NatWest Call for SMEs to Join Government on Climate Action
NatWest Group will encourage its small business customers to make a climate commitment and join the government’s Together for our Planet ‘business climate leaders’ campaign being launched today (Friday 28 May) by the Prime Minister and Business & Energy Secretary.
As part of the campaign, NatWest, as the leading bank for UK businesses, will highlight to its customers the importance of tackling climate change and encourage them to sign up to the campaign where they will commit to cutting their emissions in half before 2030, and to net-zero by 2050 or sooner.
When small businesses sign up, they will be given tools to understand their emissions, as well as practical but important steps to protect the planet, the benefits of future proofing and growing a greener business. Small businesses who make a net-zero pledge on the new business climate hub will be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and will become ‘climate leaders’ – role-modeling and inspiring others to find meaningful ways to take positive environmental action.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “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.”
Chief Executive Officer of NatWest Group Alison Rose said: “As the leading bank in the UK for businesses, we want to encourage, enable and lead the way in helping small businesses 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.”
NatWest is encouraging its customers to sign up to the campaign through email, social and digital marketing, including a recent Instagram Live with Holly Tucker, founder of Not On The High Street, and Andrew Griffith MP, the UK’s Net Zero Business Champion. A toolkit advising its small business customers on how to take their first steps to becoming green will be hosted on NatWest Group’s dedicated customer-facing NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Ulster Bank Business Hubs as part of the partner campaign activity.
The support of this campaign builds on the bank’s purpose-led strategy of helping people and businesses across the UK transition to a low carbon economy. The bank has launched a series of initiatives over the course of the year to help businesses go green:
- As part of its Entrepreneur Accelerator programme, at least 25% of the spaces in its 12 UK-wide accelerator hubs are dedicated to supporting Climate focused businesses. Each business will receive mentoring, a dedicated climate cohort community, climate-specific events, and office space in one of the hubs across the UK
- In February, NatWest launched a joint offering with Octopus Energy, to help make it simple and affordable for customers and colleagues to move to electric vehicles (EVs). The bundled solution allows NatWest Group customers to purchase electric vehicle (EV) chargers at discounted rates and get access to Octopus Energy’s public charging network. The combination of NatWest Group’s financing and Octopus’ energy innovation will help all customers decarbonise their transport.
- The bank also announced it has joined forces with Microsoft to support business customers to understand and reduce their carbon footprints. The platform will provide business customers with personalised carbon action plans and is thought to be the first tool of its kind at this scale. It will be piloted with business customers later this year.