BNZ’s new low-cost rate loans make it easier for businesses to invest in green assets

Sustainability is increasingly front of mind for New Zealand businesses, from small startups to large corporates. Surveys by the Sustainable Business Network (SBN) reveal a strong commitment to sustainable practices among NZ corporates, while Stats NZ has found that a third of local businesses are investing in climate change measures. Yet, as RNZ reports, a significant gap remains: While the vast majority of the country’s small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are concerned about sustainability, more than 40 per cent report that they lack the knowledge and resources to become more sustainable. 

Recognising this gap, BNZ has announced a refresh of its Green Business Loan proposition, including a limited time, low-cost rate Green Asset Finance Loan. This initiative is designed to help SMEs finance no and low emission vehicles and machinery such as electric forklifts, cars, trucks and buses, at a market leading fixed interest rate of 5.5% p.a. for up to five years, capped at $500k per customer. 

“At BNZ, we’ve made a strategic commitment to help build a resilient, regenerative and inclusive Aotearoa for the long term and helping our SME customers reach their sustainability goals plays a huge role in achieving that,” says Alex West, BNZ’s Head of Sustainable Finance – Growth Sectors. 

Supporting businesses to be more sustainable is not only key for New Zealand to achieve its climate change commitments, but also brings a range of other benefits, from supporting biodiversity and enhancing water quality to improving labour practices and delivering better social outcomes for our communities. 

And as West points out, it also makes strong business sense.  

“Switching to electric and plug in hybrid vehicles with BNZ’s Green Asset Finance Loan can significantly reduce fuel and maintenance costs, in addition to the emissions benefits. Being sustainable doesn’t mean sacrificing your bottom line – it’s actually crucial for long term financial success,” he says. 

While BNZ’s Green Asset Finance offer is focused on clean transport and machinery assets, West says that the Bank’s wider Green Business Loan proposition can support a diverse range of sustainability initiatives. 

“At BNZ, we’re seeing a growing desire among our customers to embark on their own sustainability journeys. They range from those who are already incorporating sustainability into their businesses to many who are keen to make a difference but don’t know exactly where to start.  

“Our role is to be there as a trusted advisor, to guide and support them through the process. We collaborate closely with our customers, understanding their unique needs and aspirations, and together, develop sustainable finance solutions to not only benefit their businesses but also contribute positively to our communities and environment.” 

South Island Forklifts’ sustainable shift with BNZ 

South Island Forklifts, a forklift rental company in Christchurch that has been operating since 1999, has made a major move towards sustainability, investing heavily in eco-friendly electric forklifts, with the help of a Green Business Loan from BNZ. 

“We saw adopting green electric forklifts as a logical step for us,” says the owner of South Island Forklifts, Jason Donnithorne. “These forklifts are the future of our industry, and we are dedicated to assisting our customers switch to a more sustainable fleet. 

In addition to the environmental benefits of eliminating the need to regularly change used engine and transmission oils, green electric forklifts also have lower operating costs than fuel-powered forklifts. This is because the electricity they use is typically much cheaper than diesel or gasoline.   

“With BNZ’s Green Business Loan, we’ve been able to purchase these environmentally friendly machines, which not only match our sustainability values but also offer cost savings to our customers. 

“Our aim is to set an example,” he says. “We want to show the industry that making sustainable choices is not just beneficial for the planet – it’s good for business too.” 

To discover how a BNZ Green Business or Green Asset Finance Loan can help your business reach its sustainability goals, visit our website or speak to your banker.

Summary: BNZ Green Asset Loan  

  • Low-cost rate loans are available to finance a broad range of green assets. 
  • Market leading interest rate of 5.5% p.a., fixed for up to 5 years. 
  • Maximum loan of up to $500,000 per customer. For lending over $500,000, speak to a BNZ banker about what we can do.
  • Available until 17 May 2024 or until the total amount available is exhausted, for new and existing business customers with their main banking relationship with BNZ.
  • Eligibility criteria, terms and fees apply, including those that apply to the base product.