Bank of Ireland said on Thursday it has committed to reducing emissions from its residential mortgage portfolio by 48 by the end of the decade, as it continues to push green mortgages for energy efficient homes and finance the retrofitting of houses.
The State’s largest bank by assets has also promised to deliver a 56 per cent reduction in commercial real estate portfolio emissions between 2020 and 2030.
The targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a global body enabling businesses to set emission reductions targets and fall into a category known as Scope 3 emissions. These result of activities from assets not controlled by a company, but that it indirectly effects in its value chain.
“These targets for the Group’s lending activities (Scope 3) are consistent with levels required to meet the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement and are supported by increased sustainable lending as part of the important green transition for wider society,” Bank of Ireland said.
The SBTi has also validated the group’s target of a 49 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations – or what are referred to as Scope 1 and 2 – by 2030, the bank said.
In line with SBTi guidance, targets must be reviewed, and if necessary, recalculated and revalidated, at a minimum every five years to ensure consistency with the most recent climate science and best practices.
Bank of Ireland said that €3 billion of green mortgages – against homes that have a building energy rating (BER) or B3 or better – have been drawn down by customers in the Republic since it launched this product in 2019. The bank said that it is also the State’s largest provider of wholesale finance for electrically-charged vehicles.