Yorkshire Bank has become the first UK high street bank to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for its efforts in tackling climate change. The bank was given the prestigious accolade after reducing its carbon footprint by 15.8% over a period of 12 months.
The Carbon Trust Standard is the world’s first carbon award that requires an organisation to measure, manage and reduce its carbon footprint and actually make real reductions year-on-year. Unlike other award schemes, organisations are rewarded for actions they’ve taken to cut carbon across their own operations.
Nigel Larkman, environmental programme director for Yorkshire Bank, said: “Being awarded the Carbon Trust Standard demonstrates how important cutting carbon is to us as a business. We aim to be entirely carbon neutral by September 2010. The recent carbon cutting measures we have undertaken have brought us one step closer to achieving that goal.”
The refurbishment of Yorkshire Bank’s Leeds Head Office complex, completed in 2008, has contributed considerably to the bank’s carbon reduction strategy, generating a 68% reduction in building energy use through changes in lighting controls and air conditioning. The bank, part of National Australia Bank Group, has also invested in software which enables devices across its Retail and business banking properties to be switched off automatically between certain time parameters.
Harry Morrison, General Manager of the Carbon Trust Standard, commented: “Being certified with the Carbon Trust Standard is proof an organisation has taken genuine action to reduce their direct impact on climate change by cutting carbon emissions. We congratulate Yorkshire Bank on this fantastic achievement.”
The Carbon Trust Standard was launched in June 2008 with the support of Environment Secretary Hilary Benn and Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden.
Deborah Meaden, Dragon’s Den entrepreneur, said: “I passionately believe that success in business and positive action on the environment can go hand in hand and deliver real bottom-line benefits. The Carbon Trust Standard is about showing which organisations have really taken practical action on climate change – it cuts through greenwash and celebrates those businesses making genuine reductions in their carbon emissions.”