Accelerating the transition
to a low carbon economy
Ulster Bank, in line with our parent NatWest Group, are setting out a bold new ambition to be a leading bank in the UK & Republic of Ireland helping to address the climate challenge. As part of this, we are committed to making our own operations net carbon zero in 2020 (offsetting as much carbon as we emit) and climate positive by 2025 (offsetting more carbon than we emit), while also driving material reductions in the climate impact of our financing activity.
We have made good progress reducing our green house gas emissions by nearly 50% since 2014. However, in order to take our emissions to net zero in 2020 we will offset all Scope 1, 2 and 3 (business travel) emissions from our own operations through the purchase of internationally recognised carbon credits. We will maintain this level of offsetting and simultaneously reduce emissions from our own operations by a further 25% by 2025 from our 2019 baseline, so that we offset more carbon than we emit. This will move us beyond net zero to become climate positive.
Becoming climate positive will require Irish and international industry, regulators and experts to come together and find solutions. By embedding climate into our culture and into our decision making, we are determined to not just play our part, but to lead on the collaboration that is so critical to influencing the transition to a low carbon economy.
What are we doing?
We have been supporting Sustainable Energy projects for over 20 years and this year we announced the ambition to be a leading bank in Ireland in addressing the climate challenge.
Icon expand Our current focus
1. Developing solutions that help to reduce climate change and help our customers to reduce their carbon impact
2. Increase our funding of and financing for climate and sustainable finance.
3. Make sure that we’re carbon neutral ourselves by the end of 2020 and climate positive by 2025
Icon expand The past decade
We became a founding signatory of the UN Principles of Responsible Banking, through our parent, NatWest Group.
Additionally, we also became the first bank in Ireland to achieve Zero Waste to Landfill accreditation.
We signed up to the Business In The Community Ireland’s Low Carbon Pledge, committing to a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030.
We publicly pledged support to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure
Icon expand Before 2010
Adopted the Equator Principles – a voluntary set of standards adopted by banks for assessing and managing social and environmental responsibilities in project financing.
We will not provide project finance to clients who are not meeting EP standards.
Specialist sustainable project finance team established, working to meet the needs of our clients in this sector and support government targets on renewable energy.
We financed our first commercial wind farm in Co Donegal.
Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) has tips to save energy and reduce your energy consumption and bills.
From carbon calculators to carbon offsetting tips and climate community projects, carbonfootprint.com has it all.
Google’s Your Plan Your Planet tool offers simple, personalised recommendations for how you can reduce your carbon footprint.
NASA’s Climate Kids website brings climate science to life with fun games, interactive features and exciting articles.
The United Nations website explains their global Sustainable Development Goals.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is the world's leading independent conservation organisation. Their website provides education, news articles and tools for taking action.
Environment Protection Agency website explains the impact climate change will have for Ireland.
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is Ireland's national sustainable energy authority.
Irish Wind Energy Association is the national association for the wind industry in Ireland.
There are a range of Ted Talks which offer bold new perspectives on climate change by industry experts.