As technological, social and environmental changes shape the world, it’s important to stay connected with both our customers’ needs and the wider expectations of our stakeholders.
Our approach is focused on identifying issues that matter most to our stakeholders and have the potential to intersect with our business going forward. A continual process of engaging with external stakeholders on shifting topics of interest helps us shape and adapt future strategy, plans and products and services development.
Transparency in reporting
For a number of years we have prioritised transparency and openness in our reporting. This is the third year that we have published a combined Strategic Report, which aims to address some of the most important influences in our operating environment. These considerations, driven by a mixture of direct commercial impact and stakeholder interest have the potential to influence our ability to serve customers and create value for the long term.
In the future, we plan to go further by reporting more information that helps us and our stakeholders understand our performance.
We seek to understand the long-term impacts of our decisions and actions. We are a leading lender to the Sustainable Energy sector, a signatory to the Taskforce of Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), have enhanced our energy lending policies and are deepening our commitment to supporting financial capability and enterprise in the UK and Ireland, through a range of activities. These include MoneySense our flagship financial education programme for 5-18 year olds that has helped over 6.5 million young people learn about money over the last 24 years. Now used by 86% of UK secondary schools, it uses the key money moments in a young person’s life to make learning about money feel real and relevant. Also our Entrepreneur Accelerator Hubs support new businesses through our UK network.
A changing world
As the world around us continues to change, we welcome the growing prominence of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 targets. In 2018, we completed an assessment of our business activities against the SDGs and we’re engaging with a range of stakeholders to help us align our strategy.
Building a great place to work
Creating a great place to work for colleagues is essential if we are to build a better bank for our customers and our shareholders. Our employee opinion survey showed improved scores in every category and colleague engagement is at the highest point since we started measuring it in 2002.
Sustainability is also helping us shape our culture for the better. Our ‘Yes Check’ was introduced six years ago, and continues to be used to guide decision making across the businesses. Our employee volunteering and fundraising partnerships continue to make a difference for the communities we serve, help to restore colleague pride in RBS, and build trust in the organisation.
We are making progress towards embedding sustainability across our organisation. We know there is more to do, and throughout 2019 we will continue to listen and change for the better. We’ve learnt some important lessons in the past decade and this continues to motivate us to run the bank as a sustainable and responsible business, serving today’s customers in a way that also helps future generations.
Kirsty Britz, Director of Sustainable Banking