Achieving net zero operations

We are committed to reducing our operational emissions in support of our ambition to be a net zero bank by 2050. We are aiming to integrate sustainability into every aspect of how we run our business, from decarbonising our operations to managing our impact on biodiversity and nature.

Operational emissions by scope

In 2022, we expanded our approach to include our Scope 3 supply chain emissions as they account for most of our operational emissions. We now define net zero operations as the state in which we will achieve a greenhouse gas reduction of our Scope 1, Scope 2 and our Scope 3 operational emissions a consistent with a 1.5ºC aligned pathway and counterbalance any residual emissions.

Operational Footprint statistics

Net zero operations strategy

Our net zero operations strategy has two components:

  • Reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions through energy efficiency, electrification of our buildings and vehicles, renewable energy sourcing and replacing fossil fuels with low emission alternatives.
  • Reduce Scope 3 operational emissions by engaging with our key stakeholders including suppliers and colleagues to track, manage and reduce their GHG emissions, while embedding net zero principles across our policies and contractual requirements.


Progress to date

We achieved our 90% GHG market-based emissions reduction target for Scope 1 and 2, having reduced our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 91% since 2018 and sourced 100% renewable electricity for our global real estate portfoliob in 2022.

We achieved our renewable electricity target ahead of schedule by matching 100% of our electricity consumption with energy attribute certificates and green tariffs which we consider to be a transitional solution as we seek to increase the proportion of on-site renewable electricity sources and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

In 2022, we expanded our net zero operations approach to include our supply chain emissions. Our supply chain emissions data is currently indicative. We will
continue to develop our methodology and aim to improve the accuracy of our supply chain data over time. In the interim, we intend to work towards the milestone of a 50% reduction in our supply chain emissions by 2030 (against a 2018 base year) and a longer-term milestone of a 90% emissions reduction by 2050. In addition, we aim for 90% of our suppliers by addressable spend to have science-based emissions reduction targets in place by 2030.

Also, this year we evolved our energy use intensity and on-site renewable energy reporting approach to include our global real estate portfolio, beyond campuses. We intend to work towards the milestones of a 115 kWh/m2/ year average energy use intensity across our corporate offices and installing 10MW on-site renewable electricity capacity across our global real estate portfolio by 2035.

2022 Highlights

Reducing our Scope 1 and 2 emissions

Energy efficiency - Electrification - Renewable energy sourcing

We reduced our global real estate portfolio energy consumption by 30% against a 2018 baseline. At the end of 2021, we launched an Energy Optimisation Programme to help improve the energy efficiency of our global real estate portfolio. In the first 12 months of our five-year programme, we saved 6GWh of energy, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of approximately 2,000 UK households.

We have also focused on our own data centres, which consume a large amount of energy to operate. For example, an upgrade to the cooling systems at our Cranford, New Jersey data centre resulted in a 19% energy reduction for cooling alone in the course of just four months, in comparison to the same period in 2021.

Where possible, we are moving towards all electric technology to heat and cool our global real estate portfolio such as our new air source heat pumps at our Glasgow Sustainability Centre.

As part of our commitment to Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, we are transitioning our global fleet to electric vehicles. By the end of 2022, 55% of our UK fleet was converted to electric.

In 2022, we accelerated our commitment to source 100% renewable electricity for all our global real estate portfolio by 2025 and have achieved this ahead of schedule through instruments including green tariffs and energy attribute certificates. Our intent moving forward is to source renewable electricity primarily from on-site renewable installations or from new renewable energy facilities that add clean energy to the grid. For example, Barclays signed a 10-year PPA to support Creag Riabhach, an onshore wind farm project in Scotland. Beginning in 2024 through to 2032, Barclays has committed to purchase up to 160 GWh per year of power from this new-build renewable power asset, which will meet approximately 80% of Barclays' future electricity needs in the UK and enhance the UK grid's renewable energy capacity.

Addressing our Scope 3 operational emissions

Supply chain – Business travel – Leased assets - Waste

In 2022, we expanded our GHG emissions inventory by accounting for our Scope 3 supply chain, waste and leased assets emissions, in addition to business travel. We also developed a supply chain net zero pathway which sets out our strategies and action plan and details the accountability mechanisms in place to track progress. We updated our general terms to include contractual expectations relating to climate change which will apply to new contracts and contract renewals moving forward and significantly scaled up our climate related engagement with our suppliers. For example, in 2022 we invited suppliers representing approximately 80% of our addressable spend to report their GHG and climate strategy to the Carbon Disclosure Project. We are also looking to further embed climate change considerations in our procurement processes. For more detail about our supply chain emissions approach, please see our Annual Report.

Though a small percentage of our operational emissions, we use a variety of solutions to reduce our business travel emissions including using digital technology where practicable as an alternative to face-to-face meetings, adjusting our travel policy to promote lower carbon solutions, avoiding nonessential business trips and using our booking and reporting platforms to improve colleagues’ awareness of their individual carbon footprint. In 2022, total colleague air travel emissions reduced by 73% against a 2018 baseline. While emissions have decreased from our baseline, emissions increased between 2021 and 2022 by a percentage difference of 24% due to return to business travel post-COVID

We have also established a baseline for our leased assets and waste GHG emissions detailed in our ESG Resource Centre. Though these emissions are minimal in comparison to all other operational emissions, we will develop activities to address those emissions.

Nature and biodiversity in our operations

Nature and biodiversity are intrinsically connected to our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change and maintain healthy communities. We focus on improving our resource use and protecting natural environments through our circular design principles including designing out waste and pollution across our operations, recycling, and regenerating natural ecosystems.

All sites in our UK real estate portfolio (offices, branches, campuses and data centres) are zero waste to landfill certified. We have the ambition to achieve and maintain TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) zero waste certified projects across our key campuses by 2035, which means we must divert a minimum of 90% of solid, nonhazardous wastes from the environment, landfill and incineration (waste-to-energy) to recycling facilities or locations where the waste can be reused. Our Pune campus in India was the first to achieve the TRUE certification in 2022.

We conduct pollution risk assessments across our property portfolio where we hold generators, and seek to enhance biodiversity across our buildings. For example, as part of the redevelopment of the Radbroke campus, we are seeking a 10% increase in biodiversity by 're-greening' 800m2 of the site by 2025. And, as of December 2022, 57% of our global real estate portfolio by area has a third-party verified green building certification. 41% of our global real estate portfolio remain certified to ISO 14001, the international standard for designing and implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS).

Carbon Credits

We plan to purchase at least 42,000 voluntary carbon credits to remain carbon neutralc for our 2022 Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 business travel market-based emissions. We will look to purchase a portfolio of certified carbon credits that follow industry standards and GHG crediting programmes including Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Programme and Climate Action Reserve (CAR). For more information, please see our Annual Report.

Supporting Colleagues

In support of our net zero operations ambition, we are engaging with colleagues and implementing initiatives to reduce our individual environmental footprints. In 2022, we implemented several programmes to increase colleague understanding of our net zero ambition and opportunities to support it including green benefits like relaunching our UK salary sacrifice car scheme as an electric vehicle scheme, the Barclays Go Green sustainability gamification programme which helped employees avoid 139tCO2e through their sustainable actions, and our 12 employee-led environment networks that engaged with more than 6,200 colleagues.

Barclays employees globally.

See the ESG Disclosures tab on our ESG Resource Centre


a We define our Scope 3 operational emissions to include supply chain, waste, business travel and leased assets
b Global real estate portfolio includes offices, branches, campuses and data centres
c We are defining carbon neutral as first reducing carbon dioxide emissions then counterbalancing carbon dioxide emissions from Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 business travel with carbon credit offsets.