Improved energy efficiency, purchasing more electricity from renewable energy suppliers and carbon offsetting has allowed Barclays plc to make its UK operations carbon neutral, the banking giant has announced.

In 2006 the bank’s UK carbon emissions were 223,000 tonnes. It has now offset 60% of these with credits verified by the Clean Development Mechanism, with the remaining 40% offset by small scale projects which produce Verified Emissions Reduction (VER) credits.

The bank plans to continue reducing its actual emissions while offsetting the remainder.

“We plan to remain carbon neutral,” a spokeswoman for the bank told edie.

“It makes sense from an environmental view and also from a financial point of view.”

In a statement, Barclays group chief executive John Varley said: “Climate change has a significant potential impact on our business – on the markets in which we operate and on the customers and clients we serve. Reducing our environmental impact is a business priority.

“Going carbon neutral in the UK is a big step for an organisation the size of Barclays. However, there is much more to do and my goal is for Barclays to be a leader, not a follower, in incorporating environmentally friendly principles into its daily business.”

Sam Bond

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