Environmental sustainability

Managing our environmental impact through sustainable banking

Protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development have always been cornerstones of our Ethical Policy

We support small businesses and organisations whose activities promote a healthy environment and we seek to minimise our impact on the environment.

We support international efforts to tackle climate change, actively support organisations whose activities promote a healthy environment, and we do not provide banking services to customers that conflict with our commitments.

How we promote sustainable development

Reporting on our carbon footprint

We have reported our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 1998. We measure our direct GHG emissions in carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2 e) using the latest UK government guidance. Our direct GHG footprint encompasses energy consumption, refrigerant leakages from major occupancies and all business travel (air, rail and road).

Read our Sustainability Reports

We are 'beyond carbon neutral'

And have been since 2007. We take steps to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible, for example by sourcing all of our electricity from renewable energy suppliers and reducing our business travel.

While we take steps to reduce our carbon emissions, it’s impossible to reduce them to zero. We compensate for this by offsetting our residual carbon emissions, plus an additional 10% to address the impact our business activities have had in the past, and convert this into carbon credits.

We work with climate and development experts, Climate Impact Partners, to identify projects around the world that have a positive impact on the environment and the local population, which is in line with our Ethical Policy.

Reducing our use of energy

All of the electricity sourced by The Co-operative Bank is 100% renewable. We continue to take steps to reduce our energy use and encourage our suppliers to make reductions in their own operations.

Zero waste to landfill

In 2019 we challenged ourselves to improve our environmental credentials and do more to protect our planet by sending zero waste to landfill by the end of 2020. Despite the challenges caused by the pandemic during that year, we were able to implement the programme across our branches and offices and achieve our goal.

Colleagues are now recycling more of our operational waste than ever before. Where possible we send specific waste streams to specialist recycling companies. Any waste that is not recyclable is sent to energy recovery facilities.

We’ll continue to review our zero waste to landfill programme and challenge our colleagues to recycle as much waste as possible. Our next step is to introduce a full circular economy within our business.

Reducing our travel

We continue to encourage colleagues to work flexibly and make fewer work-related journeys. As a result, our travel-related carbon emissions have reduced significantly and our colleagues are benefitting from less time travelling, alongside a reduction in their environmental impact.

Woman and child gardening

Ethical screening

It is our commitment not to provide banking services to businesses and organisations that conflict with our Ethical Policy.

Community project family

Values and ethics

At The Co-operative Bank, we have always been driven by something different: an ethical approach to banking.

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