RBS banks huge green savings from Innovation Gateway

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is expected to save more than 40,000 tonnes of CO2 and 200 million litres of water - equating to savings of £7.5m - each year from its 'Innovation Gateway' programme, which provides trial sites for green innovations and clean technologies.

The resource efficiency initiative, conceptualised last year by the bank’s head of customer innovation Marcela Navarro, offers a direct route to market for sustainability start-ups and SMEs, with new technologies installed on the RBS estate.

The first round of innovations selected by the Gateway were installed on the RBS estate less than two months ago and are already saving the bank more than 126 tonnes of carbon, 4.5 million litres of water and £300,000.

“For us to have achieved this in just one year is phenomenal,” said Navarro. “Delivering these results has required a colossal amount of hard work, creativity and belief but together we have now built a model for delivering change on an epic scale.

“Writing more than 100 years ago, the Nobel Prize-winning author and journalist Anatole France said ‘to accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe’.

“Through the Gateway we dreamt and we acted. We planned and we believed. And as these results now prove, together we accomplished great things.”

Urinal caps

Successful Gateway innovations include a range of water-saving bio-caps that fit onto standard urinals, an energy saving device that powers down your PC when it’s not in use, magnetic secondary glazing that reduces heat loss from windows and a ‘reinvented toilet’ that saves up to nine litres of water per flush.

Seventy percent of the Gateway trials are now taking place, with installations across the RBS estate in the UK at buildings such as 36 St James Square – the bank’s registered head office in Edinburgh – Headrow Court in Leeds, various branches in Manchester and Premier Place in London.

Gateway Propelair Installation from Footprint on Vimeo.

The bank is launching in a new round for the Gateway at the bank’s global HQ at Gogarburn. 

Writing exclusively for edie earlier this year, Navarro said: “RBS knows that most innovators and SMEs struggle to establish a profile and a place in the market, despite their James Dyson-like potential. The Gateway is setting out to change this and open the doors to more partnerships between SMEs and large companies.

“The more we embrace the concept of long-term relevance, the more we can embrace the role that key drivers such as diversity and innovation can play in sustainability.”

Marcella Navarro at Energy Management Forum 2015

New techniques for efficient lighting, energy security, innovative energy management plans, staff engagementand winning investment for all of these projects are top of the agenda for those responsible for energy management.

edie’s fourth National Energy Management Forum will address all these key areas. Experts from a range of industries will share their knowledge, and experience on what has worked for them and how best to decide on your own organisation’s route to compliance in 2015.

Marcella Navarrowill be partaking in a panel discussion on the role of energy management at the Forum. Find out more and register to attend here. 

Luke Nicholls

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