NatWest calls for SMB commitment to UK government net zero campaign
NatWest has set the standard after becoming the first banking partner to join the UK Government Together for our Planet campaign.
Launched today by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business & Energy Secretary The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, the programme’s intention is to encourage business leaders to make a climate commitment to net zero.
Joining the likes of Google, Scottish Power and BT, NatWest Group will encourage their small business customers to sign up to the campaign and pledge to cut their emissions by half before 2030, and to net zero by 2050 or sooner.
After this agreement has been made on the new UK Business Climate Hub, these organisations will be recognised as ‘climate leaders’ by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and as role models that are inspiring others to take positive environmental action.
Alison Rose, NatWest Group CEO, highlights that the bank’s aim is to lead the small business transition to a net zero carbon economy. “From our recent SME Recovery Report, we know SMEs have the opportunity to help the UK meet its net zero targets by reducing their carbon footprint by 80 MtCO2e by 2030 through more sustainable business operating models.
“As COP26 Principal Banking Partner, we’re proud to support the small business climate leaders’ campaign and partner with the government on this important initiative, especially in the run up to November’s UN Climate Summit. We will be encouraging as many of our customers to sign up as possible.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson adds: “Every step that a small business takes on their journey to net zero adds up – not only in protecting the health of the planet but also in future-proofing their business and encouraging new investment, new customers and new opportunities for growth.
“We are providing the support and advice small businesses need to join us and become leaders in the fight against climate change.”
This development is the next step in the evolution of NatWest’s purpose led strategy supporting the UK transition to a low carbon economy. As part of its Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, the bank has also dedicated at least 25% of the spaces in its 12 accelerator hubs to supporting climate focused businesses, providing each business with mentoring, a community, access to events and office space.
Earlier this year the bank also launched a joint offering with Octopus Energy, to support the migration to electric vehicles (EVs), allowing NatWest Group customers to purchase EV chargers at a discount and gain access to Octopus Energy’s public charging network.
NatWest is also working with Microsoft to help business customers reduce their carbon footprints with a platform that will provide personalised carbon action plans – thought to be the first tool of its kind at this scale and will be piloted later this year.