Bank of Ireland welcomes ambitious Climate Action Plan
4 November 2021 – Bank of Ireland has today welcomed the publication of an ambitious Climate Action Plan for Ireland which sets out emissions reductions and practical measures to help meet climate targets.
Speaking today, Bank of Ireland Chief Strategy Officer Mark Spain said: “At Bank of Ireland we are committed to doing all we can to support the national effort to combat climate change. We launched Ireland’s first green mortgage in 2019, which is designed to incentivise energy efficient homes. We also offer discounted finance for home retrofits and energy-efficiency upgrades for businesses. And, we are the largest wholesale provider of finance for electrically-charged vehicles and a leading provider of finance for renewable energy assets across the island of Ireland.”
“At COP26, more than 100 world leaders have promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. Carbon storage and sequestration can also be an important lever in Ireland’s overall decarbonisation strategy. That’s why we developed the Woodland Nature Credit, a nature-based instrument for funding the planting of native woodlands. We’ve designed the Nature Credit to be scalable in terms of afforestation and we believe it could also provide a template for other land use schemes.”
“There are two things we can say with certainty about today’s carbon budget – achieving these targets will be challenging, but doing so could not be more important. For the planet there’s no Plan B. Our commitment – as a company and for our customers – is to play the most constructive role we can to tackle this threat.”
Supporting the transition to a low carbon economy
Sustainable Finance is an integral part of Bank of Ireland’s Responsible & Sustainable Business Strategy 2021 – 2024, “Investing in tomorrow”. The strategy provides clear commitments to working with customers, colleagues and communities to support transition to a resilient, net zero economy by 2050, in line with the Irish and UK governments’ ambitions and actions.
The Bank is currently setting science-based targets to align its lending portfolios with the Paris agreement and is embedding climate change into lending and investment decisions and the advice provided to customers. Earlier this year, the Bank announced a €3 billion increase in its Sustainable Finance Fund to bring it to €5 billion by 2024. The fund covers Bank of Ireland’s suite of green loans designed to incentivise home owners and businesses to be more energy efficient.
Bank of Ireland is supporting customers on their low carbon journey across a range of sectors:
- Carbon sequestration: The first tranche of the Woodland Nature Credit will see the planting of 600,000 native trees, creating multiple new native woodlands across Ireland as recreational amenities for local communities to enjoy while sequestering and storing carbon and also creating biodiverse new habitats.
- Housing and property: Over €1.4 billion has now been drawn down by borrowers since Bank of Ireland launched Ireland’s first green mortgage in 2019, including finance for personal home retrofits and energy-efficiency upgrades.
- Transport: Bank of Ireland is the largest wholesale provider of finance for electrically-charged vehicles. Retail volumes for finance of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) is up 206% to €13.6m in 2021 and finance of hybrid vehicles is up 621% to €60.3m in 2021.
- Energy: Bank of Ireland has financed c792 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy generating assets on the island of Ireland, enough to power c580,000 homes.
- Everyday banking: More than 100,000 Bank of Ireland customers have received bio-sourced debit cards, the first to be issued by an Irish bank. Made from 82% renewable materials derived from field corn, they will be issued to all customers as we replace and update our cards.