Direct environmental impacts

As a global organisation, Barclays is fully committed to minimising our operational environment impact and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

In 2019, we made significant progress towards our commitments.  We achieved a 53% reduction in Group carbon emissions against the 2018 baseline through the purchase of renewable energy contracts across our operations in the UK and continental Europe. We are procuring 60% of our operational electricity needs from renewable energy and are on track to hit our interim RE100 target of 90% by 2025.

In light of this progress, we have committed to accelerating these timelines and are targeting an 80% Scope 1 and 2 emission reduction and to procuring 90% of our electricity from renewable sources by end of 2021.

2018 – 2030 Targets (progress to date and accelerated targets)

Target theme Current target 2018 - 2030 2019 Progress to date 2020 New accelerated targets
Greenhouse gas reduction Achieve a combined 80% reduction from Scope 1 & 2 emissions, aligned to Science Based Target methodology, by 2025. 53% reduction in 2019 vs. 2018 baseline. 80% emissions reduction from Scope 1 & 2 by end of 2021.
Energy use

Purchase 100% electricity from renewable sources for all of our operational electricity power needs by 2030, with an interim target of 90% by 2025 as part of our RE100 Commitment.

To complement our renewable energy target, we have set a 3% energy savings target per annum.

Energy consumption reduced by 1.8% in 2019 against the 2018 baseline.
To date, 60% of our energy is produced through renewable means. We have a Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) for all of our mainland sites in UK and a number of green contracts across our properties in continental Europe.

90% by end of 2021.

100% by end of 2030.

15% energy savings by end of 2023.

Water 25% reduction in water usage by 2025. 100m litres recycled 2025 .Water recycling pilots have taken place at key locations with a view to a wider deployment of initiatives in 2020.
Waste 75% diversion from landfill by 2025. At the end of 2019, we achieved a 91% global Diversion from Landfill rate. In 2020, we will set a global waste reduction target to 2025 which will complement our diversion from landfill target. This will form part of our accelerated waste management programme.
5 Point Plastic Plan to remove or replace single use plastics by 2020. Over 80% of the 5 Point Plastic Plan has been delivered across all of our corporate sites globally resulting in 22 million single use plastic items being removed or replaced. As the 5 Point Plastic Plan draws to a close, we are evaluating the remaining plastic items that exist in our portfolio and will look to remove these items as part of our accelerated waste management plan.
Paper 95% of paper recycled 2025. 98% of paper recycled In 2020, we will create a paper policy that mandates purchase of sustainably sourced paper for all office printing.
Vendor engagement 90% CDP Supply chain response rate by 2025. 80% of suppliers reporting GHG emissions by 2025. We continue to work with CDP as part of the CDP Supply Chain programme, hosting the 2019 CDP Supply Chain report launch at our headquarters in London.
In 2019 we reached out to 120 suppliers to complete CDP’s Climate Change questionnaire to understand our suppliers approach to climate change and emissions reductions. We achieved a 56% response rate from our suppliers in 2019. We have also been recognised for our leadership in supply chain engagement and have been listed in CDP’s Supplier Engagement Leader board in 2019.

Progress to date

We continue to work on improving the operational efficiency of our property portfolio and in 2019 conducted a number of projects globally which have achieved a total energy reduction of 2GWH’s since implementation. This is enough energy to boil 13 million kettles.

Programme Savings (MWh) Description
Asset Replacement 200 Globally we have conducted end of life asset replacement installing more energy efficient plant in our buildings
Building optimisation 1,300 Across a number of our large buildings we have conducted improvements to the building management systems to ensure efficient plant run times and aligning heating and air conditioning to the occupancy of our buildings.  
Lighting 490 In 2019 we have conducted a number of LED installations across our sites in the USA, India and in the UK. We also saved 180 MWh of electricity globally through our switch off campaign as part of Earth Hour 2019 
Data centre initiatives 260 In 2019 we have continued with Server Decommissioning in the UK and completed cold aisle containment as well as LED lighting retrofits at our Cranford DC in the USA

Looking to 2020, we will continue to develop our renewable energy strategy, focusing on exploring opportunities for self-generation and power purchase agreements in the UK & US thereby adding additional renewable energy capacity to the market. 

Environmental Property Policy and Environment Standard

Within our Property Policy we include a commitment that any building investment over £5m will achieve an independent best practice standard for environmental performance.

Barclays’ Group Property Policy sets out criteria for environmental management, risk, opportunity and control for our buildings as we operate our business. Our environmental controls range from aspects and impacts, pollution control through to environmental data reporting. These controls are annually audited and control effectiveness is reported as part of our Enterprise Risk Management Framework.

Environmental Management Systems

20 buildings globally certified to ISO 14001, which represents 50% of FTE

Barclays has an ambition to roll out full 14001 certifications across its strategic campus sites globally by 2025.
Whilst we work towards that ambition, we have ensured our Barclays Environmental Operating Procedures, are aligned to ISO 14001 standards. These are implemented and reviewed against all buildings, ensuring environmental best practice, internal audit & management review is delivered across the full portfolio.

Green buildings

35 construction projects recognised with LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) or BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) accreditation across our portfolio

Our Piscataway Data Centre has achieved Energy Star rating for the seventh year in a row demonstrating best practice in energy efficiency within our Piscataway Data Centre

Managing our environmental impact is at the centre of our strategy. Both LEED and BREEAM accreditations are targeted as part of our location strategy and future new build and refurbishment projects; further accreditations are pending in 2020.

Colleague Engagement

17,500 Barclays Environmental Champions

We believe that effective, two-way communication with colleagues is essential to reduce our operational footprint. Working across Barclays we have developed a community of global environmental champions who foster a culture of sustainability - four global engagement events throughout the year ensure we maintain momentum and engagement (Earth Hour, World Environment Day, Barclays Environmental Awareness Day and Waste Awareness Week).


In 2019 we have delivered 80% of our global 5 Point Plastic Plan which aims to replace or remove single use plastic items available from our catering, branch and office areas.

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.

In 2019 we have delivered 80% of our global 5 Point Plastic Plan which aims to replace or remove single use plastic items available from our catering, branch and office areas. This 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. In total 22 million single use plastic items have been removed or replaced across our properties globally. We will look to remove the remaining 4million items of single use plastics which are predominantly coffee cups in 2020.

In 2019 in support of World Environment Day and Barclays Waste Awareness Week we also installed a total of 5 reverse vend machines in the UK and India. Colleagues in the UK have deposited over 13,000 items and in India over a 1,000 single use plastic bottles and cans that are crushed and passed on for onward recycling. Colleagues have also been incentivised for each of their deposits though vouchers that can be reused in our cafes and restaurants. In India colleagues can also donate their incentive for a local charity.

Paper & Water

Globally we recycle 95% of our paper through our confidential waste stream.

We are working with our Procurement teams to increase the coverage of sustainably sourced paper globally. 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. Global pilot study of water reduction initiatives launched beginning of Q4.

WELL Registration

Barclays are working with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and are a member of their new Portfolio Pathway Programme.

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.

Barclays aims to certify key strategic sites individually and will work with internal teams globally to continuously improve upon the extensive health and wellbeing offering already available to all colleagues under the WELL Portfolio Framework.

Sustainable Sourcing

In 2019 Barclays have been recognised for our commitment to engaging our supply chain and have been listed on the 2019 CDP Supplier Engagement Leader board.

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.

At the beginning of 2019 we 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.