Reduced business travel helps Nationwide to cut carbon footprint by 80%

Nationwide has reduced its carbon emissions by more than 80% in the past five years, according to the company’s annual sustainability report.

The building society said it produced 8,092 tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2006-07, down from 40,835 tonnes in 2002-03.

The report said the company’s carbon footprint was “not significant” compared with some other industry sectors. The firm attributed the big fall in emissions to the purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources and improvements in the efficiency of buildings and IT equipment.

Reducing the level of business travel by road, air and rail has also played a major role, the company said. A long-standing car share scheme has seen more than 1,400 employees register at the firm’s head office in Swindon. In terms of company cars, CO2 emissions have decreased due to improved engine efficiencies and the shift to diesel cars, which now make up 50% of its fleet, the report said.

Employees can also buy bikes through a flexible benefits scheme, with dedicated cycle storage, showers and changing facilities available at sites. Video conferencing is also encouraged where feasible, and Nationwide’s employment policies support flexible and homeworking.

The report also claimed that the company recycled 100% of paper from all of its UK sites.

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