Our commitment to reducing our environmental impact
The creation of long term value is the foundation of BOQ’s sustainability strategy, and we recognise the need to continually evolve and enhance our focus in this area.
The recent drought and bushfires and floods across Australia also highlighted the increasing community concerns relating to climate change and the impact that businesses can have on the environment they operate in.
One of the biggest challenges we face is to deliver our planet to our children in a better condition than we inherited it.
BOQ is taking action by becoming a net zero organisation, joining Climate Active, and setting ambitous emission reduction targets.
BOQ Group commits to reduce organisational scope 1 and 2 emissions by 90 per cent and organisational supply chain Scope Three emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 compared to our 2020 baseline. These targets are aligned to the science-based emission reduction trajectory needed to meet the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
Net zero means we have achieved a balance between the greenhouse gas emissions associated with running our business and the activities we support that take emissions out of the atmosphere.
To achieve net zero we need to cut down on our use of fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil in favour of renewable energy like hydro, solar, and wind. And start doing things like supporting projects that reduce carbon dioxide in the air.
BOQ Group aims to minimise its impact on the environment and maximise opportunities to play a role in a more sustainable future.
Across our operations we are introducing new initiatives, such as electric and hybrid vehicles into our fleet and implementing a commitment to source 100% of our electricity needs from renewable sources by 2025.
The Group operates its major Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne support centres on renewable electricity, and entered into GreenPower 100% certified renewable energy contracts for all sites where the Group can choose its energy supplier.
Upstream supply chain emissions remain an opportunity to reduce operational emissions and implementation of our Supplier Code of Conduct and undertaking climate engagement with our suppliers has delivered an 16% reduction in emissions in FY22.
The consolidation of our Sydney workforce into a single building provided an opportunity to incorporate leading collaboration, energy efficiency, and circular economy design principles. In additional to the excellent base building sustainability ratings of 5.5 Star energy and 5 Star water NABERS ratings, we have used healthy and environmentally friendly materials and construction techniques to increase user health and promote the reduction and reuse of materials. This sustainability focus saved 275 tonnes of CO2e through the removal and reuse of materials and resulted in a 44% reduction in energy per m2 of space. The goods and services consumed on-site are offset to provide a carbon-neutral fitout in operation.
Supply chain management
We recognise that our responsibility does not end with our own operations but extends to our suppliers ensuring they have high standards of care when it comes to the people they employ and to the environment. Some of the key initiatives we are currently prioritising are outlined below:
- supporting positive social and environmental impacts through the introduction of the Supplier Code of Conduct. This Code outlines the standards BOQ expects from its suppliers across key corporate responsibility principles of labour and human rights, information security, business resilience, workplace health and safety, ethical business practices, compliance and governance and environmental sustainability. A shared commitment to these principles helps ensure that BOQ’s supply chain reflects our purpose, the continually evolving expectations of our community, and sustainable development goals relevant to the BOQ supply chain. Find BOQ’s Supplier Code of Conduct here.
- continuing to facilitate BOQ’s commitment to our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) by actively identifying indigenous suppliers and removing barriers that may prevent them from participating;
- requiring potential suppliers to demonstrate their corporate responsibility commitments, such as diversity metrics, when responding to tenders;
- supporting Australian small businesses through offering 30 day maximum invoice payment terms; and
- seeking confirmation from suppliers via an annual review process and supplier site visits to ensure operations and supply chains do not contain or support modern slavery practices. These efforts are part of a broader modern slavery program that develops BOQ’s position with regards to modern slavery and related legislation. Find BOQ's 2021 Modern Slavery Act Statement here.
Changes to BOQ paper statements
From Dec 2021, all personal Deposit customers will receive their bank statements every 6 months in line with the product terms and conditions.
Through this initiative, BOQ will be sending out 749K fewer paper statements each year which equates to saving over 2 million sheets of paper. It is estimated that this will save approximately 280 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year which is roughly taking 140 cars off the road or driving more than 64 times around Australia!
At BOQ, we have a diverse group of customers with different needs and these include customers who can only access their bank statements by physical statements. We will continue to work with these customers so that the change doesn’t impact their banking as well as using carbon neutral certified paper for statements.
If you want to do more, you can make the switch to paperless statements in internet banking, or check your transactions regularly using internet or mobile banking.
If you wish to stop receiving paper statements in the mail, you need to register for paperless statements and select each account that you no longer want to receive paper statements for.
There are 2 ways to register for paperless statements:
- Log on to Internet Banking and access the Statement Preference screen by navigating to More, Other Services, eStatements, Statement Preferences. Select the accounts you would like to register for paperless statements and click Accept.
- Visit your local BOQ Branch (you must be registered for Internet Banking).
Energy saving and waste reduction
We are constantly looking for ways in which to reduce energy usage and waste throughout our operations. One example of an energy reduction initiative in place is the use of LED lighting and the installation of delayed lighting control to reduce after hours non-essential services. Current data suggests this can reduce energy consumption by up to 35%. In addition, we have installed solar panels across three branches, which provides CO2 emissions savings of up to 41 tonnes per year. With regard to waste reduction, in 2015 BOQ implemented a ‘swipe release’ function across all printing services. Since then, we have seen a ~20% reduction in paper consumption.
Poor waste management practices can cause land and air pollution, which can result in serious medical conditions in humans and animals. Implementing good waste management protects the environment and benefits our business. Where possible, recycled products are used by the Bank. This includes paper for large quantity printing such as, the Annual Report, where it is printed on paper from well-managed forests and recycled sources. We also leverage secure document destruction and recycling in all corporate offices. This practice diverted 159 tonnes of waste from landfill this year and saw the reduction of up to 30 tonnes of CO2 emissions per month.
BOQ is aware that water is a vital resource we need to protect. All taps in our support centre tenancies are fitted with flow restriction devices and our head office bathrooms utilise both dual-flush toilets as well as censored urinals to minimise water consumption. We also consider water use when it comes to printing processes for some of our larger publications, including the Annual Report, which is printed using the latest technology to ensure minimal water consumption.
Sustainable lending is about recognising our corporate and social responsibility to maintain a lending portfolio comprised of sustainable businesses. Find out more about our approach to sustainable lending.