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 trying 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 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.

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

We publish all our diversity targets and our progress on pages 46 to 49 in our annual report.

We signed (and helped to launch) the Women in Finance Charter in 2016. 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 March 2018.

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

In 2018, our work experience programme involved 81 students who do not have any personal connection to the Bank of England.We recruit these students through programmes such as Speakers for Schools S4S:NextGen and Mayor’s Fund for London. Find out more about our work experience programme on p52-53 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 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). Our newest network, Bank Employees That Serve, is for staff who serve or have served in the forces and services.

Bank of England staff network logos

...for everyone

We’re making adjustments and introducing initiatives to help improve people’s experiences at work.

For example, we’ve installed a lift at our Threadneedle Street building entrance, held British Sign Language training, and invited in external speakers to talk about disability issues.

As signatories of The Valuable500 initiative, we aim to demonstrate that we are committed to further improving accessibility in the workplace and building an inclusive culture which supports disabled staff. Being a signatory means that disability and long term conditions are high up on our leadership agenda. In joining, we have committed to establish a ‘one-stop’ approach to reasonable adjustments. This will ensure that everyone who needs it can obtain specialist equipment in a simple and effective way.

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 and social wellbeing under our ‘think well, live well, be well’ programme. This includes:

  • flexible working
  • a network of wellbeing champions
  • 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 with charities and our staff networks to challenge mental health stigma. For example, we’ve created a video called This is Me which features our staff talking about their mental health experiences. And we offer training for our line-managers.

Our Mental Health Network organises initiatives to raise awareness such as Green Ribbon Day and turning our Threadneedle Street building green.

Our Governor wrote about our approach in an article for The Express recently. We also featured in a case study by City Mental Health Alliance and a case study by the World Economic Forum. In 2016, we were shortlisted for a Wellbeing at Work Award by Business in the Community. In 2018, we appeared in a top 20 of the highest-rated  companies for work-life balance in the UK.

Community

Many of our staff fundraise or volunteer for our ‘charities of the year’. And some colleagues choose to support other charitable causes they care about. We encourage this by offering matched funding and volunteering leave.

We raised over £100,000 last year

Our staff nominate and choose our charities of the year. This year they’ve chosen The Brain Tumour Charity and London’s Air Ambulance.

In 2017/18 our staff helped us raise over £50,000 each for Child Bereavement UK and Samaritans.

We also give our time

Many of our staff to volunteer with a range of organisations such as Governors for Schools, Tower Hamlets Business Partnership and Career Ready. For example, in the current academic year over 40 staff will regularly volunteer at schools in east London, as well as over 20 of our staff who mentor young students.

Our governors get involved too

Staff at all levels get involved, including our governors. In 2018, our 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.

In 2017 our Governor planted a tree in the gardens of Haven House Children’s Hospice and hosted a Macmillan coffee morning.

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 100 ‘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
  • switching to 100% renewable energy supply (electricity and gas) for all our sites by April 2020
  • supporting biodiversity at our sites, including introducing beehives.

In 2018 we won special commendation in the Clean City Awards and were a finalist in the National Recycling Awards.

You can find out more about our carbon footprint and our work to reduce our environmental impact on pages 54-56 of our annual report.

Since 2015/16 we have:

Reusable cup

Reduced disposable cups by 80%

Food container

Reduced disposable food containers by 60%

Icon of several pieces of paper

Reduced paper 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 for the first time in 2016 and set ourselves a target of reducing our carbon footprint by 20% by 2020. We are on track to do this.

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.

Light switch

2018/19 carbon footprint was 20,570: 74% is from energy use

Icon of a globe with travel pins on each continent

25% is the result of travel

Recycling bag

1% is from other sources, such as waste, water and paper

This page was last updated 22 July 2019
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