13 January 2021

TSB sets out pathway to net-zero carbon and commits to science-based targets

Switch to renewable electricity has already cut TSB operations emissions by 66% in 2020

New net-zero partnerships with largest suppliers - IBM, ISS and Communisis

TSB has today unveiled its plans to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2030, a key commitment in its responsible business strategy, the ‘Do What Matters Plan’ – launched in July last year. The bank will deliver a net-zero carbon pathway that meets international standards, can be independently validated, and only offsets carbon as the last resort.

In 2019 TSB baselined its own carbon emissions and built a comprehensive understanding of the sources of those emissions. This informed the decision to buy all the bank’s electricity from renewable sources, but also allowed the development of a wider net-zero carbon plan. This year, the bank has set out a pathway to further reduce the carbon emissions from its own operations (known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions), baseline wider impacts (scope 3) and do more to help its customers reduce their environmental impact, working with its suppliers to accelerate progress.

TSB will deliver a net-zero plan for its own operations by 2030 through:

  • Reducing emissions from TSB buildings: TSB already buys all its electricity from renewable sources and this change alone has resulted in a two thirds reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions from TSB’s 2019 baselined emissions. In 2021, TSB is working on plans to reduce the amount of gas it uses for heating, which accounted for 94% of TSB’s remaining Scope 1 and Scope 2 (market-based) emissions in 2020. The bank is also working to make its branches more energy efficient by reducing energy usage and is supporting colleagues to take forward local initiatives on energy and waste.
  • Reducing emissions from TSB operations and travel: in 2020 Covid restrictions reduced the amount of travel by TSB colleagues, and emissions from company cars dropped by 80% as a result. TSB has set a target to reduce these emissions permanently from pre-Covid levels by 50% once restrictions are eased and part of its plans include phasing out petrol and diesel powered vehicles, introducing a much wider range of electric and hybrid vehicles, and targeting an electric company car fleet by 2026.
  • Working with suppliers to learn and share best practice: to ensure TSB looks at its whole carbon footprint, it has agreed to form partnerships with a number of its leading suppliers, including IBM, ISS and Communisis to learn from their experience to implement best practice in the bank and will expand this programme further in the months ahead.

Suresh Viswanathan, TSB Chief Operating Officer and Executive Sponsor for Environmental impact, said:

“We know that reducing the impact on the environment is important to TSB customers and colleagues, and there’s real enthusiasm in our business to share what we’re doing. It’s right that we start by getting our own house in order, measuring our impacts and targeting the right actions. I’m excited to be working with leading partners to create a joint plan to hit a scientifically backed net-zero goal.”

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said:

“2021 is an important year for the world’s efforts to tackle climate change, culminating in COP26 in November. UK businesses are helping lead the country’s efforts to tackle emissions. Companies that align to international standards and work with each other will make the most of the opportunities that come from cutting emissions and becoming more sustainable. It is very encouraging to see TSB commit to sign up to science-based targets and to facilitate a better understanding of best practice amongst its largest and smallest suppliers.”

Jamie Hall, UK Director of Energy and Sustainability, ISS said:

“ISS is delighted to work with forward thinking partners such as TSB to develop and deliver their net-zero strategy. It is crucial that companies such as TSB take action with climate change and we look forward to continued support of their transition to a net-zero future.”

Sarah Diamond, Global Managing Director Financial Services Sector at IBM, said:

"As a leading provider of hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence strategies to the global financial services industry, IBM has long recognized the tremendous potential for using these solutions to facilitate climate change initiatives and we are delighted to be a strategic partner supporting TSB's sustainability ambitions."

TSB’s pathway to net-zero is aligned with science-based methodology and TSB is also committing to set targets with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Signing up to the SBTi commits TSB to developing a pathway to reduce the emissions not only from its own operations but also those from the bank’s value chain and customers (known as Scope 3). This work will start by establishing the carbon emissions from plane and train travel, private travel in company cars, waste, paper, water as well as emissions from suppliers, personal and small business lending, and customer accounts.

TSB has already started reducing its Scope 3 emissions, including helping its customers by:

  • Planting over 8,000 trees between August and the end of 2020 to offset the impact of house moves, one for every TSB mortgage sold involving a move, in partnership with eForests.
  • Offering ethical investments to customers as part of its partnership with Wealthify launched in November 2020.
  • Committing to reducing its consumption of paper by 25% by 2023. Those customers that use digital banking regularly and are not already ‘paperless’ are being moved to digital statements.

Notes to editors

  • TSB is a retail bank which provides banking services across Great Britain. This includes personal banking, mortgages and loans, and banking services to Britain’s smallest businesses. It does not carry out investment banking and does not provide services for large corporations.
  • Becoming ‘net-zero’ from TSB’s own operations by no later than 2030, means reducing emissions in line with the net-zero pathway and then balancing remaining emissions with verified carbon removals.
  • Scope 1 and 2 emissions are those that come directly from the activities of TSB e.g. heating and fleet vehicles (scope 1) and from electricity used by TSB (scope 2). Scope 3 comes from indirect activities.
  • SBTi is a partnership between organisations such as the UN Global Compact and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature which sets best practice and reviews businesses’ plans to align with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
  • As a signatory of the UN Global Compact and the only bank to be accredited by the Good Business Charter, TSB is committed to meeting clear goals to reduce its environmental impact and to reporting the progress it is making.
  • TSB published its first responsible business strategy, the Do What Matters Plan, in July 2020 and will be publishing a six month progress report on its Do What Matters Plan webpages at the end of January 2021.

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