Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Overview

Welcome to the Barclays Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) hub. 

Barclays 2018 ESG highlights

£27.3bn Social and Environmental Finance facilitated

-38% reduction in carbon emissions

261,000 customers supported

2.4m people across UK supported

Barclays recognises that the focus on the societal impact of businesses and performance on wider ESG factors has increased in recent years, with growing interest from a range of stakeholders including investors, clients, policy makers and regulators.

We believe that the foundation for effective ESG management is robust and transparent governance and integration of these considerations into the way that we do business. This includes alignment with our overall strategy and embedding relevant matters into our risk management framework and our product and service offering.

This section provides detailed information on ESG disclosures and links to other relevant resources, including position statements and policies.

Reporting and disclosures

Barclays publishes a comprehensive ESG Report alongside our Annual Report in response to specific stakeholder interest in more detailed disclosures on non-financial matters, including material environmental and social topics. The ESG report provides additional disclosures and acts as a guide to supporting information in other documents in the Annual Report suite. We continue to align and integrate our ESG disclosures with our overall reporting approach. The ESG report, along with other disclosures, products and associated information, can be accessed below.

Barclays 2018 Environmental Social Governance (ESG) report (PDF 6.3MB)
Annual reporting suite
Our statements and policy positions Diversity & Inclusion

Corporate governance

Investor Relations Barclays PLC Materiality Review and GRI Content Index 2018 (PDF 185 KB)
Barclays UK green products
Barclays Corporate Green Solutions Barclays Investment Bank Impact Series    

Reporting and measurement methodology


We use a variety of tools to track and measure our performance and collect both quantitative and qualitative information to get the full picture. We also aim to maintain a robust internal and external assurance process for our key metrics, with strong controls and data management.

ESG Reporting Framework (PDF 700KB)

Barclays’ Reporting Framework sets out the definitions and measurement methodology for our key performance metrics in more detail.

Impact Eligibility Framework (PDF 633KB)

We commissioned Sustainalytics, a global provider of ESG and corporate governance research, ratings and analytics, to help develop the Impact Eligibility Framework. It provides a process for Barclays to identify positive environmental and social transactions across the organisation, and to track their associated financing volumes.

Additional ESG resources

Thematic focus areas

Banks play a key role in connecting the providers and users of capital. Barclays recognises this role in serving society, and our success as a business has always been inextricably linked to the progress of the people, communities and businesses that we serve. As society’s expectations of businesses continue to evolve, we aim to stay ahead of those expectations. It is by focusing on our core products and services, and our relationships that we can make the greatest positive impact.

So as we move forward into 2019, our Citizenship and Sustainability work will evolve to align with our new Purpose, and will go further towards improving the positive social and environmental impact of the business we do every day.

Our key focus areas are:

Capital and Products
We will continue to develop opportunities to achieve positive outcomes through the financing solutions and the products and services we provide across the diverse consumer and wholesale client segments we serve.

Skills and Employability
We will scale our partnerships with leading community organisations to address critical skills development and employability opportunities..

Economic Growth
Barclays has been part of the fabric of the UK for over 328 years. In addition to our role in the UK as a leading employer and provider of financial services across all segments of the economy, we will also pursue targeted local economic growth initiatives working in partnership with a range of stakeholders.

Sustainable Innovation
We recognise the role of innovation in solving some of society’s most pressing challenges and the part Barclays can play in supporting new ideas to flourish, and entrepreneurs and ventures to grow and thrive.

Environmental Stewardship
Banks have an important role to play in ensuring the world’s energy needs are met while helping to limit the threat that climate change poses to people and to the natural environment. 

Corporate governance frameworks

Our corporate governance framework, code and rules, policies and Board responsibilities.

The Barclays PLC Board Reputation Committee reviews management’s recommendations on conduct and reputational risk, and the effectiveness of the processes by which the Group identifies and manages these risks. The Committee also oversees Barclays’ conduct in relation to its corporate and societal obligations, including environmental and social matters. Read more information on the Committee

Statements and policy positions

Barclays has a series of statements and policy positions on ESG matters including environmental areas, including energy and climate change, human rights, and governance related statements on code of conduct, data protection, financial crime, resilience and tax. Read these statements 

Climate Change

Banks have an important role to play in ensuring the world’s energy needs are met while helping to limit the threat that climate change poses to people and to the natural environment. See the Energy and Climate Change statement (PDF 91KB) and Environmental Stewardship  for further information on green financing and climate related risk management. The 2018 ESG Report (PDF 5.97MB) includes an update on our response to the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures.  

Diversity and Inclusion

Barclays ensures that employees of all backgrounds are treated equally and contribute fully to our vision and goal. Further information on our approach including fair pay reporting 

Human Rights

As a global business, we have a clear responsibility to support governments and civil society groups in respecting and upholding human rights. We aim to operate in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as other international standards, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and International Labour Organization Core Conventions. Read further information 

Supply chain

Barclays must effectively manage, monitor and mitigate risks in our supply chain. With that in mind, key risks in delivering goods and services to Barclays have been identified along with a set of control obligations which we expect suppliers to our organisation to adhere to. Read an overview of our approach and supplier engagement.  Additional detail information including our Supplier Code of Conduct.

ESG Ratings and benchmarks

Barclays is evaluated on ESG factors by a wide range of external agencies. Although there is significant variance between methodologies, with relatively opaque scoring models and limited consistency in the underlying data used at present, we believe it is important that these agencies, working with companies, investors and other market participants, continue to enhance consistency and transparency to support increasingly robust ESG data and ratings in the future.

Across a set of ESG Ratings, our performance was broadly stable year-on-year with methodology changes the primary drivers of scoring.

The FTSE4Good ESG Rating was flat at 4.3/5 (2017: 4.3/5 with an 81st percentile ranking against the global banks sector. Barclays was rated BBB by MSCI ESG Ratings (2017: BBB) and scored 60 points in Sustainalytics ESG Ratings (2017: 61 points). We saw a decline in our RobecoSAM scores due to changes in methodology, down by 4 points to 75 points (2017: 79 points), against a sector average of 54 points.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) released new environmental and social quality scores to assess corporate disclosures. On a 1-10 scale where 1 is highest, Barclays was rated as ‘1’ for social reporting and ‘2’ for environmental reporting. Barclays was rated as A- in the 2018 CDP climate disclosure survey, up from B in 2017.

Contribution to global initiatives

We collaborate through strategic partnerships with a number of associations, such as industry associations, and national or international advocacy organisations. Our involvement may include participating in projects or committees, providing support and sharing expertise. At the end of 2018 these were as follows:

  • Banking Environment Initiative
  • Equator Principles
  • United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)
  • UNEPFI Principles for Responsible Banking
  • Thun Group
  • Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Barclays Asset Management Ltd and Barclays UK retirement fund are signatories of the UN Principles of Responsible Investment (UN PRI).