Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


HBOS and Lloyds TSB lead the pack on business travel

April 2008

HBOS and Lloyds TSB are the FTSE 100 banks that most effectively limit the carbon footprint of their business travel.

The two fared best in an analysis of the seven FTSE 100 banks carried out by UK-based ethical investment management firm Rathbone Greenbank, which used publicly available data on the tonnes of carbon dioxide per full-time employee arising from business travel. The only bank that did not publish data was Alliance & Leicester.

Matt Crossman, ethical researcher at Rathbone Greenbank, said HBOS might have been expected to do well, as its operations were on a smaller scale than those of the others. However, he said the performance of HSBC, which operates in 83 countries, and Standard Chartered, which works in more than 50, required particular attention given the extent of their global operations. Both finished at the bottom of the ranking. HSBC was the first major bank to achieve carbon neutrality but primarily through offsetting.

Crossman suggested the main barrier to change was ‘cultural’, not practical, with staff sometimes reluctant to use videoconferencing equipment. ‘Many would appear to still feel that the quality of communication achieved by meeting face to face cannot be attained through such technology,’ he said.

Rathbone Greenbank, which carried out the survey to support its engagement activity, considered data for all FTSE 100 companies but found only 47 produced business travel data – and that banks and insurers were the best reporters. Aviva and Resolution were the best performers among the six insurers that provided data and Old Mutual the only non-reporter.

Rathbone Greenbank | UK & NI Ireland | Industry sector: banks

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