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Adapt and thrive – Reducing the cost barrier for a greener world

 

Lorraine Mapu

Managing Director - Business Banking

ANZ New Zealand Ltd.

I have often thought of businesses as being a bit like biological organisms – being both a product of their environment, but also playing an important role in maintaining it.

 

Just as changes to the natural world put pressure on organisms to adapt, we are now seeing powerful forces at work in the business world.

 

Changes to the social, physical and financial environment mean businesses must become more sustainable and energy efficient.

 

There is a growing sense that if they are to survive and thrive in a warmer world, they must adapt, invest in technology and become more self-sufficient and resilient.

 

Hagley has made substantial investments in solar power and stormwater systems.

 

One Canterbury business demonstrates this in spades.

 

Hagley Windows and Doors - set up by builder Geoff Ball - has grown from having just two employees in 1983 to more than 190 today.

 

In recent years, Hagley has invested millions of dollars in computer-controlled robotic glass-cutting and double-glazing machines, giving it an edge over competitors.

 

Its high-tech double-glazed window units are a growing part of its business, and now help make thousands of homes and businesses in the South Island warmer, dryer and more energy efficient.

 

The company has also made substantial investments in solar power and stormwater systems for its own premises.

 

It takes considerable power to run a factory the size of two football fields, dozens of machines and an energy-hungry glass-toughening furnace.

 

To meet some of these electricity demands, the company has put its abundant roof space to work, installing over 2900 solar panels.

 

It is one of the largest solar arrays in the South Island, and now generates over 20 per cent of the company’s power requirements.


"Just as changes to the natural world put pressure on organisms to adapt, we are now seeing powerful forces at work in the business world. Changes to the social, physical and financial environment mean businesses must become more sustainable and energy efficient."


Lorraine Mapu, Managing Director – Business, ANZ New Zealand Ltd.

 

 

Hagley is also subject to controls during peak winter periods, often when the region’s heaters, toasters and electric jugs cause demand to spike.

 

At these times, Hagley is required to shut down its furnace, effectively bringing its production line to a halt.

 

To be able to continue to operate through these restrictions, Hagley is looking at installing a biofuel generator, which it can crank up to meet more of its energy needs.

 

It is a clever and environmentally-sound way to make its production line more self-sufficient, and reduce further the amount power it draws from the grid.

 

The company has taken a similar approach to its collection and re-purposing of stormwater.

Geoff Ball, MD, Hagley Windows and Doors (L) with Lorraine Mapu, MD – Business, ANZ New Zealand Ltd (R).

 

It can capture up to 100,000 litres of water from its roof, using it to irrigate the site’s gardens and to wash the glass as part of the manufacturing process.

 

The system provides cost savings to the business while also reducing its demand on the council’s water system.

 

Based on a deep sense of commitment to the local environment and a long-term vision for the company and its staff, Geoff Ball’s investment is already paying dividends.

 

His efforts are a great example - but Hagley is far from being alone in its desire to become more sustainable and self-sufficient.

 

As the country’s largest bank, we’re seeing our customers increasingly turning to us for support and help as they consider how best to adapt and invest in their future.

 

As with any investment, making a business more sustainable comes at a price, but our newly announced  Business Green loan removes some of that cost barrier.

 

It is currently the only advertised green loan product in the market available to business customers and linked to the Green Loan Principles.

 

Available from 2 September 2022, eligible businesses customers can borrow up to $3 million at a special floating rate of 3.85% pa - a 1.5% discount on the Business Term Loan floating base rate (subject to change) - for a wide range of green initiatives.

 

These include investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, sustainable land and water use and wastewater management.

 

It’s not too late for businesses which have already invested in these types of improvements - they can re-finance their existing loans if they meet eligibility criteria.

 

The new loan is recognition that privately-owned businesses – like Hagley - are the backbone of New Zealand’s economy and that ANZ must step up to support their sustainability ambitions – no matter how big or small.

 

ANZ has led the way with sustainable finance for our Institutional Business customers and we’re proud to now offer a Business Green Loan which will support many more businesses to start down the road of becoming more sustainable, resilient and self-sufficient.

 

Hagley has had the foresight to make changes to the way it operates, become more self-sufficient with its power and water systems, and invest in a lower-carbon future.

 

By reducing the cost barrier with our Business Green loan - the lowest advertised floating rate in the market for a green loan - I hope we will see a large number of other businesses follow suit.

 

If biology is anything to go by, and businesses prove willing and able to adapt to the changed financial environment, I believe we can expect to see them evolve and, over time, become better suited to our changing world.

 

NB: Eligibility and lending criteria, terms and conditions and fees apply.  Interest rates are subject to change.

 

Find out more about ANZ's Business Green Loan

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