Sustainable business principles
This section relates to our principle of Being a Responsible Citizen:
- Working within both the letter and spirit of legislation and abiding by relevant codes of practice and voluntary standards
- Respecting the human rights throughout our sphere of influence
- Upholding environmental responsibility within the bank, and through customers and suppliers
Read all of our principles.
We aim to employ the highest business and personal standards when dealing with customers, colleagues and suppliers.
Environmental, Social and Ethical Risk
The Royal Bank of Scotland is committed to delivering a world class service to its customers and clients while upholding its responsibilities as a global business.
The work we are doing to address risks arising from Environmental, Social and Ethical (ESE) issues is an integral part of meeting that commitment. Here we outline the framework in which decisions are made regarding ESE risk. Risk appetite statements covering specific sectors are published separately (see links below).
As a global business with links to a wide range of sectors we recognise that our actions and those of our clients present a number of ESE risks.
Given these potential risks, the Group is committed to the continual assessment of our lending in relation to sensitive sectors, the application of the appropriate lending appetite and review processes, and the promotion of sustainable business practices.
Externally, we maintain regular engagements with stakeholders who are directly impacted by or have an interest in our operations. This supports the Group’s decision making process and helps shape our ESE policies.
ESE Risk Management Tools
To ensure the effective management of ESE risk RBS uses the following mechanisms:
- Governance: The Group Sustainability Committee (GSC) has oversight of all sustainability issues including agreeing ESE risk appetite. We have also established risk teams within all of our functions, who can seek the additional support of a central ESE Advisory team, the Group ESE Risk Policy unit and the GSC, if required.
- Policy: Our internal ESE Risk Policy has been developed to inform our appetite for providing banking services to companies that operate in sectors that present higher ESE risks. For these companies, the RBS Group requires a review of a company’s commitment, capacity and track record in managing environmental, social and ethical risks.
Our policies reflect our adherence to national and international laws and regulation, wherever it applies. We’ve also incorporated a number of voluntary standards such as the Equator Principles and the UN Global Compact into our approach.
We’re committed to reporting publicly on how these standards are applied.
- Policy Implementation: ESE risks are assessed using sector ESE questionnaires and guidance notes. Our policies and sector ESE appetite statements are developed in collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders, and are approved at the Group Sustainability Committee. Prior to implementation, support and training on the application of policies is provided to all appropriate business areas.
- Decision-making Process: Adherence to the Group’s ESE risk policy and sector statements is the responsibility of all divisions within the Group. These divisions gain the support of Group ESE Risk and a central ESE Advisory Unit. Levels of risk are classified on an ongoing basis as: Normal, Sensitive, High or Prohibited. Customers or/and transactions classified as Sensitive and High require additional escalation to reputational risk forums for approval.
Sector ESE Statements
Details of our ESE Appetite Statements relating to specific sectors that have been indentified as having a high level of ESE risk are outlined in individual policy statements below. These policies are designed to ensure that the Group operates in a sustainable manner and are subject to ongoing review:
- Oil and Gas ESE Appetite Statement (PDF - 43KB)
- Mining and metals ESE Appetite Statement (PDF - 42KB)
- Forestry ESE Appetite Statement (PDF - 42KB)
- Group Defence Sector Statement (PDF - 23KB)
- Power Generation ESE Appetite Statement (PDF - 46KB)
Sustainable Procurement Code
The size and reach of our business means we purchase goods and services from a large number of suppliers across the world. Our relationships with these suppliers are based on fairness, transparency and integrity. The Sustainable Procurement Code (PDF - 44KB) outlines our key commitments to suppliers, and details our expectations of the companies we work with.
Group Environment Statement
We recognise that our size and reach means we have an important role to play in promoting environmental sustainability worldwide. The Group Environmental Statement (PDF - 26KB) sets out our approach to ensuring that the RBS Group considers environmental issues in all parts of its operations and business activities.
We respect and uphold human rights in all areas of our operations and within our sphere of influence, as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Global Compact.
Anti-Money Laundering Programme
To facilitate compliance with anti-money laundering laws, the RBS Group have developed and implemented an anti-money laundering programme. This consists of: policies, procedures, internal controls and systems. The Group endeavours to be fully compliant with national and international directives concerning the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.
For further details on our approach please see the documents:
- Anti-Money Laundering Statement (PDF - 141KB)
- USA PATRIOT Act Certificate (PDF - 124KB)
- USA PATRIOT Act List of RBSG Entities (PDF - 72KB)
- Wolfsberg questionnaire (PDF - 265KB)
Anti Bribery and Corruption
The RBS Group plc is committed to compliance with anti-bribery and corruption principles and provisions anywhere in the world where it has a presence.
Managing Diversity Policy
We value and promote diversity in all areas of recruitment, employment, training and promotion. The Group will work towards an environment that is based on meritocracy and inclusiveness, where all employees can develop their full potential, irrespective of race, gender, marital status, age, disability, religious belief, political opinion or sexual orientation.
Group Code of Conduct
We employ the highest business and personal standards when dealing with customers, colleagues and suppliers. The RBS Group Code of Conduct helps employees to act with integrity and comply with relevant legislation and regulations, including those on whistleblowing. All employees are bound by this code.
(Note: There are regional variations to this document)
If you would like to provide comment on these statements please contact our Group Sustainability team at firstname.lastname@example.org.