Who to speak with

In the first instance, contact your relationship manager or local bank representative. The person you know best at the bank is a good place to start. Explain what you are looking for and the steps you are aiming to take to reduce your emissions. If they are not best placed to help, encourage them to find a colleague who could help.

Explore banks’ websites for green finance offerings. This can help you understand options available for your business and from there start the conversation with a bank representative.

What you could ask

The aim is to understand what the bank offers and, should they not offer anything, to flag examples from their competitors to ask whether they would consider doing similar. Therefore, key questions to ask include:

  • Do you offer support for businesses reducing their carbon footprint? For example:
    • Help to fund investments in new assets or in operational changes that reduce carbon footprints
    • Advisory services that could help refine the emission reduction action plan?
  • What information about our emissions reduction plan could help us access finance on improved terms?
  • Is there working capital support, such as trade finance*, asset-backed finance* or cash management services*, which the bank could offer to help us free up cash to reduce our emissions?

Sample text that you can use when contacting your bank.

“We at [company] are a business customer at [bank name] looking to find out more about what support you can offer as we look to reduce our emissions and meet a commitment we have made through the SME Climate Hub to reach net zero emissions ([link to a press release of your net zero commitment if you have one]).

We are aware that some banks have also made commitments to reach net zero emissions and are offering support for businesses, such as ourselves, that are also looking to take action on climate change. We are keen to speak to someone about what support you may be able to offer.We are currently looking to invest in [insert the emissions reducing investment you are most interested in investigating]. We would be keen to discuss this and alternative investment opportunities you think relevant with yourself or a member of your ESG business finance team.

Read about businesses who have successfully found financial support

Other sources of financial support

Customers (buyers)

Grants and other forms of government support

Balance sheet and investors

Potential sources of financial support – summary table

Stakeholder Motivation for providing financial support Examples of what financial support might be available Examples of who you could speak with to learn if support offered
Customers (buyers)
  • Climate commitments by companies that include reducing the emissions of their supply chain
  • Improve the resilience of their supply chain to new policies aimed to avert climate change or the negative impacts of climate change
  • Protect supply chain from increased costs associated with carbon, such as ‘dirty’ energy
  • Improved purchasing terms (eg, days receivable reduced so working capital improves for small business)
  • Access to preferential invoice finance (eg, borrow against outstanding purchase orders to access funds sooner)
  • Advice and mentoring
  • Procurement representative
  • Commitments by banks to support customers to reduce emissions
  • Reduce the risk and carbon footprint of bank lending
  • Strengthen relationships and generate business opportunitie
  • Working capital solutions, e.g. trade finance
  • Loans for investments that reduce emissions
  • Emission calculators and advice
  • Relationship manager
  • Sector specialist (eg, transport)
Grants and other forms of government support
  • Local, national and international objectives for action on climate change
  • Grants to encourage investment in emissions reduction
  • Discounted lending distributed by a development bank, such as KfW
  • Access to investors or other sources of funds dedicated to climate action
  • Accountant
  • Local council enterprise officer
  • Local municipality
  • Bank
  • NGOs offering financial support in your area
Balance sheet and investors
  • Lower operational expenditures
  • Improve the commercial positioning of the business (eg, including alignment with buyers’ climate-related procurement policies)
  • Investors’ climate objectives
  • Self-funded from balance sheet (cash, asset sales, etc.)
  • New shareholder investment (equity)
  • Accountant
  • Current shareholders
  • Prospective investors

Get in touch

Questions, feedback or suggestions? Get in touch!