NOVO BANCO is committed to pay attention to the environmental impacts of its financial products and services and look out for any resulting business opportunities, shaping its offer in accordance with the expectations of its shareholders.
The transition to a low-carbon economy has reinforced the Bank's intent to encourage sustainable investment practices to more quickly achieve a carbon neutral economy by 2050.
NB 18.25 and NB 26.31 Accounts
Thus, in order to build a strong and lasting relationship with customers, the NB 18.31 account has been restructured and subdivided into two new accounts – NB 18.25 and NB 26.31 – further tailoring them to the needs of younger age groups, and with Novo Banco's hallmark of neutralizing carbon emissions.
Created with the goal of having a lower environmental impact, these accounts are completely carbon neutral. This is due to their low carbon emissions from being online accounts, and because their emissions are neutralized, following the PAS 2050:2008 methodology, which analyses the entire life cycle of products and services to calculate the emissions produced.
Unavoidable emissions will be neutralized, much like the NB 18.31 account, whose emissions were neutralized, in 2019, by supporting the Soil & More green waste composting project in South Africa. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, this project also provides social and economic benefits to local communities, and contributes towards sustainable development.
At 31 December 2019, NOVO BANCO had 127,259 NB 18.31 Accounts with offset emissions, equivalent to:
• 2,068 round-trip flights for a passenger between Lisbon and London
• CO2 emissions resulting from the consumption of 2,864 barrels of oil
• Gas volume sufficient to fill 269 hot air balloons
• CO2 emissions annually sequestered by 116 hectares of pine forecast
Specifically designed to have a low environmental impact, the NB 18.31 Account is carbon neutral, as it is an online account. Hence this account has reduced carbon emissions (except for its opening), that can be neutralized. In partnership with the consulting firm e)mission, NOVO BANCO quantified the CO2 emissions associated with the NB 18.31 Account namely resulting from the use of computers, paper and card production, amongst others.
To neutralize the associated Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions were calculated, including the entire life cycle of this bank account: from its opening to closing, including the use of computers, cards, queries at ATM's and NBnet , among others. This calculation was performed in full alignment with the PAS 2050:2008 methodology, specific for analyzing the life cycle of products and services, and allowed us to conclude that each new NB Account 18.31 has an estimated carbon impact of 944g.
In 2019, the carbon emissions were offset through the support provided to the Soil&More project, a project of composting of green waste (green waste from gardens, parks and other) collected in the municipality of Cape Town in South Africa, being approved by UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The production of this microbial compound allows the restauration of fertility in agriculture soils, avoiding that waste is laid in two landfills without conditions in Cape Town, its consequent burning and methane emission. It is estimated that this project will reduce 600 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent in 10 years. The adopted procedure will also allow for an increase in soil water retention capacity of up to 70%, which in the South African context is an extremely important impact, as the UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) listed the quality and availability of water in this region as one of the top three environmental issues to consider.
Most structured products issued in 2019 have their remuneration indexed to the companies’ shares performance that stand out in their ability to lead social and government changes. In particular, 4 of the structured products issued in 2019 not only meet the previous criteria but have their remuneration indexed to companies that stand out specifically in pursuing best environmental practices. They were:
- NB ECO Better Environment
- NB Clean Energies
- NB Less Plastic
- NB ECO Circular Economy
‘Casa Eficiente’ 2020 line
The ‘Casa Eficiente’ 2020 line (Efficient Home line) to be part of the offering, providing favourable conditions in transactions that promote the improvement of the environmental performance of private residential buildings, with a special focus on energy and water efficiency, as well as on urban waste management. Learn more here.
NOVO BANCO offers its SME customers the InnovFin lines contracted with the FEI (NB FEI Innovation II, III and IV lines) that incorporate the concept of Eco-innovation, aimed at financing innovative companies with environmental concerns.
Dematerialisation of communication to Clients
NOVO BANCO continued to promote the dematerialisation of communications sent to customers, providing the respective documents online.
In addition to the account statements, NOVO BANCO also sends most other banking documents to its clients in digital format (credit card statements, deposit certificates, account entry notices, integrated billing notices, and sundry notices). The consolidation of client communication dematerialisation allowed to reach in 2018 two years before, the target set for 2020, that is to say, 83% of the communication an overall level is digital in 2018, which compares with less than 50% in 2014. In 2019, digital communication with the clients increased to 88%.
Responsible Investment Funds
Responsible investment is an approach to traditional investment that recognizes the importance of environmental, social and governance factors for the success of investment and for long-term stability. NOVO BANCO Group (NBG), through Banco Best, sells responsible investment funds from third party asset managers with a diversified investment strategy and geographic allocation.
In 2019 client subscriptions of Banco Best's range of 127 responsible investment funds totaled approximately €14.95 million euro.
See information about funds here.
During the year Banco Best also offered 4 Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with environmental, social and governance concerns, with a total investment of 121,000 euro.