Bank Australia is the first bank in the world to own and operate a private conservation reserve in Western Victoria, outside Horsham. The bank works in partnership with several organisations to ensure the reserve is a thriving and collaborative example of science-based conservation in action.
Walking in a vast land full of biodiversity, who could imagine a bank owning a nature reserve? Bank Australia is the first bank in the world to own and operate a conservation reserve of 2,117 hectare. The reserve is a group of four properties in Western Victoria, outside Horsham, and is home to 225 native plants and 234 native animal species.
How it all began
The impact of colonisation and agriculture in Victoria’s western Wimmera region means the native ecology is particularly vulnerable to emerging threats, like climate change. To address the climate crisis with direct actions, the bank made the first purchase of 201 hectares, back in 2008.
At first, Bank Australia was committed to even out the size of its conservation estate and the total footprint of the houses built on greenfield sites by its home loan customers. This strategic compensation has transitioned out to focus on preserving biodiversity, adding to the land’s value by boosting vegetation, engaging with indigenous communities and delivering value to the banks’ customers.
Fiona Nixon, Head of Strategy at Bank Australia says:
“The bank has always tried to take a holistic view of what climate action looks like that takes into account the natural environment. We have always believed that the two things go together and that the private sector has a role in conservation.”