Journey towards integrated reporting
This year for the first time we have published a combined Strategic Report. This brings together our previously separate financial and non-financial information, describes how we create value and the key influences in our operating environment. We’ve been reporting annually on our sustainability performance since 2003, but this is an important first step towards fully integrated reporting over the next few years.
This change means we are not publishing a separate Sustainability Report, but will instead be updating these pages with more detailed sustainability information alongside the Strategic report to cover the full breadth of issues we work on.
Transparency and openness
For many years we have prioritised transparency and openness in our reporting. We were the first large UK bank to disclose details of our energy sector lending and in 2016 we received our highest ever scores in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (84) and Carbon Disclosure Project (A-). We plan to go further in the coming years by reporting more information that helps us and our stakeholders understand our performance on the issues that matter to us all.
We will also deepen our commitment to supporting financial capability and enterprise in the UK and Ireland, through a range of partnerships and initiatives. These include MoneySense - our 22 year financial education programme for 5 to 18 year olds - and Entrepreneurial Spark, which opened 6 new free business accelerators for start-ups in 2016 bringing our total to 12 in the UK.
As technological, social and environmental changes shape the world we live in, it’s even more important to stay connected with our customers’ needs and the wider expectations of our stakeholders. Our external stakeholder engagement programme helps us to shape our future strategy and our approach to designing products and services that deliver value for customers and for society more broadly.
Sustainability is also helping us shape our culture for the better. Our ‘Yes Check’ was introduced 5 years ago, and continues to be used to guide our decision making across the businesses. Our employee volunteering and fundraising partnerships are not only continuing to make a difference for the communities and societies we serve, they are helping to restore colleague pride in RBS and build trust in the organisation as a whole.
We are making progress towards embedding sustainability across our organisation and this will continue to be a strategic focus in 2017. We know there is more to do, but we are listening and we are changing for the better.
Kirsty Britz, Director of Sustainable Banking