The UK's first direct has become the first bank to receive the Carbon Trust Standard after reducing its carbon emissions by over 14%, which equates to an annual reduction of 1500 tonnes of CO2 from 2007 levels.
The Carbon Trust Standard is billed as the world's first carbon award that requires an organisation to measure, manage and reduce its carbon footprint and actually make real reductions year-on-year.
The UK direct bank has been working with the Government-sponsored Carbon Trust since 2006 and has introduced a range of measures to reduce carbon emissions.
The most eye-catching of these is the installation of solar panels at its Leeds HQ that produce enough energy to heat the bank's onsite crèche, which caters for over 350 children and is the largest of its kind in the UK.
The bank has additionally introduced monitoring software that automatically shuts down any PC and monitor that is not logged-on after 7pm each night.
First direct also encourages employees to adopt greener travel plans by laying on shuttle buses to the local train station and through a car-sharing scheme; and has worked with local schools to encourage recycling initiatives in the workplace.
Matt Colebrook, chief executive of first direct, comments: "It makes good business sense to reduce our carbon emissions as we are achieving energy cost savings of around £200,000 each year. These saving have meant that we can become even more sustainable by reinvesting in further carbon reduction initiatives."