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Heritage Bank gains climate neutral status

Heritage Bank has earned the government’s climate seal of approval, Climate Active certification, by reducing emissions.

The customer-owned bank, which has recently announced its merger with People’s Choice, now delivers its members banking services in an environmentally sustainable way, after earning certification.

Climate Active certification, a partnership with the Australian Government, is granted when organisations prove they are carbon neutral and committed to environmental sustainability.

Heritage Bank now joins the big four banks alongside Bendigo and Adelaide, Great Southern Bank, Suncorp and others for the stamp of approval.

Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock said it was an honour as it “strives to have a positive impact on the communities in which it operates” and being awarded Climate Active certification is a clear demonstration that it is putting the interests of its people and planet first.

“We have implemented numerous initiatives to reduce our emissions across our locations and are supporting some incredible projects like native bush regeneration through the purchase of carbon offsets,” Mr Lock said.

“Achieving carbon neutrality is a major step in demonstrating to our members that we’re serious about contributing to a sustainable future, and a step that has helped Heritage secure Climate Active certification.

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“I’m extremely proud that Heritage has achieved these milestones as it’s important we leave our communities in a better place for future generations.”

Heritage is also working with Tasman Environmental Markets to support native bush regeneration projects in Queensland and NSW that help landholders combat the loss of native plant species, and promote vegetation growth and a vibrant habitat for native wildlife.

Non-plastic cards

As it expands on its commitment towards sustainability, the bank has also launched plant-based debit cards.

The new Eco Cards are made up of 90 per cent PLA (Polylactic Acid) — a plant-based material — or “bioplastic”, with the remaining 10 per cent made up entirely of the chip and magnetic strip on the back.

Mr Lock said every aspect of the card is 100 per cent petrol-plastic free, but they are just as durable as conventional PVC plastic cards but gentle on the planet.

“Manufacturing Eco Cards uses 65 per cent less energy and produces 68 per cent fewer greenhouse gases when compared with plastic cards.

“At the end of their life cycle, these cards will degrade up to 20 times faster and release no toxins into the environment.”

The new Eco Cards also feature tactile dots to support visually impaired members, which “makes a real difference to those with vision impairments”, Mr Lock said.

“Importantly, this new feature will be included on all eco cards issued, making our products more accessible and inclusive for all.”

In keeping with its environmentally conscious approach and reducing waste, the card will only be issued to members when their current debit card expires.

[Related: Broker channel ‘important part’ of Heritage PCCU future]

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