Direct environmental footprint | RBS

Direct environmental footprint

RBS is committed to reducing the environmental impact of serving its customers. During 2016, we outperformed our 20% carbon, 5% water and 50% paper reduction targets. We have set new targets for these areas: 45% carbon, 10% water and 60% paper reduction by 2020.



Benchmarking our environmental performance


  • RBS achieved a ‘Leadership’ category listing of A- in the Carbon Disclosure Project index.
  • Our score in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index is 84, 88 for our Environmental Dimension. 
  • We are ranked 25th in the Carbon Clear FTSE 100 environmental sustainability index.
  • Our Gogarburn offices achieved Cycle Friendly Employer status.
  • Our Thanet Grange office maintained the Fairplace accreditation.
  • The Innovation Gateway won recognition from Corenet for supporting innovators and testing new products.
  • We won Platinum in the Clean City awards for two London city offices. 



We reduced our total combined Scope 1, 2 and business travel emissions by 25% from a 2014 baseline, outperforming our target to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020. Our decrease in scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions is largely attributable to a 15% per FTE reduction in energy consumption since 2014. 



We reduced total energy consumption by 22% (15% per FTE) from a 2014 baseline.


  • Electricity we buy in Scotland, England and Wales is from renewable sources.
  • Rationalisation of property space is contributing to a reduction in energy consumption.
  • We have constrained electricity consumption in data centres by decommissioning legacy IT.
  • Realising the benefit of investment in 384 building management systems in branches.
  • Demand Logic has been introduced in 17 office buildings since December 2015. The technology monitors the performance of equipment, alerting engineers to prioritise and repair faults quickly.  


We have reduced total business travel carbon emissions by 14% since 2014, 35% from a 2011 baseline. We are on track to meet our target to reduce business travel emissions by 50% by 2020 from a 2011 baseline.


◦  A reduction in long haul flights due to our focus on markets in the UK and Ireland contributed to reduced carbon emissions.


◦  We have Capacity for over 70,000 colleagues to access their desktop from a remote location.


◦  There are around 5 million ‘conversations’ using online collaboration tools each month. 



We reduced the total volume of paper we use by 17% since 2014 and by 58% from a 2011 baseline, outperforming our target to reduce paper consumption by 50% by 2020 from a 2011 baseline.

◦  More than half of our customers opt for paperless statements.

◦  Colleagues printed 20% less paper for internal use compared to 2015. This has been achieved by for example focusing on reducing cost across the bank.

◦  Over 90% of the paper we buy is recycled. 



We have reduced the total volume of waste we generate by 4% since 2014. We divert 96% of UK waste from landfill, 70% globally.  Our target is to send zero waste to landfill by 2020.

◦  Achieved ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ in our central London offices.

◦  Segregation of kitchen food waste for anaerobic digestion in all restaurant locations.

◦  Removed hand towels from 800 branches and 22 large offices. 



We have reduced total water consumption by 5% compared to our 2014 baseline year meeting our target to reduce water consumption by 5% by 2020 from a 2014 baseline. Water saving technology from the Innovation Gateway has improved our performance.

◦  Waterblade tap nozzles in wash hand basins can reduce water consumption by 60%.

◦  Air2Eau extracts moisture from the air to produce 100% sustainable pure drinking water.


View our 2016 environmental footprint [PDF 42KB] Read RBSG Re-baseline and Restatement Policy 2015 [PDF 557KB]


Engage every colleague

Throughout September, almost 63,000 colleagues from across the bank took part in Our View 2016, the annual RBS employee survey. 74% of colleagues agree that RBS is an environmentally responsible company.

  • Bank wide employee campaigns and performance meetings on the cost and environmental impact of wasted resources.
  • 1200 colleagues logged over 2500 sustainable actions on green reward app JUMP.
  • Facilities managers in the UK are accredited by BIFM following environmental training.


Engage our Suppliers

We expect our suppliers to prioritise the following as part of the RBS Sustainable Procurement Code.

  • Manage their operations in accordance with good environmental practice, including policies and procedures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water use, waste generation, consumption of finite natural resources and pollution of land, air and water.

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