John Bamford, Head of Advisory, Northern Europe, EcoAct, an Atos company, comments:“Achieving a company-wide transformation plan to reach net-zero requires clear direction from leadership. We are therefore excited to see how NatWest brings customers along in their net-zero journey by facilitating a tailored data-driven tool to support their transition to a low carbon economy. From identifying priority areas and actions for reducing emissions and tracking progress to connecting businesses to the funding needed to deliver their net-zero transition plans, NatWest’s Carbon Planner will help unlock some of the barriers businesses face when determining which low-carbon choices are worth making while building up collective climate action.”
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