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Sustainability at Bank of England

Environment

We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and the environmental impact of what we do. Our environmental programme, ‘Greener Bank’, is supported by a staff-led network of around 50 Green Champions across the Bank.

Our carbon footprint

In 2016 we established our carbon footprint for the first time. We have used this to set ourselves a challenging target: to reduce our overall carbon emissions from our direct operations by 20% by 2020. This is our first-ever carbon reduction target, and we’ll be reviewing it regularly to make sure it reflects any material changes to how we operate. 

Our main areas of focus to help us achieve the target will be increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings, reducing our use of resources and adopting more environmentally friendly business practices, such as printing less, recycling more and using technology to reduce travel. 

What is the Bank doing to reduce its environmental impact?

Recent examples of our work to reduce our environmental impact include:

We are working with RE:FIT London to make our buildings more energy efficient. We have upgraded to more efficient lighting and controls and modern boilers, and carried out energy audits to identify further energy saving opportunities. 

Replacing some disposable food and drink packaging with reusable items has led to a 40% reduction in disposable paper cups being used at the Bank.

Our success in waste and resource management was recognised in 2016 when we received a Platinum Award from the City of London’s Clean City Awards Scheme.

We are taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of banknotes, including recycling the vast majority of banknotes that are no longer fit to use. Our decision to move to polymer banknotes will have lasting environmental benefits. In 2017, we obtained independent certification from the Carbon Trust of the carbon-reduction benefits of polymer banknotes notes over paper banknotes.

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