Direct environmental impacts

As a global organisation we are fully committed to minimising our operational environment impact when and wherever possible.

Barclays is committed to managing our own operational footprint and reducing our absolute carbon emissions. As of the end of 2018 Barclays exceeded our 30% carbon reduction commitment with a 37% Group emissions reduction against the 2015 baseline (PDF 52KB). We have set ambitious new targets [table 1] to reduce our emissions through the procurement of renewable energy and improve our waste recycling.

Progress to date

Our 37% emissions reduction was achieved through the implementation of our managed energy efficiency programme which was aimed at improving the operational efficiency of our property portfolio and data centre estate. The programme saved 44 million kWh’s of energy.  We also acknowledge that the reduction of greenhouse gas grid emission factors has contributed significantly towards our overall Group carbon reduction. We have seen a reduction in our business travel emissions through the implementation of stricter controls on travel and approval processes.




Retail refresh programme

1.3 Gigawatt Hours (GWh)

Achieved through the implementation of energy efficiency measures such as over door air curtains, back of house LED upgrades and building optimisation measures.

LED programmes

7.3 GWh

LED replacements at our corporate office locations across the UK, USA and India.

Data centre initiatives

27 GWh

Global Server Decommissioning programme run by our Data Centre teams to remove any unused legacy equipment across our data centres and comms rooms. 474,000 kWh’s reduction through installing new chillers in our UK Data Centre which utilises free cooling technology

Environmental Property Policy & Environment Standard

Barclays’ Group Property Policy sets out criteria for environmental management, risk, opportunity and control for our buildings as we operate our business. Within the Property Policy we have environmental controls which range from aspects and impacts, pollution control through to environmental data reporting. These controls are annually audited by Barclays Internal Audit and control effectiveness is reported as part of our Enterprise Risk Management Framework. Within our Property Policy we include a commitment that any building investment over £5m will achieve an independent best practice standard for environmental performance.

Environmental Management Systems

Barclays has ISO 14001 certificates across the top 100 energy consuming buildings in our portfolio which represent 33% of our total energy consumption. All our buildings are covered by Environmental Operating Procedures which are aligned to ISO 14001 standards ensuring environmental best practice is delivered across all our portfolio.

Green buildings

Managing our environmental impact is at the centre of our strategy – in fact, we have 23 construction projects recognised with LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) accreditation across our portfolio. Our Piscataway Data Centre has achieved Energy Star rating for the sixth year in a row demonstrating best practice in energy efficiency within our Piscataway Data Centre.

Colleague Engagement

We believe that effective, two-way communication with colleagues is essential to reduce our operational footprint. Working with our colleagues we have developed a community of global environmental champions who foster a culture of sustainability.

We run four engagement events through each quarter of the year with activities in each region that focus on key environmental topics such as recycling and energy conservation (Earth Hour, World Environment Day, Barclays Environmental Awareness Day and Waste Awareness Week).

Looking forward

2018 – 2030 Targets

Greenhouse gas reduction


Achieve a combined 80% reduction from scope 1 & 2 emissions aligned to Science Based Target methodology 2025

Energy use


Purchase electricity from renewable sources. 90% to 2025 and 100% by 2030

3% energy savings per annum



25% reduction in water baseline 2025

100m litres recycled




75% diversion from landfill  2025

5 Point Plastic Plan to remove or replace single use plastics by 2020


95% of paper recycled 2025

Vendor engagement

90% CDP Supply chain response rate 2025

80% of suppliers reporting GHG emissions 2025

Table 1

Energy strategy

To support our transition to a low-carbon economy Barclays have joined the RE 100 initiatives led by The Climate Group. We have committed to procure 100% of our operational electricity power needs from renewable sources by 2030, with an interim target of 90% by 2025. Through this goal Barclays can make an active shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and transition to a low carbon economy.


An improved waste strategy is in place across our buildings and we are actively engaging our landlords to align with our waste principles. As part of the strategy we set a goal to divert at least 75% of our general waste from landfill globally by 2025.

Our global 5 Point Plastic Plan aims to replace or remove single use plastic items available from our catering, branch and office areas. The specifically focuses on single use drinking cups, plastic cutlery, plastic containers, plastic straws and stirrers and coffee cups. In some cases, plastic may still be the preferred solution however working with our suppliers we have improved the quality of plastic between grades 1 to 3 to ensure these products can be recycled.

Paper & Water

Globally we recycle 95% of our paper through our confidential waste stream. In addition, we are working with our Procurement teams to increase the coverage of sustainably sourced paper globally. In addition, we are actively looking to improve the efficiency our water consumption across our buildings through the installation of water saving infrastructure in our buildings. We also share top tips for colleagues for efficient water use whilst at work as part of our colleague environmental campaigns.

WELL Registration

Barclays are working with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and are a member of their new Portfolio Pathway Programme. This allows Barclays to demonstrate our commitment to the health and wellbeing of all employees.

IWBI delivers the WELL Building Standard™, the leading global rating system and the first to be focused exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness.

Sustainable Sourcing

Barclays recognises that the management of environmental impacts is integral to good business practice. We encourage our suppliers to join us in similar efforts to implement Environmental Management Systems (EMS) as appropriate to their businesses, and to align with best practice activities. This is tracked through our Supplier Code of Conduct

Our RFP process further requests suppliers to confirm if they have a Science Based Target or when they anticipate setting one which contributes to their overall RFP score. Our aim is to encourage companies to set ambitious emissions reductions targets aligned to SBT methodology.

In 2019 we further set two new targets to increase our supplier engagement through our work with CDP. We have set a target to achieve a 90% response rate from our suppliers in responding to CDP’s Climate Change questionnaire. Our other target aims for 80% of our suppliers reporting carbon emissions to create a robust Scope 3 Supply Chain emissions baseline and track any emissions reduction initiatives across our supply base. Barclays have been recognised for our commitment to engaging our supply chain and have been listed on the 2019 CDP Supplier Engagement Leader board.