Lloyds Bank bets big on renewables
Britain's fourth-largest bank, Lloyds, has released its 2014 Responsible Business Review, revealing a revamped commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency but increases in water consumption.
Lloyds pointed out that its operations as a financier have been beneficial for the low-carbon economy, providing capital for more than 3.6GW of renewable projects in 2014.
Globally, investments in clean energy totalled almost 10GW, covering solar, offshore and onshore wind, waste-to-energy and biomass - saving 13.2 million tonnes of CO2 annually.
And Lloyds now appears similarly committed to renewable energy in its own operations, having recently signed a power purchasing agreement in early 2015. The deal with Infis Energy - which produces energy from landfill waste - will ensure that 20% of the bank's energy is procured from fully traceable renewable sources.
Lloyds' biggest environmental gain of the past year was a 13% reduction in energy use, driven by a combination of energy management activities and investment in energy-efficiency measures. Investments included energy metering, solar window-films and enhanced boiler controls.
The resulting fall in energy use was primarily responsible for a 2% year-on-year drop in emissions - and a 20% drop since 2009.
The report said the only area where emissions increased was related to oil use, because a new data centre became operational, and the bank "received several deliveries of new oil".
During 2014, Lloyds diverted 92% of operational waste from landfill, a decrease of 2.7% compared with 2013.This drop was "primarily due to changes in waste regulations in Scotland from 1 January 2014", which required all recyclable waste to be separated from non-recyclable waste on-site.
As similar changes have taken place in England and Wales from 1 January 2015, the group expects its landfill-diversion rate to fall again next year.
However, the report says Lloyds is looking outside of its own operational waste to tackle other waste streams. For example, 30,411 litres (almost 29 tonnes) of cooking oil was collected and taken for reprocessing into biofuel last year, achieving CO2 savings of almost 53 tonnes - equivalent to taking 265 cars off the road.
Water consumption decreased by 14.3% compared with the 2009 baseline, but increased by 3.8% compared to 2013.
The report explained: "In 2015, we plan to reassess our water management strategy to drive further reductions to ensure we remain on track to achieve our 2020 target to reduce consumption by 20% (compared to our 2009 baseline).
"To help us understand where we need to focus our attention,we are also conducting a high level review of water efficiency measures already installed at each site."
Rival bank RBS launched its Innovation Gateway last year which funded resource-efficiency SMEs, allowing them to test innovations on the the HSBC estate.