NAB bolsters green loan offering with blockchain technology

The aim is to help farmers report on sustainability

NAB bolsters green loan offering with blockchain technology

NAB has recently partnered with agri-tech start-up Geora to support Australian farmers in reporting the impact of their sustainability practices.

The partnership introduces the use of blockchain technology to aid farmers with the reporting covenants of NAB’s Agri Green Loan. Geora has come on board to integrate existing sustainability data into blockchain to create a standardised record of environmental impact and emission reduction efforts.

NAB said the process would add a layer of transparency to the Agri Green Loan book, while creating a “trustworthy record” that companies can share with their stakeholders.

“We know that farmers are being asked by many different stakeholders to report on their sustainability efforts,” NAB chief innovation officer Howard Silby (pictured above) said, according to an article which appeared on the bank’s website.

“Digitising and building trust through a transparent and consistent reporting structure will make this process easier and saves duplication for farmers and their entire supply chain.”

The initiative also demonstrates how the financial services industry can further utilise blockchain technology in cases like climate transition, Silby said. 

“We believe that elements of the future of finance will be blockchain enabled and that the technology also has the potential to assist with how we track and audit our ESG-linked financial products.”  

Blockchain helps farmers keep track of green outcomes

One of the companies taking advantage of NAB’s new blockchain integration is the Queensland-based Leather Cattle Company.

Melinee Leather, co-owner of the Leather Cattle Company, said the new technology generated data that helped them keep track of how their sustainability efforts contributed to carbon reduction.

“We invest an enormous amount of hard work into making our cattle production green and sustainable,” Leather said. “Working with NAB and Geora to track this digitally means we can actually prove the impact of these green projects. The ability to store information using blockchain will also be of value to purchasers of our beef to show the credentials in the quality of our product.”

Meanwhile, Geora CEO and co-founder Bridie Ohlsson said the initiative was a good example of a collaboration between traditional banking and the start-up industry.

“The process of building more sustainable agriculture involves moving trust from the physical world to secure digital environments,” Ohlsson said. “NAB is a core part of the producer’s trust network in Australian agriculture, and that’s one of the reasons we are so excited to be working together.”

Geora was founded in 2019 and has since been using blockchain networks to provide farmers across the globe with data solutions.    

Silby also noted that NAB was working on expanding its Agri Green Loan offering and exploring other avenues to incorporate technology in the agribusiness sector that “can help with cost efficiencies that we can pass through to customers where they are investing in driving quality ‘green’ outcomes”.