Barclays goes carbon neutral in the UK
Barclays PLC (“Barclays”) has announced that it has gone carbon neutral in the UK. This move is part of Barclays commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and manage its impact on the environment.
John Varley, Group Chief Executive, Barclays, 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.”
Barclays has adopted a phased approach to going carbon neutral: focusing on improving energy efficiency and using increased amounts of renewable energy before offsetting the remaining carbon emissions. Barclays has a target of reducing its UK CO2 emissions per £million of income from 16.8 tonnes in 2005 to 12.9 tonnes by 2010. From April 2007, Barclays will source 50 per cent of the energy used by its UK operations from green sources, which will reduce its carbon emissions by approximately 120,000 tonnes a year.
Andrew Flett, Head of Environmental Management, Barclays, said: “Barclays is committed to taking a responsible approach to the environment and the issue of climate change. Going carbon neutral is a milestone in our environmental strategy but is absolutely not an end in itself. Focusing on energy consumption and sourcing an increasing part of it from green sources remain our top priorities. These make sense both from an environmental and financial point of view.”
In 2006, Barclays CO2 emissions in the UK amounted to 223,000 tonnes. Sixty per cent of these emissions have been offset through Certified Emissions Reductions (CER) following the process set out in the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. The remaining 40 per cent are being offset through investment in small scale projects which produce Verified Emissions Reduction (VER) credits:
- Small scale wind power in India. Supplier: The CarbonNeutral Company
- Rural solar lighting in India. Supplier: The CarbonNeutral Company
- Energy efficient cooking stoves in Lesotho. Supplier: Climate Care in partnership with the German Development Corporation, GTZ
- Wind energy in China. Supplier: Climate Care
The cost of the offset programme for the year end 2006 amounted to £1.7 million, reflecting current market rate for CERs and the high quality of the VERs purchased.
To ensure maximum efficiency of the process, global professional services firm ICF International provided an independent expert opinion on the robustness of Barclays approach and its positioning compared to best practice. SGS, an inspection and certification company, performed verification of Barclays emissions inventory and of the accounting and offsetting processes. Barclays is committed to making its carbon neutral process as transparent as possible and for this purpose, ICF’s expert opinion will be included in the Barclays 2006 Corporate Responsibility Report, to be published in April 2007.
Abyd Karmali, Managing Director, Europe for ICF International, said: "Our review found that the overall approach to carbon neutrality taken by Barclays is sound and effective. Barclays has rightly given priority to reducing its carbon emissions through internal measures. In our opinion, Barclays is bringing an innovative approach to carbon neutrality, through creating an internal cost of carbon, and through diversified options to acquire existing offsets or invest in emission reduction projects.”
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