Barclays cuts CO2 emissions by 5%

Barclays bank has reported a 5.2% carbon emissions reduction in 2013, from 2012, largely a result of increased efforts on energy efficiency.

Carbon savings from real estate contributed the most to the overall reduction by 4.2%, primarily through savings from energy efficiencies initiatives, while data centres and travel contributed 0.2% and 0.8% respectively to the overall reduction.

The bank said it exceeded its “in-year target” for carbon reduction through the implementation of programmes and policies that improved its operational energy efficiency and effectiveness of its business travel.

For example, Barclays ran a global energy efficiency programme throughout its real estate portfolio that led to carbon savings of 35,360 tCO2e (3.5% of total reduction). The programme focused on lighting efficiency projects, optimisation of heating/cooling systems and implementation of more energy efficient desktops.

The bank also ran key energy efficiency initiatives in its data centres that led to carbon savings of 1,932 tCO2e (0.2% of total reduction). These initiatives included airflow and variable frequency drive projects in the US and chiller optimisation and BMS upgrades in the UK.

For travel, savings of 7,690 tCO2e (0.8% of total reduction) were delivered through the implementation of a new global travel policy and more robust approval processes.

In 2013 Barclays committed to a new carbon reduction target of 10% by 2015, against a 2012 baseline, as part of The Barclays Citizenship Plan, which the bank launched in June 2012 and updated in July 2013.

Barclay’s chief executive Antony Jenkins says the bank is on track to deliver against many of the targets announced in its Citizenship Plan.

“Society continues to face profound social, economic and environmental challenges. So, we must build on the feedback from our stakeholders, maintain momentum, think more boldly and work with others to truly make a transformative contribution to society far beyond 2015,” said Jenkins.

Energy efficiency efforts also helped the bank reduce total CO2 emissions by 7% in 2012 compared to 2011.

Leigh Stringer

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