Corporate responsibility

We aim to be a responsible and sustainable organisation that values our people, supports our community and protects our environment.

People

As an employer, we value diversity, encourage inclusion and support staff wellbeing.

Diversity and inclusion go together

We’re working to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the society we serve. And we think diversity and inclusion go hand-in-hand. So we’re also developing an inclusive workplace culture that allows people to be themselves at work and achieve their potential.

Our former Governor Mark Carney explained our approach in a speech called ‘Reflecting diversity, choosing Inclusion’ in February 2017. He outlined our progress so far in a letter to the Treasury Select Committee in February 2018.

In September 2019, Victoria Cleland, our Executive Director Banking Payments and Innovation, set out how we have developed our approach to inclusion.

We’re building a diverse workforce

We’re building a diverse workforce because we believe it will allow us to build trust with the people we serve and help us make better decisions.

In 2014, we set ourselves targets to increase gender and BAME (Black, Asian, minority ethnic) diversity. We revised these targets in 2017. We want:

  • 50% of our employees below senior management, and 35% of our senior managers, to be female by end-2020
  • 20% of our employees below senior management to be BAME by 2020, and 13% of our senior managers to be BAME by end-2022.

Women in senior management

Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in senior management

Women in junior roles

BAME people in junior roles

We publish all our diversity targets and our progress on pages 57 to 61 in our annual report. All data shown above is end February 2020 data.

In 2016 we hosted the launch of the Women in Finance Charter (WiF) and pledged our support by becoming a signatory of the Charter in 2017. It commits us to setting targets, linking executive director pay to gender progression, and giving responsibility for gender diversity to a senior executive. This person is Joanna Place, our Chief Operating Officer, who set out our progress in a speech in May 2019.

We continue to make progress towards our challenging Charter target of 35% women at senior management but are not on track to meet it by our deadline of the end of 2020.

In addition to the Women in Finance Charter, we are a signatory of a further three Charters. In 2019, we signed both the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter and The Valuable 500, which aims to get disability on to the agenda of Boards. In early 2020, we launched our own Out and Proud Charter, a public commitment to support LGBT+ colleagues.

We’ve set out in more detail how we plan to meet some of these commitments in our Out and Proud Action Plan and Go4Gold Action Plan.

Our Career Returners Programme supports employees who’ve taken a career break, including many women and people from ethnic minorities.

In 2019, our work experience programme included 71 students from across London who do not have any personal connection to the Bank of England. We recruit these students through partner organisations such as Speakers for Schools and Mayor’s Fund for London and Social Mobility Foundation. Find out more about our work experience programme on page 64 in our annual report

Diversity isn’t just about characteristics such as gender and ethnicity. It’s also about the way people think. We value and encourage this cognitive diversity too. We ran our first ‘Inclusion and Cognitive Diversity survey’ in April 2018 and published an overview of the results in July 2018.

And inclusive workplaces

We want everyone who works for us to feel that they can be themselves at work. We encourage a workplace culture that makes that happen. For example, we support many staff networks (shown below).

Bank of England Ethnic Minorities (BEEM) network

Carers network

Christian union

disAbility network

External recruits

Jewish network

LGBT+ and allies network

Mental health network

Muslim network

Parents network

Women in the Bank (WIB) network

Bank Employees That Served (BETS)

The wellbeing of our staff is important to us

We provide a wide range of services, benefits and initiatives to support staff with their mental, physical, social wellbeing and financial wellbeing. This includes:

  • flexible working
  • a network of Wellbeing Champions, Peer Supporters and Mental Health First Aiders
  • seminars to help support wellbeing and good work-life balance
  • practical advice and support through our employee assistance programme
  • in-house counsellors
  • discounted gym memberships

We encourage staff to be open about mental health

We work hard to challenge mental health stigma. For example, we provide our line-managers with training and we made a video of our staff talking about their experiences to encourage others to.

We have a staff mental health network that raises awareness and provides support. For example, by taking part in the Green Ribbon Campaign and turning our Threadneedle Street building green.

Our senior staff support this work too. Our former Governor Mark Carney highlighted it in The Express. And our executive directors explained our approach in a case study by the City Mental Health Alliance.

We also recognise mental wellbeing is an important issue for people starting their career. Watch a video featuring some of our most recent joiners, as well as colleagues further along in their career, discuss their own experiences of mental ill-health.

In 2020, The City Mental Health Alliance awarded us its highest accreditation mark in their annual 'Thriving at Work' assessment.

City Mental Health Alliance logo

Community

Many of our staff choose to support the charitable causes that they care about through fundraising and volunteering.

We encourage this by offering volunteering leave and matched funding.

We also support our ‘charities of the year’ which are chosen by our staff. Each year colleagues put forward charities of their choice via a nomination process. The nominated charities are shortlisted by staff and all colleagues then have the opportunity to vote for the charity they want to support. The two shortlisted charities with the highest number of votes become our charitable partners for a 12 month period. We then come together to fundraise or volunteer for these charities, and raise awareness of their work, throughout our partnership.

We are currently supporting Childline (a service provided by NSPCC) and Shelter as our chosen ‘charities of the year’.

           

Earlier in the year we were in partnership with Pancreatic Cancer UK and YoungMinds.

And last year our staff helped to raise over £180,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity and London’s Air Ambulance.

In 2017/18 our staff helped us raise over £65,000 each for Child Bereavement UK and Samaritan.

Since 2013 our staff have chosen 17 charities to support. As a result, a total of over £1.1 million has been donated.

Early in 2020 our former Governor Mark Carney invited representatives from these charities to celebrate our partnerships. 

We also give our time

Many of our staff volunteer and we partner with a range of organisations such as Governors for SchoolsTower Hamlets Education Business Partnership and Career Ready.

In 2019 staff volunteered a total of 1320 days. This includes volunteering at a local homeless charity and at local green spaces or city farms. In addition staff mentor young people from the local community, and volunteer in local schools to help build pupils’ literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills. 

Our governors get involved too

Staff at all levels get involved, including our governors. In 2019 Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe hosted a reception for London’s Air Ambulance Charity. In 2018, our then Governor Mark Carney and Deputy Governor Sam Woods, supported our ‘Brew Monday’ event for the Samaritans. And Deputy Governor Joanna Place hosted a reception for Child Bereavement UK.

Environment

We’re committed to improving our environmental performance. We’ve developed a ‘Greener Bank’ programme that’s supported by a staff network of over 150 ‘green champions’. Our approach includes:

  • using the Mayor of London’s RE:FIT framework to make our buildings more energy efficient
  • adopting more environmentally-friendly business practices like holding virtual meetings to reduce travel and using less paper
  • encouraging our staff to use reusable cups and food containers
  • changing how we produce and recycle our banknotes
  • using a 100% renewable energy supply (electricity and gas) for all our sites
  • supporting biodiversity at our sites, including introducing beehives.

In 2019 we won the Plastic Free City Award and received special commendation in the Clean City Awards.

You can find out more about our carbon footprint and our work to reduce our environmental impact on pages 65-68 of our annual report.

Since 2015/16 we have:

Reduced disposable cups by 80%

Reduced disposable food containers by 60%

Reduced printing by 50%

We recycle our banknotes

We recycle the vast majority of banknotes that are no longer fit to use. Our decision to move to polymer banknotes will have lasting environmental benefits. In 2017, we obtained independent certification from the Carbon Trust of the carbon-reduction benefits of polymer banknotes notes over paper banknotes.

And reduce our carbon footprint

There is a pressing need to reduce global carbon emissions to prevent catastrophic and irreversible climate change. We are committed to playing our part in addressing the risks of climate change, including cutting the carbon emissions of its operations.

We established our carbon footprint in 2016 and set ourselves a target of reducing this by 20% by 2020. We have exceeded this target, achieving a reduction in our carbon footprint of 33%.

In 2019, we set ourselves a new target in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement and consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This target is to cut the absolute greenhouse gas emissions from our Scope 1 emissions (use of gas, fuel and refrigerants), Scope 2 emissions (electricity) and business travel by 63% by 2030 compared to our 2016 baseline.

We base our 2030 target on the latest climate science and informed by Science Based Targets. The Carbon Trust validated our baseline footprint and target in this validation letter.

2019/20 carbon footprint was 17,056 tonnes CO2e.

71% is from energy use

27% is the result of travel

2% is from other sources, such as waste, water and paper

This page was last updated 10 November 2020

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