Protecting Our Environment - Corporate Sustainability | Ulster Bank


Protecting Our Environment

Doing business in a responsible way means recognising the need to think long-term about protecting our environment – reducing the energy and other resources we use, and encouraging our customers and suppliers to do likewise

Protecting our environment

Setting targets and making changes in the workplace that make a difference

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Protecting our environment

Protecting our environment

Property - based energy consumption

An Energy Working Group (EWG) has been established to re-commission our Building Management Systems in our Head Office buildings to make optimum use of all energy consuming plant in these sites. The EWG has also completed lighting surveys for our high consuming buildings, and we continue to invest in energy savings light fittings in a number of our buildings, as well as installing slim-line energy efficient heaters in our Retail network to replace the older stock of point-of-use heaters. Through these measures, we are on track to achieve our targeted reduction in energy usage.

Water, Travel and Paper Reduction

Waste recycling continues to be a key focus, and a regular programme of waste audits is in place, as well as periodic waste separation campaigns with our employees. We currently recycle 70% of our waste, and are driving for further improvements in the coming year.

We continue to promote alternatives to travel and have invested in additional video-conferencing and mobile video-conferencing equipment in our Head Offices in additional to the fixed units already in use. As a result of these changes, fewer of our staff are on the road each year, saving energy, and saving time.

Paper reduction and recycling

100% of our confidential paper waste is recycled, and we have also switched to recycled paper for all general stationery. Initiatives aimed at reducing our paper consumption include intelligent printing systems, and analysis and monitoring of usage. Our Head Offices have Multi-function printers which are more energy efficient and will reduce the number of legacy desk top printers.

We continue to encourage our customers to switch to paperless banking and use our online services and e-statements. The effects of this are also being felt strongly in our overall use of resources.

Along with other major Irish banks, we support the Climate Change Principles , a voluntary undertaking by the Irish banking industry to tackle climate change.

Engaging employees and suppliers

Working with our team and suppliers to ensure we operate in an ethical and environmentally sound way.

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Engaging employees and suppliers

Our employees want to know more about how they can reduce their own environmental impact at work and at home. We regularly run internal energy reduction and recycling campaigns to keep our staff focused on our environmental targets, and to encourage a culture of recycling and energy saving. Each year we also use specific awareness-raising events to encourage our people to come up with new energy saving ideas.

Earth Hour

Since it began in 2007, Ulster Bank has supported Earth Hour: the annual, global event that calls on households and businesses to switch off non-essential lights for one hour. We have carried forward the principles of Earth Hour into our normal operations, and retain only essential street and window display lighting outside of business hours.

Promotion of cycling

We support the UK and Irish Government’s cycle to work schemes, and have recently invested in the installation of additional cycle racks, lockers, changing and showering facilities in our Head Office buildings.

Supplier engagement and sustainable sourcing

The performance of our suppliers is critical to our business and we expect them to operate in an ethical and environmentally sound way. As a minimum requirement our suppliers should adhere rigorously to all relevant human rights, labour, health & safety and environmental laws, as well as our group Ethical Code for Suppliers and Group Environmental Policy. Ethical and environmental questions have been developed for inclusion within our supplier tender process to ensure suppliers meet sustainability requirements. We work with many of our key suppliers to continually improve their sustainability performance and take an active role in ensuring their supply chain adheres to the correct requirements.

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