The Co-operative Bank leads the charge against the climate-nature crisis with market-leading ESG credentials

28 July 2022

5 min read

  • For the second year running the Bank has been recognised as the UK’s Best ESG-Rated High Street Bank by leading Rating Agency Sustainalytics*, and as of 2022 also received an MSCI ESG rating of AAA**, validating the Bank’s ethical leadership
  • The Co-operative Bank joins MPs, environmentalists and scientists to back The Climate & Ecology Bill - calling for stronger, joined-up legislation to tackle the climate-nature emergency

Last week saw the UK’s hottest temperature on record, reaching 41 degrees in some parts of the UK. With concerns about climate change continuing to be a burning issue for UK consumers, it is more important than ever for businesses to ensure they’re doing all they can to reduce their impact on the environment.

Recent research*** conducted by The Co-operative Bank showed that 36 per cent of Brits listed climate change as the issue they were most concerned about; this was up from 33 per cent in 2021****. With the increasing importance that consumers place on tackling the climate-nature emergency, The Co-operative Bank is proud to have been recognised as the UK’s Best ESG-Rated High Street Bank by leading Rating Agency Sustainalytics, for the second year running and with an improved score. The Bank has now also received an MSCI ESG Rating of AAA, and that is along with an improvement to its ESG Rating from agency ISS, who awarded the Bank with their ‘Prime’ ESG label, authorising the Bank’s tradeable bonds and shares to fall under their ‘Responsible Investment’ category. These improved scores have further validated the Bank’s ethical leadership in the industry.

Commenting on the announcement, Maria Cearns, Chief Administrative Officer at The Co-operative Bank said;

“We are delighted that multiple ESG rating agencies have recognised how the Bank is pioneering in its approach to sustainability. As the original ethical bank, our credentials in this space are incredibly important to us and we are proud to see this external reflection in our renewed scores. We are dedicated to maintaining, and wherever possible, improving our ESG accreditations which are testament to our 30 year commitment to our customer-led Ethical Policy. Working with our customers and through the tenacity of our colleagues we were the first UK bank to sign the Paris Pledge, denying finance for coal mining and power generation and we have been beyond carbon neutral for over a decade. We continue to demonstrate that our actions speak louder than words, something a quarter of people in our research said they wanted to see from the brands they do business with.”

Through the Bank’s renewed ESG ratings and its refreshed pledges within its updated Ethical Policy, the Bank exhibits its commitment to responsible investment, sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy; exclusively financing non-polluting enterprises through its business banking and most recently encouraging mortgage customers to improve their EPC ratings. Growing the Bank’s green and social product base is a natural next step, guided by co-operative values and ethics to ensure that investments align with what customers expect.

With the best ESG score of any UK high street bank, The Co-operative Bank is proud to support the Zero Hour campaign and back The Climate and Ecology Bill. Zero Hour is a mass mobilisation campaign and has the backing of 157 cross-party MPs and Peers. Over 200 councils have passed motions in support of the Bill, 25,000 members of the public have signed up to the campaign and over 450 businesses, community groups and NGOs support the Bill.

Dr Amy McDonnell, Zero Hour Campaign Director said: "2022 is a crucial year for our planet. The Climate and Ecology Bill is an ambitious proposal for a new law. It contains a robust strategy for tackling the twin nature and climate crisis in a joined-up way, and it ensures the public get a say on finding a fair way forward. Zero Hour, the campaign for the Bill, is proudly partnering with The Co-operative Bank, an organisation that has a clear commitment to tackling this important issue and a long history of campaigning on the causes that matter most to its customers. The findings from The Bank’s recent research shows that combating climate change is one of the most important issue that the UK faces today and consumers are behind a huge and growing drive for big, bold changes to UK legislation."

More of the Bank’s future-focused commitments can be found in its Ethical Policy here:

Our Ethical Policy | The Co-operative Bank

More on the Climate and Ecology Bill can be found here: Climate & Ecology Bill - Zero Hour


Notes to Editors:

*Rated by Morningstar Sustainalytics in the Regional Banks sub-industry with a score of 8.3 as of 8 July 2022
** As of 2022, The Co-operative Bank received an MSCI ESG Rating of AAA
*** Research conducted by Opinium among a nationally representative panel of 2,000 UK adults between 20 May 2022 – 24 May 2022
**** Research conducted by Opinium among a nationally representative panel of 2,001 UK adults between 9th – 13th July 2021

For further information please contact:

Daniel Chadwick / Nicki Parry
The Co-operative Bank
Email: /
Mob: 0772 470 1319 / 0773 400 2983

About The Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank plc provides a full range of banking products and services to retail and SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) customers and is committed to values and ethics in line with the principles of the co-operative movement.

In 1992 The Co-operative Bank took a pioneering step to become the UK’s first bank to have a customer-led Ethical Policy. And it’s still unique today. The Bank’s Ethical Policy defines how it acts as a business, the causes it supports and the ways it uses (and won’t use) customers’ money. It is shaped by the views of customers in regular Values & Ethics Polls.

In 2022 The Co-operative Bank is celebrating its 150th year of providing ethical banking services, and remains strongly positioned to provide an ethical alternative in the UK banking market.


The Co-operative Bank Press Office

Landline: 0151 271 1985

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