De Volksbank aims to be a carbon neutral bank. We want to contribute to the quality of life on this planet and help keep global temperature increases below 1.5 degrees centigrade. Not only through our own business operations. We especially consider it our responsibility to combat climate change through activities that we finance.
That is why we manage the carbon footprint of our investment portfolio and why we have signed the Montréal Carbon Pledge.
Carbon profit & loss account
To achieve our carbon neutrality goals, we have adopted ASN Bank’s carbon profit & loss account methodology and applied it to the entire balance sheet of de Volksbank and, consequently, to all our brands. Using this methodology, we have drawn up a carbon profit and loss account, calculating the carbon footprint of all our investment portfolio. We ultimately want our investment portfolio to have a net-zero carbon footprint by compensating the carbon emissions with an equivalent amount of useful energy.
We try to balance the emission scales so to speak. On the one hand through investments that avoid carbon dioxide production (CO2 profits), such as wind farms, solar parks or thermal storage. And on the other hand through investments that do produce carbon dioxide (CO2 loss), such as investments in homes or businesses. In time, they must be equal.
At year-end 2017, our balance sheet was 27% climate-neutral. The total carbon dioxide emissions of our investment portfolio amounted to 1,331 kilotonnes and is largely caused by our mortgage portfolio. To a lesser extent by our investments in government bonds and local authorities.
This was offset by the carbon dioxide savings, i.e. our investments in renewable energy, which avoided a total of 356 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Over the next few years, we will work on reducing carbon losses and further increasing carbon profits until we achieve a net-zero carbon footprint. We will do so by helping our customers make their homes more sustainable and by making additional investments in renewable energy projects. In this video (dutch) we explain what a carbon neutral profit & loss account is and how we are going to accomplish this.