In an effort to lower carbon emissions in New Zealand, Westpac has publicly revealed the amount of lending committed to fossil fuel and environmentally friendly companies.
Timed for release with the United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in Paris, Westpac disclosed that over the past three years it made available $327 million in new lending to green businesses.
Overall, its lending to the CleanTech sector, companies that reduce carbon emissions, and the environmental services sector was $1.17 billion.
Karen Silk, general manager of commercial, corporate and institutional banking for Westpac, said lending to fossil fuel businesses in 2015 was $464 million, a decrease of 33 per cent from 2012.
"We understand there is growing international debate around the financing of coal and fossil fuels," Silk said.
"We are committed to trying to reduce the economy's reliance on fossil fuels by supporting the growth of the clean tech sector.
"We also want to play a positive part in this debate by being the first New Zealand bank to release data on our lending exposures to the fossil fuel and clean tech sectors."
Silk said Westpac set a number of goals for the next two years, including a lending target of $100 million to green companies and reducing its own carbon emissions by 4 per cent.
A new energy efficient lease product will allow institutional customers to access green products and services such as electric vehicles, solar energy and energy efficient building fit-outs without any upfront cost.
"Businesses make up two-thirds of the New Zealand economy, so the role of business is critical in providing products and services that will deliver a greener economy," Silk said.
"We know that the business case for sustainability stacks up and we urge other businesses to see what they can contribute."