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Ways to reduce your business costs and carbon footprint with green assets

1 March 2023

Climate change is increasingly impacting businesses, the environment, and the economy. Many businesses are actively taking steps to understand and manage risks and challenges associated with climate change. Many are also taking advantage of the new opportunities it presents.

Bendigo Bank has committed to reducing climate change risks and contributing to the transition to net zero emissions. Our Climate Change Action Plan sets out our approach to addressing climate change. Bendigo Bank is actively working to reduce the carbon and environmental footprint in our own operations.

We are also helping our customers take steps to mitigate, adapt and respond to climate change. Many businesses and communities are already taking action. Using green assets is one important way that businesses can do this.

What are green assets?

A green asset is anything which helps to reduce the energy, water, or natural resource usage of your business. This includes electric vehicles and charging equipment, or solar panels and inverters. Other examples are storage batteries and energy or water saving technologies.

Of course, reducing energy or resource use could offer ways for your business to save money over time. For instance, you may then have lower energy bills. If so, then investing in green assets could be a win-win for both the environment and your business.

Solar solutions

A range of businesses can benefit from installing solar panels to generate electricity. The exact impact will depend on the payback period. This is the time over which energy savings pay back the costs of an asset.  There is guidance available to help you decide if solar panels are a good option for your business.

The decision whether to install a battery can be more complex. Things to consider include the time of day that your business uses energy and the size battery you’d need. There are higher upfront costs, but also possible greater savings for businesses that use a lot of electricity. Again, it’s important to get advice on the potential impact for your business, such as from solar experts or your financial advisor.

Bendigo Bank recognises the impact solar can have in cutting emissions. We are keen to ‘walk the talk.’ So far, fifty-one Bendigo Bank and Community Bank boards have installed solar panels on their branch buildings. This is reducing energy usage and carbon footprint and lowering operation costs.

Adding other sustainability measures can make an even greater impact. Our corporate building in Bendigo was the first 5-star Green Star building in regional Australia. It incorporates features including water recycling, solar hot water, and underfloor air-conditioning.

Electric Vehicles

The use of electric vehicles (EVs) is increasing in Australia. EVs can provide a way for businesses that use vehicles to save on fuel costs and emissions. There are also potential Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) cost savings associated with EVs. Where employers provide eligible EVs to staff, FBT is not payable if the vehicles meet certain criteria.1

Bendigo Bank is undertaking its own EV pilot. Three staff members from around Australia are each behind the wheel of a new electric vehicle, a Nissan Leaf E+. The pilot has led to important learnings about issues like accessing charging networks. For example, installing charging points in locations such as apartments can be more expensive. So EVs might best suit staff with on-site parking. It’s important to factor in ongoing troubleshooting and support to make sure EVs work for staff and for the business.

These lessons will inform Bendigo Bank’s strategy to transition our entire sealed road fleet to EVs. We can also share real-world considerations with business customers considering EV fleets. Bendigo Bank is supporting customers to buy EVs through equipment loans.

“We are committed to reaching our goal to purchase 100 percent renewable energy by 2025 and reduce absolute emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Our EV strategy is going to help do just that,” said Bendigo Bank CEO and Managing Director, Marnie Baker.

Bendigo Bank is also offsetting carbon emissions from travel, through carbon offset provider Greenfleet. We are working to reduce business travel emissions to 25 percent below 2018/19 levels.

Getting electric buses on the road

Bendigo Bank has a range of equipment financing options to make purchasing green assets a reality for its customers. Melbourne-based bus fleet Donric Group was looking for ways to reduce its carbon emissions. It recently began a trial of electric buses and approached Bendigo Bank for an Equipment Finance Loan. These funds enabled Donric Group to buy two new Custom Denning Zero Emission electric buses.

By replacing two diesel buses, Donric Group are reducing carbon emissions. But these new buses will also help to illustrate the efficiency and viability of electric buses. The trial will inform the Victorian government, as it looks to transition the State’s public fleet of around 4,000 buses to zero-emission buses.

Make the switch to green assets

Is your business looking for ways to reduce your energy use and carbon footprint through a green asset? The Bendigo Bank Equipment Finance team can help find the right loan for your business. Options include equipment loans, finance leases or asset purchases. Our lending specialists can work with you to tailor equipment finance solutions. We offer competitive pricing and flexible repayment structures to suit you.

Make an enquiry today.

Any advice provided in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives, and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable product documentation including terms and conditions on our website before acquiring any product. Terms and conditions, fees and charges, and eligibility and credit criteria apply.
1Further information on FBT exemptions is available from the Australian Taxation Office: You should seek the advice of a professional tax advisor to understand your FBT obligations.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this nation and the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present as it is their knowledge and experience that holds the key to the success of future generations.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

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