Efficient operations

By 2014 we aim to have:

  • 15% reduction in energy and associated CO2 emissions
  • 12% reduction in water use
  • 15% reduction in waste disposal to landfill
  • 70% of waste recycled, reused or recovered
  • All paper either certified or 85+% recycled
  • All staff have access to virtual meeting technology

And by 2020 we aim to have:

  • 50% reduction in CO2 emissions from business travel
  • 50% reduction in paper use

"I’m very pleased that RBS has set ambitious targets to reduce our environmental impacts and help save resources over the coming years. Big business, big employers like RBS have a duty to manage their carbon footprint. It’s also an opportunity for us to show that RBS is changing and that we recognise our responsibilities as a global citizen."

Stephen Hester, RBS Group Chief Executive

Here are just some of the ways the we're changing how we work:


We’re investing in video conferencing facilities and virtual meeting technology which will significantly reduce the number of flights our people take. We’ve already reduced our air travel by 16% in 2011. We've also introduced a new regular virtual briefing method for executives who would normally travel from as far as Hong Kong, Mumbai and New York, to hold face-to-face meetings. The initiative saves approximately 24,000 air miles - the equivalent to 72 tonnes of CO2, or the emissions from providing electricity to 13 homes for a year.


By upgrading our building management systems, we can continually measure our energy performance in our offices. This allows us to drive down our energy consumption through our heating, cooling and lighting systems.


We’re reducing the amount of paper we use in our branches and the amount we send out to customers. We use electronic communications where we can, and have consolidated our mandatory paperwork, making it shorter and clearer.

Employee engagement

We run an ongoing employee engagement programme which encourages our people to change their behaviour. We do this through a range of initiatives from educating them on how to recycle to offering a subsidised cycle to work scheme.

Progress against the targets will be reported regularly through our Sustainability Report and the Carbon Disclosure Project.

* These targets relate to actual improvements in performance and are based on an adjustable 2011 baseline or other measures to allow for changes in the size of the Group.

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