Danske Bank cuts CO2 emissions despite substantial increase in air travel
The Danske Bank Group reduced its carbon emissions by 8% in 2013, from 2012, despite reporting a 29% increase in emissions directly from air travel.
The reduction in total CO2 emissions can be largely attributed to optimising energy consumption in buildings and purchasing energy-efficient IT and office equipment.
Electricity continues to be the bank’s main environmental impact and in 2013, it accounted for 40% of the Group’s total CO2 emissions.
Danske’s new branch network, which has fewer conventional teller branches and more advisory centres, has been key to its emissions reduction.
Other initiatives that have contributed include expanding the replacement of standard light bulbs with efficient LED bulbs to offices and branches in Norway, Sweden and Northern Ireland.
In addition, the bank’s solar panels at its offices in Høje Taastrup, Denmark, performed “very well” in 2013, delivering more electricity than expected.
The bank states in its 2013 sustainability report: “Through these efforts, we have reduced electricity consumption in each of the past four years. At the end of 2013, the total reductions since 2009 amounted to 28%, bringing us close to achieving our target of a 30% reduction [by the end of 2014]”.
However, CO2 emissions from air travel continue to be a challenge for the Group.
It claims that a 29% rise in emissions from air travel in 2013 was attributed to an “increased need for travel due to organisational changes that involved greater international collaboration”.
“Our operations are spread across 15 countries in northern Europe, and time can be a crucial factor in obtaining business,” the report states.
“A certain amount of air travel is therefore unavoidable, even though we try to use eMeetings and TelePresence instead as often as possible,” it adds.
The group says it is investigating several ways of reducing its environmental impact from air travel and aims to cut travel expenses by 25% in 2014.
It will also place restrictions on the number of trips and specifically on air travel to further reduce emissions.