As a mutual bank, Bank Australia is owned by its customers who vote on key decisions to ensure the bank’s activities are in line with their values. The bank has a strong focus on environmental responsibility and has adopted relatively ambitious emissions reduction initiatives. Some of these address financed emissions, which are emissions associated with the activities that banks finance through their investments, products and services. For example, Bank Australia offsets emissions associated with car loans for the life of each loan.
Along with Westpac and Teachers Mutual, Bank Australia is one of three banks based in Australia that have committed through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to align their activities with a pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. Bank Australia also states that it ‘has not made and will not make any loans to the fossil fuel industry’. Bank Australia’s operations have been carbon neutral since 2011 and the bank sources 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. It is a member of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, a consortium of corporate, government, cultural and academic organisations that supported construction of the Crowlands Wind Farm. The bank has a long-term power purchase agreement with this facility.