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Commonwealth Bank announces industry-leading agri green loan pilot 18 November 2021

CBA is piloting a new low-rate loan to support agribusinesses to reduce their net emissions, make their properties more resilient to climate variability, and enhance their natural capital.

In a first for the Australian agriculture industry, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has today announced a pilot that will provide funding at discounted rates to support agribusiness customers invest in environmental initiatives on their properties.

CBA Group Executive Business Banking, Mike Vacy Lyle, said: “We are excited to launch this pilot that will offer participants funding, at discounted rates, to invest in eligible initiatives that enhance both natural resources and climate resilience for the future.”

Mr Vacy Lyle said the eligibility criteria for this pilot covers a broad range of sustainability practices, such as projects to reduce emissions, sequester more carbon, improve soil health, promote biodiversity and vegetation cover, and protect waterways.

“From planting shelter belts of trees, to water use efficiency projects, we want to support customers who are adapting to the changing climate and protecting the environment in which they operate. An important part of the loan will be verification with the customer that the funds are used for defined, eligible purposes.”

“Our first pilot loan is well on its way to supporting Victorian horticultural producer Katunga Fresh, who is investing in the energy efficiency of their glasshouses, which will reduce their emissions intensity.”

Katunga Fresh is a privately held company of the Van Den Goor family, established in 2003, and one of the leading producers of truss tomatoes in Australia.  The family arrived from Holland and purchased a 1,200 square metre glasshouse, and today have expanded to 21 hectares of glasshouses.

Owner of Katunga Fresh, Pete Van Den Goor, said: “We are excited to be the first CBA customer to trial this pilot offer. It is very pleasing that our bank is actively supporting our sustainability plans to become net zero carbon. The great thing about this project is that it means we are generating operating cost savings while reducing our impact on the environment. It is win-win for us.”

This pilot follows CBA’s launch of an Australian-first sustainability linked loan for agriculture and CBA’s Property Sustainability Upgrade Loan for new and existing business customers with commercial properties.

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