“The next decade will be crucial for protecting the planet for future generations, and financial services has a critical role to play,” says Lloyds Banking Group CEO António Horta Osório.
“We are fully committed to supporting our customers, clients and colleagues to transition to a low carbon economy.”
Adds Lloyds Banking Group: "We made a new pledge to help tackle climate change. We can't do this alone and we will work in close co-operation with customers, government and the market."
In its plan, called 'Helping Britain Prosper: Financing a green future together' Lloyds Banking Group sets out its approach.
The bank says it "will support businesses by financing their investments in the green economy, as well as helping to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings, vehicles and assets."
It says: "We recognise that climate change is one of the biggest issues facing society.
Make a real difference
"As the UK’s largest financial services group, we can make a real difference to tackling climate change by helping to finance a greener future together. We think this will require new ways of living, working and investing for our business and our customers.
"That’s why we’re setting ourselves an ambitious goal to accelerate working with customers, government and the market to help reduce the carbon emissions we finance by more than 50% by 2030. This is the estimated equivalent of removing the emissions produced by almost a quarter of UK homes.
"We know there is an urgent need to transition to a low-carbon future, grow the green economy and promote green finance for the future prosperity of the UK.
"To enable the transition, more will be required from all organisations and government: we do not have all the answers today, but we are committed to continuing to make progress.
"The UK has made a sizeable commitment to transform its economy and society and our strategy is in alignment with the global Paris Agreement, and the UK’s Net Zero ambition."
Green vehicle finance
For vehicles, Lloyds Banking Group says it will "be a leading UK provider of low emission/green vehicle fleets."
It also says it will "be a leading UK commercial bank for sustainable growth, supporting our clients to transition to sustainable business models and operations and to pursue new clean growth opportunities."
And on insurance it pledges to "be a leading UK insurer in improving the resilience of customers’ lives against extreme weather caused by climate change."
In a raft of pledges the bank says:
- We commit to an ambitious goal to accelerate working with customers, government and the market to help reduce the carbon emissions we finance by more than 50% by 2030.
- We pledge to support UK renewable energy projects, equivalent to powering on average 5million homes by 2020.
- We will fund 5million square feet of commercial real estate space to become more energy efficient with green loans by 2020.
- We will work with the Woodland Trust to plant ten million trees over the next ten years to expand the UK’s carbon sink. During the lifecycle of the trees planted, 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be absorbed, equivalent to the harmful emissions produced from eight years of UK waste management.
The UK’s largest low emission vehicle fleet
Lex Autolease has been at the forefront of electric vehicle technology with the first mainstream plug-in vehicles introduced to customers in 2011. It now has the UK’s largest ultra-low emission vehicle fleet, with more than 21,000 ultra-low emission vehicles.
Lloyds Banking Group is the first UK financial services firm offering access to a digital app to allow Commercial Banking clients to identify and make energy-efficient investments in their buildings. Piloted in 2019, it will be rolling out early in 2020.
Clean growth financing
The bank says it will continue to support business to invest in tackling climate change through its industry-leading Clean Growth Finance Initiative.
The £2bn scheme offers discounted finance to Commercial Banking clients investing in a lower carbon future.
For example, Lloyds Bank and Scottish Widows provided collective funding of £273m for the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, Hornsea Project One.
Find out more: www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/financingagreenfuturetogether