IMB Banks commitment to climate action recognised with Climate Active Certification

February 19, 2024

IMB Bank today announced that it has received independent certification as a carbon neutral organisation by Climate Active.

An Australian Government program, Climate Active supports national climate policy by driving voluntary action by Australian businesses and empowering the community to identify and support organisations taking positive action on climate change. To achieve Climate Active certification, organisations must prove they have reached a state of carbon neutrality when assessed against the requirements of the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard.

IMB Bank achieved carbon neutral status by purchasing carbon offsets from third-party operated offsetting projects, which included an entirely Aboriginal-owned, not-for-profit business that undertakes traditional fire management to reduce emissions, a native forest regeneration project to restore forest cover - that had been lost to grazing and invasive species- and a project that will see forest plantations on degraded grasslands previously under extensive grazing.

IMB Chief Executive Officer, Robert Ryan, said achieving carbon neutral certification from the most rigorous and credible source available is testament to IMB Bank’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability.

“At IMB Bank, we recognise that climate change is one of the key challenges of our time, impacting communities globally as well as the areas in which our members and people live and work. We have seen this impact at a local level in recent years, with increased average temperatures, more frequent devastating bushfires and unprecedented rain events.

“Our members can be very proud that we have achieved Climate Active certification.  It is a key step in demonstrating that we’re serious about contributing to a sustainable future and leaving our communities in a better place for future generations.”

IMB Bank engaged Ndevr Environmental to conduct due diligence on prospective carbon offset projects offered by carbon brokers. This involved applying an assessment framework developed by Ndevr Environmental to assess Australian and international projects to help ensure IMB Bank purchased carbon offsets that scored highly against their ‘best practice’ assessment criteria.

One of the offsetting projects, run by Arnhem Land Fire Abatement (ALFA), involves reinstating traditional burning practices that deliver a significant reduction in carbon emissions along with social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits for Indigenous landowners.

Controlled burns are conducted early in the dry season, reducing fuel on the ground, and establishing natural firebreaks that prevent bigger and uncontrolled wildfires later in the season.

The projects provide employment and training opportunities for local rangers while supporting Aboriginal people in returning to, remaining on and managing their Country. Communities are supported in the preservation and transfer of knowledge, the maintenance of native languages and the wellbeing of Traditional Custodians.

“IMB is very pleased to support ALFA's valuable emissions projects in Arnhem Land and the co-benefits it provides communities," said Mr Ryan. “We continue to evolve our climate change strategy in line with the changing needs of our communities and the environment. Currently, over 85 per cent of IMB’s branch network sources its electricity from renewable sources, and we have committed to reducing our environmental impacts even further over the coming months and years.

“These efforts are essential as we strive to fulfill our purpose of helping our members and communities to be better off," Mr Ryan said.

For more information on the Climate Active certification go to climateactive.org.au.

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