Sibos 2022: Banks and the transition to net zero

“Sustainability, and more specifically ESG, is important to us. It’s important to our directors and executives, but more so to our 34,000 colleagues”, said David Gall (National Australia Bank) on day three of Sibos in Amsterdam. 

Speaking with Kimberely Long (Banker Magazine) during an Inside Leadership session, Gall said the most typical question the bank gets asked is, “what your credentials around sustainability are? How are you helping the transition to Net Zero? So, very, very important we answer that”. 

Renewable transactions
The Australian bank began renewables transactions in 2003 in Europe. “Since then, we have taken much of that capability back in Australia. 

“Renewable is now a significant part of NAB, with 75% of the banks lending in the energy sector and an aim to have renewable energy throughout the business by 2025.”  

The biggest issue the banks face, said Gall, is how to account for and help clients achieve less carbon emission targets.  

The bank has done a maturity assessment on its top 100 admitters from seven industry sectors. Out of that assessment, 85% have signed to Task Force on Climate-Related Disclosures (TCFD). It ensures much stronger governance and commitment to measuring and transparency of greenhouse gas emissions, “which is very helpful for the banking sector.” 

Around 75% of this top 100 admitters have committed to NetZero 2050 and interim targets by 2030.  

Data and technology
Data is one of the biggest challenges, especially in coal, gas, agricultural, commercial and real estate, where the “data is somewhat disparate”. 

Building on that, Gall said NAB, combined with eight other banks, formed a venture to build a voluntary carbon “credit settlement platform called carbon place”. It is using technology, the Ethereum blockchain and tokenising all the data that sits behind the carbon credit. 

This data is configured to give more trust and traceability to that individual carbon credit and helps provide confidence to the system and the purchaser of carbon credits. “There would be massive demand for carbon credits as high emitters look to achieve more aggressive 2030 interim targets.” 

“That’s the kind of technology and the use of data banks can play an important role in and helping higher carbon emitters start to reduce their overall carbon footprint as they continue to invest and develop technologies; it will ultimately help them achieve net zero by 2050.”

The Sibos 2022 opening plenary can now be watched on-demand here

© 2022 funds europe



The tension between urgency and inaction will continue to influence sustainability discussions in 2024, as reflected in the trends report from S&P Global.
This white paper outlines key challenges impeding the growth of private markets and explores how technological innovation can provide solutions to unlock access to private market funds for a growing…


Luxembourg is one of the world’s premiere centres for cross-border distribution of investment funds. Read our special regional coverage, coinciding with the annual ALFI European Asset Management Conference.