Santander's day-to-day business has a direct impact on the environment, primarily through maintaining our branch and head office property portfolio. The largest areas of impact are in our use of electricity and gas for heating/cooling and lighting, generation of waste and our use of resources such as paper.
The most important issues that we are working on in relation to the environment is our approach to energy, waste, travel and green finance. An outline of our main actions is detailed below, and further information is available in our CSR Report.
An Environmental Management System (EMS) was established in 2010 for our head office building in London and provides a framework for defining responsibilities and processes in relation to waste, energy use, water, travel and supply chain management. The London office is ISO14001 accredited. Due to the success of the EMS implementation there, the model is being rolled out the other major office buildings throughout the UK in 2012/13.
Our Environment Policy can be viewed here.
Santander has a landfill diversion rate of 98% which has been achieved in partnership with our head office and retail waste management suppliers. We have implemented improved processes for diverting waste to material reclamation facilities - specialist plants that receive, separate and prepare recyclable materials through a Dry Materials Recovery process (DRM) and introduced Anerobic Digestion (AD) at our offices with catering facilities. Our waste contracts require our suppliers to meet targets to reduce landfill waste and DRM processing enabled us to improve our landfill diversion recycling ratio by 9% in 2012.
Our new combined approach to energy and specialist services management was launched in 2012. This has been instrumental in helping us to track and manage our environmental impact more accurately and provides us with consolidated reporting streams to monitor our energy consumption performance from building to business level. This more detailed management information has allowed us to target specific properties to reduce energy consumption. In 2012 electricity consumption reduced by 1.93% and gas by 5.73%.
We use green electricity in our main offices through bio-mass supplies from Haven Power. Green energy usage equated to approximately 63% of our electrical use in 2012.
Santander UK falls within the government's mandatory Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme. The latest league table published in early 2013, shows we achieved a reduction in our Carbon Impact down from 111,855 tonnes to 109,222 which puts us in the top quintile.
We achieved the Carbon Trust Standard for our entire business portfolio in 2012 (previously it was just for the former Abbey part of the business), awarded in recognition of the continued reduction in our carbon footprint across energy usage and business travel. The award demonstrates our commitment to continue to measure, manage and reduce our carbon emissions year on year. We received a Carbon Management score of 80%, higher than the average banking sector score of 73%, and one of the highest awarded in 2012, and an increase on our 2010 score.
We encourage staff to avoid travel through the use of audio conference, video conference and telepresence. During 2012, we ensured that meeting rooms with video conferencing equipment are booked for video conference meetings only and not face-to-face meetings. This increased our video conference usage and further investment in video conferencing and telepresence equipment is planned for 2013.
Our Cycle2Work scheme helps staff to purchase a bike for travelling to and from work and the company car scheme offers a range of vehicle models specifically chosen for their lower CO2 emissions.
Our corporate travel business provider's online travel system provides average carbon emissions on transport options and routes, to encourage staff to make more environmentally friendly choices when planning trips.
We are working with various councils and public transport companies where our main offices are located, reviewing service schedules and capacity on key routes that serve our offices to encourage staff to utilise public transport to get to and from work.
Bloomberg Markets magazine named Banco Santander as one of the 'greenest banks in the world' for the second year running in 2012. The annual survey analysed 48 banks from 19 countries and Santander was the highest-ranking bank in the world in terms of financing, reflecting the bank's long-standing commitment to finance renewable energy projects.
In the UK Santander provided a £13 million funding package to FS Wind Ltd in 2012 to construct a wind farm in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The wind farm will include three new onshore wind turbines, expected to generate around 9MW of electricity, enough to power around 5,000 homes and displacing 12,000 tonnes of CO2.
Further funding of around £70 million is currently under review for renewable energy developments in 2013 in the UK, including solar, hydro and on-shore wind projects.