Based in the UK and headquartered in London’s Soho, OakNorth Bank, is the neobank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. Founded in September 2015 by Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, the bank has lent nearly £10b since launch to some of the UK’s most exciting and innovative growth businesses, directly helping with the creation of thousands of new jobs and new homes.
Leading customer of ONci, OakNorth Bank has the ambition, responsibility, and opportunity to take the lead on addressing the most critical challenge of our time – climate change. The bank started its journey in this regard back in 2019, offsetting and reducing its Scope 1 and 2 emissions to net zero, whilst continuing to seek ways to reduce its operational emissions without reliance on offsets.
Unconstrained by the age and complexity of many other commercial banks’ business models, OakNorth Bank feels it’s their call to be more ambitious. Its target of achieving net zero by 2035 for all emissions, including all Scope 3 from its supply chain and lending activity, demonstrates that ambition. While the bank happily states that it doesn’t yet have all the answers as to how it will get there, the entire organization from the grassroots to the Board is committed to it reaching its goal, with ONci’s ON Climate solution set to be an integral part of the process.
As outlined in its latest Annual Report, 2022 was another year that saw OakNorth Bank play its part in financing investment in companies who are leading the transition to the green economy, as well as promoting more sustainable living via businesses that are rolling out EV charging points, helping transition energy efficiency of buildings, and developing sustainable homes to vegan food companies.
The report details how ON Climate – which allows commercial lenders to evaluate, measure and report on climate risk and financed emissions - has been vitally important in providing OakNorth Bank with the ability to assess the climate transition risk within its loan book, enabling its nationwide lending teams to support customers through the transition. Furthermore, to further aid the bank’s thinking and the development of its financed emissions methodologies, in February 2023, it became a signatory to PCAF (the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials), the leading recognized industry body for developing approaches to assessing and disclosing greenhouse gas emissions associated with loans and investments.
Looking ahead, OakNorth Bank intends to deploy ON Climate to further broaden its engagement with suppliers of sustainable business practices, as well as accelerate its decarbonization strategy throughout the rest of 2023.
“OakNorth bank takes great care in striking the right balance between its ongoing reduction efforts and recognizing the important role that credits play in helping early-stage carbon removal businesses prove and scale their technologies.”
Matthew Bullivant, Director of ESG Strategy at OakNorth Bank
Matthew Bullivant, Director of ESG Strategy at OakNorth Bank, states that the bank takes great care in striking the right balance between its ongoing reduction efforts and recognizing the important role that credits play in helping early-stage carbon removal businesses prove and scale their technologies. He adds that while there is considerable time, effort, and cost involved in helping businesses transition, banks have a unique ability to make an outsized impact.
This ‘outsized impact’ that Bullivant references is a key reason behind ONci’s excitement to continue supporting OakNorth Bank on its net-zero journey, as well as its aim to keep leading the charge towards a greener economy.