Gatehouse Bank becomes carbon neutral

Gatehouse Bank has announced it has become operationally carbon neutral. The Shariah-compliant Bank began taking steps to lessen its environmental impact in 2020 and has now become ‘carbon negative’ — which means it offsets more greenhouse gas emissions than it is responsible for producing.

Charles Haresnape, CEO at Gatehouse Bank, said: “At Gatehouse we recognise that severe changes to the climate will impact the economy and society in negative ways. We’re proud to have moved fast, becoming operationally carbon neutral a year after first measuring our emissions.

“We know that our biggest environmental impact is connected to the activity we finance, which is why becoming operationally carbon neutral is just a first step for us. Next in the pipeline are climate targets for our financed emissions. This kind of initiative strikes right at the heart of the ethical standards that underpin the Bank.”

Gatehouse first measured its 2019 operational carbon footprint in 2020, which was independently certified by the Carbon Trust. The following year, the Bank saw a significant reduction in its carbon footprint. This was primarily due to the reduction in business travel during the pandemic and the Bank’s move to The Helicon Building in London, an energy efficient building that reduces energy consumption by controlling solar energy through the building’s facade.

The Bank is working hard to reduce its environmental impact, for instance by introducing paper saving measures in paper intensive processes, saving up to 30,000 sheets of paper per year. The Bank recognises the significant environmental benefits of recycling and reusing, and has donated its unwanted IT equipment since 2020, saving 74,506 kg CO2e emissions. In addition, to support other likeminded businesses, the Bank has introduced a new sustainable procurement policy.

Looking ahead, the Bank plans to lock in the reduction of emissions related to business travel seen during the pandemic, encouraging colleagues to virtually connect with each other and clients, and be mindful about the necessity of carbon intensive journeys.

In 2021, the Bank has worked with Carbon Neutral Britain to measure and offset its operational emissions in accordance with the ISO 140641-2018 and GHG Emissions Protocol Accounting and Reporting Standards. The Bank officially became operationally carbon negative in September.

This includes the Bank’s direct carbon emissions (classified under Scope 1 & 2 of the GHG Protocol) and selected indirect scope 3 emissions, including business travel. The Bank will now continue to work towards setting targets to reduce its financed emissions and align its business activity with the Paris Climate Agreement, in line with its commitments as a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.

Through the Carbon Neutral Britain Climate Fund, Gatehouse Bank has offset its total carbon emissions with internationally certified carbon offsetting projects, ensuring that all measurements and tonnes of CO2e offset are accurate and verified. Projects supported through the Climate Fund include hydroelectric power, wind farms and cooking stove programmes.

As Gatehouse is a Shariah-compliant Bank, all savings deposited with the Bank are invested ethically. The Bank’s Shariah principles ensure that customers' deposits are never used to support sectors such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment, or the arms industry.

Gatehouse Bank is one of the founding signatories of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking and is committed to aligning its business strategy with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.