Australian big four bank ANZ has pledged to source 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025, joining Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank in the global RE100 initiative.
The pledge was delivered on Tuesday in New York as part of Climate Week, taking corporate membership of RE100 – which is led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP – past the 200-mark.
It also marks the third of Australia’s big-four banks to join the initiative, with NAB the notable exception.
The ANZ pledge was light on exact details of how the bank planned to meet the 2025 target, but noted it had joined a “collective to source renewables” in 2017, and had “future plans” for more solar and wind PPAs and installing more of its own onsite solar.
“We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint in line with our focus on environmental sustainability,” said ANZ Group general manager, property, Kate Langan.
“Moving to 100 per cent renewable energy for our electricity by 2025 not only makes good business sense, it is good for the planet and reflects our ongoing support for the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”
ANZ’s commitment, and the timing of its announcement to coincide with this week’s UN Climate Summit in New York, underscores what has been a strong showing from business on global climate action.
In many ways, the world’s corporate leaders – led by the likes of Google, Amazon and Ikea – have made much stronger commitments, much more closely aligned with the Paris 1.5°C target, than the world’s political leaders.
“I’ve said many times, renewable energy is cleaner, cheaper and faster,” said Mike Cannon-Brookes, who is himself in New York representing his Australian software company, Atlassian.
“And it represents the biggest economic opportunity of our generation. It’s not good enough just to talk about this, we must back our words with action.
“So it’s awesome to see ANZ sign up to go 100% renewable. They are showing genuine leadership on an issue that’s vital to the future of our planet.”
Jon Dee, from RE100 Australia, said Australian companies were waking up to the business benefits of sourcing clean power.
“It’s wonderful to have ANZ joining RE100. By making a commitment to source 100% renewable electricity by 2025, ANZ is setting a positive role model for other Australian companies to follow,” he said.
The bank has not always excelled in matters of clean energy, however. In a 2015 climate commitment announced just ahead of the now famous Paris COP21, ANZ drew criticism for revised coal lending standards described at the time as “almost satirical in their ineffectiveness.”