NatWest banks on climate education with new £1.5m training programme

It has announced a three-year partnership with the University of Edinburgh to roll out the climate transformation training

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NatWest has launched a new £1.5 million programme to deliver climate education to more than 16,000 people across its Group by 2024.

It has announced a three-year partnership with The University of Edinburgh Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability to roll out the bank-wide climate transformation training, alongside a specialist training programme for commercial real estate, retail and leisure and manufacturing sectors.

Experts from the university will work with NatWest’s business banking specialists to deliver online education programmes to relationship managers and people in priority roles over 12 weeks to help business customers identify the opportunities a net zero economy can create while helping them become more sustainable.

They will also develop the training, tools and content needed to support colleague education and awareness to help them engage in climate conversations both within the bank and with business customers.

In addition, the university and the bank will work with real estate expert Cushman and Wakefield to provide commercial real estate specialist training; Circuthon Consulting, Helen Chambers Consulting and My Little Green Wardrobe to provide retail and leisure specialist training; and Warwick Manufacturing Group at Warwick University to deliver manufacturing specialist training.

James Close, Head of Climate Change, NatWest Group said: “Climate education across the bank is central to us reaching our climate ambitions and the UK’s move to a net zero economy. We continue to inspire climate action and innovation through learning and this partnership with the University of Edinburgh will enable us to accelerate this. In the next three years we will continue to improve the climate capability of the bank through co-delivery of a robust and specifically tailored programme of education.

“This specialist training will provide the confidence for colleagues to step into climate conversations both within the bank and with customers. Increased knowledge will empower bank colleagues to help businesses across sectors roll out effective and credible transition plans as the UK heads towards a low carbon economy.”

Around 85% of people who previously completed the programme were confident “knowing how to respond and make decisions on climate change impacts within the organisation”, compared to 32% at the start of the programme.