We look at who we do business with and how we do business with them.
We are commited to being ethical and socially responsible and we continuously strive to improve our environmental performance.
Our commitment also shapes how we support our local communities as well as our approach to our people. The Co-operative Banking Group good with money website provides further information on this.
Our Sustainable Approach
Our purpose is to be a pioneering business delivering sustainable financial services for members and society, with an approach that can be split into:
- Community - How we actively invest in our communities and campaign for a better world.
- Membership - How members have their say.
- Ethical finance - This is core to our business and guides how we do business and who with so that we can make a positive difference to society.
- Environment - Our commitment to the environment includes managing our own impacts and working with others to combat climate change.
The Co-operative Banking Group's approach to community involvement is derived from our values, brand and heritage. Investing in the community is central to demonstrating to stakeholders (members, customers, colleagues and wider society) how we give practical effect to our commitment to social responsibility. Community involvement provides us with a significant way of putting our values into practice and of contributing to the communities in which we live and work.
Membership sits at the heart of The Co-operative Group. It is what makes us very different from other businesses, and it is what 5 million people are proud to be a part of. Members are part of a group of people who share the same goals, have a say in how The Co-operative Group is run and enjoy a share of the profits.
In 1992, we launched the World's first customer-led bank Ethical Policy, which sets out which organisations the bank will and will not finance, in line with customers' ethical concerns. For example we will not provide banking or loans to organisations that fail to implement basic labour rights.
The policy was recently updated for the fifth time and saw a record 80,000 customer responses. Since we launched our policy, we have declined over £1 billion of finance that conflicts with our ethical concerns.
Over and above our work to combat climate change, our commitment to the environment includes managing our own impacts.
- We are beyond carbon neutral - we offset 100% of our own emissions and a further 10% to compensate for past emissions.
- 98% of our electricity comes from renewable resources.
- UK's largest solar power installation - our office in Manchester is a 25-storey solar tower.
- Over 70% of our waste is reused or recycled.
- First financial services business to be awarded full ISO 14001 accreditation.
Awards and recognition
Our sustainable approach is not just about what we do, it is the way we do business.
We are pleased that our commitments have been recognised by the Financial Times, The Sunday Times and, best of all, our customers.