“As a bank, we have a significant opportunity to help businesses make those changes, and I feel very fortunate to be working in an area that combines my interests in the environment and finance, and one where I feel like I can contribute to making a real impact.
New Zealanders have so much natural beauty outside of their windows, she says, which puts us in a good position to help lead the way in protecting it.
“The image of a clean, green New Zealand is something a lot of Kiwis connect with,” Poppy says. “So I think that motivates us to reduce our impact on the environment in any way we can.”
Advocacy by powerful voices will play a part in that shift, she says, and gave the example of Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg’s recent warnings about the state of our planet.
“I’ve always admired the wealth of knowledge David has around the environment and animal life, and also the mindset he has, in terms of what we need to do to change as a species to preserve those things,” Poppy says.
“Changes in consumer and investor behavior, coupled with increasing regulatory requirements, is leading to an increase in demand for capital to support sustainability initiatives, and we need to be ready to meet that demand.
“I don’t think he’s ever expressly talked about sustainable finance, but David does talk about the role the financial system has to play in protecting the environment by putting your money where your morals are, I think he would be supportive of the initiatives and the things we’re doing.”
Poppy says her ambition for the coming years is to continue to encourage Kiwis to do their bit, and to help build a more equal, sustainable Aotearoa where our people and environment can thrive.
“There’s a lot of change that needs to happen, but I think it comes down to what each of us can do on a daily basis – being aware of the impact we can have.
“That’s where the change is going to come from.”