Corporate responsibility

Making a positive contribution to society is at the heart of our mission as the UK’s central bank.

Overview

We aim to be a responsible and sustainable organisation where we value our people, support our community and protect our environment. Our work on inclusion (community, diversity and wellbeing) and our environmental programme are some of the ways we approach our commitment to corporate responsibility.

Charitable activities at the Bank of England

The Bank encourages colleagues to support the community and charitable causes that they care about. Each year, Bank staff are invited to nominate and then vote for the charities that they particularly wish to support. The Bank's current charities of the year are Child Bereavement UK and Samaritans

Last year, the Bank staff chose Haven House Children’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support as the charities they wished to support. The Bank helped raise £320,000, through a range of staff fundraising initiatives, the largest amount ever raised by staff.

  • The money raised for Macmillan could pay for over 3 Macmillan Nurses for over one year, helping people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.  
  • The money raised for Haven House children’s hospice will go towards their core services which includes vital respite and overnight care.  Last year the charity supported 353 children across all of their services.

Part of last year’s fundraising total was raised at the charity auction of low or special serial numbered polymer £10 banknotes.  The proceeds were split evenly between the Bank’s two charities of the year and a third charity - Candlelighters, a children’s cancer charity in Leeds - voted for by Bank staff in the banknotes area.  Each charity received almost £90,000.  The Bank also held a charity banknote auction for the polymer £5 in 2016 which raised £194,500 for the charities chosen by Bank staff (which were then the Lily Foundation, Myotubular Trust and Bliss).  

In addition, Bank staff supported a wide range of other charitable causes, in line with the Bank’s charitable giving guidelines. In the financial year 2016/17, Bank staff helped to raise over £164,000 for other good causes within its guidelines. The Bank has also played host to multiple events and receptions for a wide variety of charitable causes ranging from research into Alzheimer’s disease, supporting children in the UK who are blind and partially sighted, Target Ovarian Cancer and the Carers’ Trust.

The Governor and Deputy Governors have also personally committed time to raise funds for charities. For example, the Governor has supported many events for the Bank’s charities during his tenure, including planting a tree in the gardens of Haven House Children’s Hospice, hosting a Macmillan coffee morning and supporting the Bank’s recent ‘Brew Monday’ event for the Samaritans.  

The Bank also supports charities in other ways.  For example, Bank staff undertake a wide range of volunteering activities and during financial year 2016/17 gave 785 days of their time.  This includes mentoring children from less advantaged backgrounds, taking on a role as a school governor, and volunteering to support the homeless or elderly. 

Staff volunteers also regularly take part in “insight days” at the Bank for young people across London from lower socio-economic backgrounds.  These are designed to ensure that the Bank is accessible to people from a wide range of backgrounds, educate them about what the Bank does and perhaps inspire them to seek employment at the Bank in the future. During 2017 the Bank welcomed around 75 students and expects to welcome a greater number in 2018. This complements the work of Bank staff in local schools. In the current academic year over 50 staff will regularly volunteer at schools in Tower Hamlets aiming to inspire the next generation by helping younger pupils with numeracy or literacy skills, and older pupils prepare for job interviews or higher education. 

Inclusion

The Bank’s charitable, community, diversity and wellbeing initiatives were all brought under the umbrella of its dedicated Inclusion team in 2016. The Bank’s approach to inclusion is outlined in a speech ‘Reflecting diversity, choosing Inclusion’.

As part of its approach, the Bank publishes its gender and Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) targets in its annual report and is working on a range of initiatives to increase female and BAME representation in senior roles as well as across the Bank.  Governors are held personally accountable for delivery of strategies in their own areas of the Bank to achieve these targets.  The Bank is also signed up to and supports the Women in Finance Charter.

The Governor recently wrote to the chair of the Treasury Select Committee setting out our strategy related to diversity and inclusion, the significant progress we have already made and the prospects for further improvements.

Diversity

We have ten employee networks that reflect the diversity of people working at the Bank.

network-logos

We promote an inclusive working environment that encourages staff to contribute their unique perspective to the Bank’s work.

In 2016, we started to publish targets for gender and ethnic diversity in our Annual Report. We have also published figures on the current representation of women and black and minority ethnic people at the Bank:

Diversity and inclusion metrics

Female representation senior management
BAME representation senior management
Female representation below senior management
BAME representation below senior management

We are proud to be a signatory of the Women in Finance Charter, promoting gender diversity in financial services.

We fully support and comply with the recommendations of the Women in Finance Charter (Gadhia Review), which was launched at the Bank in March 2016. This includes setting gender targets, linking variable pay of our Executive Directors to gender progression and assigning an Executive (Joanna Place, Chief Operating officer) to be responsible for gender diversity at all levels.



Women in Finance Charter logo

Staff wellbeing

 We provide a number of services to support our staffs’ health and wellbeing. These include: 

  • Regular seminars offering practical advice on work and family issues, and including techniques such as mindfulness.
  • An employee assistance programme offering counselling and support.
  • Accredited in-house counsellors.

In 2016, we were shortlisted in the BITC Responsible Business Awards for the Bupa Wellbeing at Work Award. Our work to challenge mental health stigma was highlighted, including our internal training for line managers and the work we’ve done in partnership with mental health charities and our Mental Health Network. Since then we have produced a short film in which some of our staff talk about their mental health experiences.

We have also shared information on our approach to wellbeing with other organisations. We provided a case study for the City Mental Health Alliance, and examples of the way we approach mental health for the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Mental Health.

Environment

We are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and the environmental impact of what we do. Our environmental programme, ‘Greener Bank’, is supported by a staff-led network of around 50 Green Champions across the Bank.

Our carbon footprint

In 2016 we established our carbon footprint for the first time. We have used this to set ourselves a challenging target: to reduce our overall carbon emissions from our direct operations by 20% by 2020. This is our first-ever carbon reduction target, and we’ll be reviewing it regularly to make sure it reflects any material changes to how we operate. 

Our main areas of focus to help us achieve the target will be increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings, reducing our use of resources and adopting more environmentally friendly business practices, such as printing less, recycling more and using technology to reduce travel. 

What is the Bank doing to reduce its environmental impact?

Recent examples of our work to reduce our environmental impact include:

  • We are working with RE:FIT London to make our buildings more energy efficient. We have upgraded to more efficient lighting and controls and modern boilers, and carried out energy audits to identify further energy saving opportunities. 
  • Replacing some disposable food and drink packaging with reusable items has led to a 40% reduction in disposable paper cups being used at the Bank.
  • Our success in waste and resource management was recognised in 2016 when we received a Platinum Award from the City of London’s Clean City Awards Scheme.
  • We are taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of banknotes, including recycling 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.
carbon-footprint
This page was last updated 18 July 2018
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