Own operational footprint

We have met our ambition to be Net Zero Carbon[1] across our own operations in 2020. We achieved this through a combination of emissions reductions, in line with our 1.5-degree science-based target commitment, alongside offsetting residual Scope 1, 2 and 3 (business travel, paper, waste and water) emissions through the purchase of internationally recognised TIST Carbon Credits[2]. 

NatWest Group understands that carbon offsetting is only an interim solution; however, we believe it’s the best way to take accountability for the carbon we emit until it can be eliminated at source.

Climate positive by 2025

Our priority now is to focus on becoming Climate Positive across our own operations by 2025, so that we offset more carbon than we emit. Last year we announced this would be achieved by maintaining our 2020 level of carbon offsetting and simultaneously reducing emissions from our own operations a further 25% by 2025 (2019 baseline).

Due to the exceptional circumstances linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have already reduced emissions by 33% (against 2019 baseline), driven by reduced energy consumption and business travel. Additionally, with more than 50,000 colleagues working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some emissions have transferred to colleague homes.

In recognition of this exceptional year, we have:

  1. Calculated and offset all colleague home working and commuting emissions (37,596 tCO2e). These additional emissions offset in 2020 go beyond our current reporting boundary of emissions in our direct operational control. To calculate these emissions, we collaborated with EcoAct, Lloyds Banking Group and other organisations to launch the first ever open source home working emissions methodology.
  2. Set the minimum level of offsets that we will maintain through to 2025 to 120,000 tCO2e, aligned to our 2019 market based emissions; instead of 2020 emissions (93,144 tCO2e), which are lower than 2019.
  3. We will continue to pursue a 25% carbon reduction by 2025 (2019 baseline) due to an expected rebound in the future.

Road to climate positive for our own operations by 2025

At NatWest Group, we aim to use resources sustainably, following the key principles of an environmental management system (EMS) by identifying, managing and monitoring environmental areas and continually improving our approaches.

We are also placing more focus on our value chain by reducing waste to 3kg per full-time employee (FTE) per week by 2025 and seeking to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastics.

Our climate targets have been set in alignment with UK and devolved government strategies, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and a circular economy approach to eliminate waste and minimise consumption of finite resources.

Our new 2025 environmental targets

Sustainable use of resources

Our Carbon Reduction Plan

We published our Carbon Reduction Plan (PDF 502KB) in September 2021, in response to Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/21 of the UK Government (Taking Account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts). Within this Carbon Reduction Plan, we cover our Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon footprint relating to our Own Operations activities within the UK, including our offshore operations.

[1] NatWest Group define Net Zero Carbon as “a state where no incremental greenhouse gases are added to the atmosphere, with remaining emissions output being balanced by the removal of carbon from the atmosphere”. 

[2] TIST projects remove carbon from the atmosphere through tree planting. All TIST carbon credits are dual-validated and verified under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCB).

(*)Limited assurance provided by Ernst & Young LLP.