Corporate responsibility

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

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

Inclusion

Our inclusion strategy, launched in February 2017, is intended to inspire colleagues to get involved with the local community, build greater diversity across the Bank in order to reflect the society we serve and support a proactive approach to wellbeing, enabling people to bring their best selves to work.

Supporting the community

The Bank of England has a long history of supporting the local community. From our earliest days, our Directors used the ‘poor box’ to collect fines, fees and voluntary contributions. 

We support our staff by recognising their commitment to the community and charitable causes in various ways, including volunteering leave and matched funding. Our staff also work with pupils at schools in Tower Hamlets through schemes such as Reading Partners, and as mentors to local students through organisations such as Career Ready

We run insight days for schools with Access Aspiration and The Brokerage CityLink to give students the opportunity to find out more about the Bank of England and working in the financial sector. Our staff can bring in their friends and family for work experience at the Bank, and we match each of these with a work experience placement for students from across London. We recently received an award of ‘Outstanding Work Experience Provider’ by Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership, and we were highly commended by the Brokerage for ‘Outstanding Volunteering 2016’.

We have an active fundraising programme for our charities of the year, which are nominated and chosen by staff. Our current charities of the year are Child Bereavement UK and Samaritans, following our year of supporting Haven House Children’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2015/16, we raised over £250,000 for our charities of the year, the Myotubular Trust and The Lily Foundation.

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

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.

This page was last updated 06 December 2017
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