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 Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window 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

End 2020 Diversity Targets

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.

We have now reached the end date for three of four our diversity targets – gender at both senior management and below senior management, and ethnicity below senior management.  We met one of our targets by the end of 2020 – our below senior management BAME target.

We acknowledge that we have not achieved our goal for 2020 for greater female representation. As other organisations are finding, meeting ambitious targets is taking longer than we would like. Now we are looking to the future and aspire to make greater progress than we have to date. This will come through our ever evolving diverse and inclusive culture and increasing accountability for the day-to-day decisions we make. 

As at end-December 2020, the Bank of England was at the following position against its targets:

  June 2014 End-November 2020 End-2020 Target
BAME Below Senior Management 15% 21.4% 20%
BAME Senior Management 3% 8.2% 10% (end 2020 interim)
13% (end-2022)
Female Below Senior Management 43% 46.0% 50%
Female Senior Management 20% 31.7% 35%

We are currently reviewing and agreeing our new diversity targets and aim to publish in Summer 2021.  While we finalise our new targets for gender and ethnicity, our commitment to diversity and inclusion remains a key priority for the Bank of England and we continue to pursue progression in increased representation of women and ethnic minorities, including at senior management.

We also considered whether we expand our targets beyond gender and ethnicity and in National Inclusion Week 2020 we published our approach for disability and sexual orientation

We publish all our diversity targets and our progress Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window on pages 57 to 61 in our annual report.

In 2016 we hosted the launch of the Women in Finance Charter Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window (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.

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. 

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 Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window and Mayor’s Fund for London Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window and Social Mobility Foundation Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window. Find out more about our work experience programme on page 64 in our annual report Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window Opens in a new window

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 Opens in a new window 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 Opens in a new window.

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

We also recognise mental wellbeing is an important issue for people starting their career Opens in a new window. Watch a video Opens in a new window 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 both 2020 and 2021, The City Mental Health Alliance Opens in a new window 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’.

           

Last year we were in partnership with Pancreatic Cancer UK and YoungMinds and our staff helped to raise over £240,000

And in December 2019 we announced our staff helped to raise over £180,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity Opens in a new window Opens in a new window and London’s Air Ambulance Opens in a new window Opens in a new window.

Previously in 2017/18 our staff helped us raise over £65,000 each for Child Bereavement UK Opens in a new window Opens in a new window and Samaritans Opens in a new windowns Opens in a new window.

Between 2013 and 2019 our staff chose 17 charities to support. As a result, a total of over £1.1 million was donated in that time.

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 Schools Opens in a new window Opens in a new windowTower Hamlets Education Business Partnership Opens in a new window Opens in a new window and Career Ready Opens in a new window Opens in a new window.

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 29 April 2021

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