Increasing customer satisfaction
We’re continually looking to extend the range of services we offer, anticipate our customers’ needs, and raise our levels of customer satisfaction.
In 2011, in the UK, our corporate bank ranked first for client satisfaction amongst its peers and our wealth management business won ‘Best Customer Experience Award in Financial Services’ in the Customer Experience Awards. Our UK retail and business bank improved its customer satisfaction ranking to fourth amongst UK banks and received the Which? Award for ‘Positive Change’.
To further increase satisfaction, new innovations include Europe’s first person-to-person service for sending and receiving money using a mobile phone number, and a pioneering credit card that allows card members to shape and share in the product’s financial success as an online community.
Supporting sustainable transport: Barclays Cycle Hire
Barclays is the exclusive sponsor of Barclays Cycle Hire, which provides London with a low-cost, sustainable and environmentally-
friendly mode of transport.
Barclays Cycle Hire was launched in July 2010, and there are now over 8,300 cycles available at over 570 docking stations across London. In March 2012, the scheme was expanded with new docking points across east London, which now sees the scheme covering 65km2 of the Capital.
By the end of 2011, over nine million journeys had been made on the cycles, and over 145,000 members were registered to the scheme.
Research published on Barclays Cycle Hire in early 2012 revealed that three quarters of members have started to cycle, or cycle more, in London as a result of Barclays Cycle Hire.
Environmental impact: sustainable buildings
We are working hard to reduce our direct operational impacts on the environment, such as the carbon emissions related to the energy we use.
Making our buildings more sustainable is one important way in which we’re addressing this issue.
For example, Barclays new trading floor in our New York office earned LEED® Gold certification. LEED® or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards are the world’s most recognized standards for designing, building and constructing ‘green’ buildings.
To minimise environmental impact, the design and construction of the floor has included:
New energy-efficient lighting to reduce the electricity needs by around 21% from industry standardsAn improved cooling and ventilation systemThe water fixtures in the additional restrooms and new pantry use around 56% less water than conventional onesDiligent sourcing of materials, including wood from renewable sources.At least 90% of the construction waste was recycled instead of ending up in a landfill site.
Celebrating Diversity on International Women’s Day
We value our employees for their talent and their commitment, regardless of their gender, race or nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, learning style or experience.
Promoting gender equality in our workforce is a particular priority for our diversity programme. On International Women’s Day (IWD) 2011, we hosted a range of events involving 20,000 colleagues in more than 50 locations across the world.
The activities included discussion panels with major public figures and our senior leaders, and special sessions of our Women’s Initiatives Networks. A mentoring programme was launched in Paris, and in Africa there were various events celebrating the role of women in society and in Barclays, including participation in a 10km march of government, business and not-for-profit organisations in Zambia.
Managing risk in lending: protecting biodiversity
A responsible approach to lending is an integral part of our day-to-day business practice, and this includes managing the environmental and social risks associated with our loans.
For example, Barclays was approached by a company to provide funding for the expansion of a palm oil plantation and refinery in Africa. The company had applied for all permits required under local environmental legislation, and were subject to regular audits by the regulators. Local communities were generally supportive of the project as it would provide a source of much-needed local employment.
The expansion of the plantation had the potential to cause the clearance of native vegetation, the impacts of which had not been assessed by an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment to international standards. Barclays informed the company that we would be unable to provide finance without this documentation, and we are now working with the company to ensure that it is prepared to the necessary standard.
Working capital was sought for the refinery, which was already in operation. In seeking to understand the business, we learned that all palm oil at the refinery was imported from single source, a well regarded international company who is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). Business plans were in place to continue the existing relationship. On this occasion, we were able to provide funding and will be receiving ongoing updates on the company’s activities.
Responsible sourcing: the Green Supplier Pledge
We’re working in active partnership with our suppliers to help them manage their own social and environmental risks.
In 2011, we launched the Green Supplier Pledge as a pilot with six of our major suppliers in UK Retail and Business Banking, encouraging them to adopt environmentally-friendly initiatives.
The programme was kicked off in June 2011, as part of Barclays Eco-week, with our first supplier road show. The road show gave suppliers the opportunity to showcase their approach to sustainability. Most suppliers who attended the road show pledged to review their operational practices and become ‘greener’. The pledge will recognise, support and celebrate suppliers who take a proactive approach to managing their environmental impacts.