We're focusing on the areas where we have the greatest potential to make a difference as a business. We not only take proactive steps to reduce the direct impact of our own operations on the environment, we also recognise that we have a greater impact through our lending and investment activities.
Of our direct impacts, we consider energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and our contribution to mitigating climate change to be the most material, but we are also addressing waste, water use and paper use.
Our 2015 Climate Action Programme embraces our approach to managing direct and indirect climate impacts and sets clear objectives and actions around three priorities:
- Managing our own carbon footprint – including a commitment to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 4% by 2013 and continuing to offset the remainder
- Developing products and services to help enable the transition to a low carbon economy – including financing and risk management solutions to enable capital to flow to lower carbon opportunities
- Manage climate change risks – including collaborating with other stakeholders to manage the risks of climate change to our operations, our clients and to society at large.
We continue to improve the way in which we collect and monitor energy, carbon and water data and recognise that our targets must take into consideration changes in our structure and operations as well as improvements in data quality. We are committed to being open and transparent about this process, and as such this data is independently verified and assured.
We’re working with suppliers and colleagues across the business to reduce waste and promote recycling from our offices and branches. To date, dry mixed recycling facilities have been rolled out across our Retail and Business Banking division in the UK.
In our Corporate and Investment Bank, and Wealth and Investment Management divisions, internal tools are being developed to assist in tracking and monitoring waste volumes in the UK. Looking ahead, we will be doing more to develop targets in the management of paper and waste.
As part of our Climate Action Programme, we offset our operational emissions through purchasing credits that are, as a minimum, certified to the Voluntary Carbon Standard, which shows the projects genuinely help to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and are both auditable and traceable.
Through offsetting, we are able to help fund projects that deliver equivalent CO2 savings, either by improving energy efficiency or generating renewable energy. Some projects also deliver social benefits, for example, helping to provide sustainable livelihoods or improve community health.
We purchase carbon credits from projects in Brazil, China, India, South Korea, Tanzania, Kenya and Thailand.
We have forged a number of environmental partnerships
in countries where Barclays has a presence, to support carbon reduction and biodiversity initiatives.