01 Aug 2019

NAB makes first national commitment to sustainable farming initiative

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NAB has today announced a new collaboration to enable farmers to adopt sustainable and profitable land management practices and help future-proof the agricultural industry against environmental challenges.

NAB will work with ClimateWorks Australia to set up the initiative which will bring together partners from the agriculture sector including food, fibre and timber as well as the finance sector, research and government.

The initiative aims to coordinate the development and use of better environmental and economic information relating to the sustainable management of water, soil, biodiversity and other natural resources. It will integrate with other existing initiatives relating to natural capital to ensure alignment.

Farmers will be empowered to better manage natural resources on-farm and to access incentives by quantifying the financial and environmental benefits of sustainable farming practices to regulators, investors, financers, supply chains and markets.

NAB Chief Customer Officer, Business and Private Banking, Anthony Healy said there are incredible opportunities for farmers to sell high-quality produce in to markets globally.

“Changing climate conditions are making it harder for farmers to protect and improve their natural assets, like water and soil, that underpin their resilience and productivity. This project is about future-proofing two of Australia’s greatest assets – our farmers and our land,” Mr Healy said.

“We want our farmers to be the first in the world to be able to back the sustainability of their products with robust evidence.

“Farmers need to be equipped with the right information and the right tools to make decisions. NAB helps more farmers than any other bank in Australia, and together with the expertise of ClimateWorks and other partners, we can use our knowledge to really help the businesses that feed and sustain this nation.”

ClimateWorks Australia is a non-profit organisation that develops expert, independent solutions to assist the transition to net zero emissions.

ClimateWorks Program Manager Eli Court said, “ClimateWorks’ Land Use Futures program recently convened the Natural Capital Summit, and one of the top needs identified by the diverse stakeholders was accelerating the development of evidence-based, practical frameworks for linked information about environmental and financial outcomes, and land management practices.

“We are looking forward to convening a cross-sector collaboration to accelerate the development and use of sustainable land use information.”

NAB’s commitment directly addresses one of the economic challenges identified in June by the Australian National Outlook 2019 report, a collaboration with CSIRO, NAB, ClimateWorks Australia and 18 other non-government organisations.

The report recommends five key shifts that Australia should make to secure a prosperous future across industry, the urban landscape, energy, land use and culture. The industry shift requires innovation and investment in growth sectors, including technology, to enable a productive, inclusive and resilient economy, with new strengths in both the domestic and export sectors.

This announcement builds on NAB’s commitment in June 2019 to allocate $2 billion of funding over five years to help emerging technology companies build and grow their businesses.

Will Hooke (Willera Merinos), Anthony Healy (NAB), Karle Hooke (Willera Merinos)

Willera Merinos owners Karl and Will Hooke and Will’s children

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