Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has created a new team to support its corporate clients as they transition their businesses to become more sustainable.
The team will specialise in structuring environmental, social and governance (ESG) products and services, helping corporates become more sustainable and supporting the UK’s road to net-zero. The team will be led by Jonas Persson, currently head of the sustainable and natural resources team in the bank’s Corporate & Institutional Coverage (CIC) division, which supports larger businesses. In his new role Jonas will report to Scott Barton, Managing Director and head of CIC.
As well as bringing together internal sustainability experience into the planned 16-strong team, the bank will look to bring in material external sustainability expertise. Jonas will be joined by David Willock, a sustainability specialist who has led the rollout of the green buildings tool, which helps commercial property firms make their buildings greener, in his current role in the real estate and housing team within CIC.
The Sustainability team, which will support businesses across the UK, will also provide insights and learnings to clients to inform their green strategies. The creation of the new team comes ahead of the COP26 conference, which is being held in Glasgow in November. Lloyds Banking Group is a major employer in Scotland and supports consumers and businesses through its Bank of Scotland brand.
Jonas Persson, Managing Director and head of the new Sustainability team, said: “Sustainability has rightly been on the corporate agenda for a number of years, with the Paris Agreement and the UK’s net-zero legislation in 2019 focusing minds on the measures needed to tackle climate change. Finance has a key role to play in that, both in funding new, greener projects and incentivising corporates to continue making sustainable changes to their businesses.
“The new team will combine deep experience in structuring sustainable finance products across many sectors with expertise and insights to help clients make the right decisions for their firms and the environment. Our investment in this area reflects our belief in the role that business has to play in building a more sustainable society and our own commitment to being a leading sustainable bank.”
The formation of this new team is another step by Lloyds Banking Group to support increased sustainability in the UK. The Group announced last year its commitment to working with clients and government to reduce the carbon emissions of the businesses and projects it finances by more than 50% by 2030.
Last year Lloyds Banking Group provided £2.3 billion of green funding to businesses and in 2021 it is expanding the funding available under green finance initiatives from £3bn to £5bn to support green transition. The Group has also trained over 800 colleagues in climate change and sustainability-related risks and opportunities in collaboration with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.