Ring the Bell: Bank Australia
Tell us a bit about what your B Corp does.
Bank Australia believes banking can and should make society better by empowering people and organisations to use their money as a force for good. They provide everyday banking services and loans to individuals and lend to organisations and industries making a positive difference in affordable housing, disability accommodation and community renewable energy.
Why did you want to become a Certified B Corporation?
We’ve always believed banking should prioritise people over profit, really since we began as the CSIRO Cooperative Credit Union back in 1957.
We feel we have a duty to use the business of banking to create a positive impact for people and the planet. We want to see communities thrive in a fair, just and progressive society, share in a sustainable economy, and live in a safe and healthy environment.
In a way acting like a B Corp is in our DNA but we wanted to join the B Corp community and contribute more actively to growing the benefit economy. Certifying also gives our customers another reason to be confident that really we do what we say we do.
Accreditation is also about looking forward. We want to use this best practice framework to always be improving and challenging ourselves to have the greatest possible positive impact. So we’re excited to draw on the global expertise of the B Corp movement, and to work with other B Corps, to take our impact even further.
What makes your B Corp unique as a business? Tell us some of the areas you have the biggest impact, or some of the little changes you've made to make a difference.
We’re particularly strong in the B Corp areas of civic engagement and giving. Through our Impact Fund we donate 4% of our after-tax profits to community projects working for the good of people and the planet, including annual Community Customer Grants.
Also in the civic engagement and giving space, we’re pretty proud to be the only bank in the world with a conservation reserve. Our reserve is a big part of our work on climate change and engaging with Traditional Owners and knowledge.
We also have a range of products that are designed to have a positive impact including a Clean Energy Home Loan, schemes to help low-income people into housing as well as lending to specialist disability accommodation and energy efficiency upgrades.
We were also able to perform well in some operational areas. For example, we have low emissions even before our carbon offsets, we’ve been carbon neutral since and run on 100% renewable energy since 2019.
Do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps?
Learn as much as you can about the assessment and take the time to think about what’s right for your business. Being such a comprehensive assessment, it’s impossible to be awesome at everything. Also, resource this well and draw on expertise across your business. We really found it useful to have a clear project lead who generated enthusiasm and involvement of designated “data owners” across departments to bring it all together.