Our responsibility towards the environment
Reducing our impact on the environment and responding to the threats and opportunities of climate change
Making a positive contribution to the world around us
We take our responsibility towards the environment seriously. As a signatory to the Net Zero Banking Alliance, we are supportive of the goals of the Paris Agreement and are committed to transition all of our operational and attributable GHG emissions from our lending and investment portfolios to align with pathways to net zero by mid-century. We have set a short term target to become operationally net zero through our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2030.
We have already lowered these emissions by 54.7% since 2019, with a growing proportion of energy used across our offices and brewery rental sites being renewably sourced.
Reducing our operational impact
We are conscious of the environmental impact of staff travel, our supply chain and our office network, and we encourage our employees to make positive change by leasing low emission cars and participating in the cycle to work scheme.
We encourage waste recycling in all our offices and 100% of the waste contractors we use across our offices send zero waste to landfill. This year, we have continued to broaden our engagement with our supply chain on environmental matters, while working with those who share our ambitions to efficiently use resources and combat the adverse effects of climate change.
Client case study: Ellers Farm Distillery
Client case study: Staveley Mill Yard
Electrifying our fleet
We have set a target to have a net zero company car fleet by 2025. Our fleet of 692 cars (at July 2023) is now almost wholly battery electric or hybrid and we anticipate the majority of the vehicles to be fully electric by the end of the 2023 calendar year. Our efforts to transition our fleet has driven our fleet average emissions down to just 23.5 gCO2/km – significantly lower than the UK average for new cars.
Our environmental strategy
Our internal Environmental Policy outlines our continued efforts towards environmental sustainability, and includes:
- Compliance with all environmental legislation and codes of practice throughout the different areas we operate in and, where possible, demonstrate best practice in environmental stewardship;
- Continuing to monitor and report on our environmental footprint both internally and externally;
- Reducing our direct environmental impact from our operations through the introduction of various initiatives related to waste reduction and management, and our use of transport, energy and water;
- Minimise unnecessary consumption, improve rates of recycling and promote the use of recycled materials wherever possible;
- In particular, we will focus on energy efficiency, the purchase of renewable energy and the reduction of emissions from our fleet vehicles;
- Over the longer term aim to reduce our indirect environmental impact by working with our value chain and promoting efficient and responsible behaviour from both our customers and suppliers; and
- Raising awareness of environmental issues and promote responsible behaviour amongst our employees by engaging them through our “Green Team” of employee representatives, undertaking group wide initiatives and activities, and regularly conducting staff environmental surveys.
Renewable energy finance
We are an active provider of finance for the green energy and renewables sector, having lent over £750 million to schemes such as wind, solar and hydro power developments since 2014.
A world first at our container site in South Yorkshire
Brewery and distillery solutions
Did you know that each year 40 million pints of beer are thrown away per year due to poor sterilisation? At our Brewery Rentals container site in Thurnscoe in South Yorkshire we maintain and clean 3.5 million containers each year.
To help reduce the environmental impact of this facility, we re-engineered our operations to use ultra high pressure water jetting to clean and sanitise the kegs and casks, instead of traditional chemicals and heat. A world first in this industry, which has the added benefit of being more efficient as well as being more environmentally friendly.
Reducing our emissions
Our direct scope 1 and 2 emissions continue to fall through improved energy efficiency, greater adoption of renewable energy, and the electrification of our company car fleet.
In 2023, we have extended our carbon footprinting and disclosures to cover, in addition, all categories of scope 3 emissions across our operations as well as an assessment of our financed emissions in our loan book. More details can be found in our Sustainability and TCFD report.
GHG emissions and energy use
In the 2023 financial year, our total scope 1 and 2 (market-based) GHG emissions were 1,998 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (“tCO2e”), equating to 0.49 tCO2e per employee, down 54.7% since 2019.