First Direct has been named as the first bank to receive the Carbon Trust Standard, thanks to the work of its HR function.
The bank received the award after staff were motivated to slash carbon emissions by more than 14% in one year – a reduction of 1,500 tonnes of CO2 – through a combination of incentive schemes.
The Carbon Trust Standard requires an organisation to measure, manage and reduce its carbon footprint year-on-year.
Stewart Bromley, head of people experience at First Direct, told Personnel Today that he was proud of his team’s achievements and their ability to both motivate staff and instil a sense of common pride.
He said: “As a company we have taken steps to demonstrate our commitment to the environment and this in turn has inspired our employees to get involved. These schemes help to generate a lot of pride among employees for the company, and they really do rally the minds. It’s really easy and a ‘win–win‘.”
The HR function set up a night-watchman scheme, turning off all computers not logged on after 7pm, a shuttle bus service used by over 700 people, a car pool service, initiatives encouraging staff to suggest green business ideas, and the Climate Champions project enabling employees to volunteer for environmental studies abroad.
Bromley said: “We have made significant headway in the past two years. Three years ago this work was more ad hoc, but now we have got specific individuals working on this and in only a few years it has become ingrained in our culture.“