Our choices count
Caring for the environment creates benefits for everyone and is simply the right thing to do. As a responsible, transparent and forward-thinking business, we want to make lives better. That's why we're limiting our impact on the environmental by being responsible with resources and helping employees, suppliers and customers make greener choices.
What are we doing about our impact? We hold ourselves publicly accountable by publishing our environmental impact in our sustainability report. We also take action. Our building, which we saved from demolition back in 1997, is one reason why we have been voted the Europe's Best Workplace.
We're also careful with resources today, sending zero waste to landfill and taking action to cut energy use. In our offices we help employees to be greener, making recycling easy and providing financial assistance to use public transport or cycle to work. And we offer online options for our customers so that they can go paperless.
At Capital One, managing resources responsibly is just part of our everyday operations. We have been voted the best workplace in the UK and Europe, partly due to our fantastic premises. We saved our beautiful old building from demolition, 'up-cycling' the bricks and mortar and avoiding the huge impact of a new-build.
Water and energy
There's a significant benefit to the environmental from our innovative heating system, which uses excess steam created by the nearby Nottingham Eastcroft facility to heat our building. Our IT department is also continually reviewing one large source of our energy consumption - our data centre. A project to be completed in 2014 will greatly increase its efficiency in the future.
For the last three years we have been working in association with the Carbon Trust to gain their Carbon Trust Standard. We have achieved a year-on-year reduction in our carbon footprint in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and we intend to keep this up.
We offer customers the option of online statements in preference to paper statements. We actively promote that as a more convenient way of monitoring their account and make online statements the default option, only providing paper statements if people request them.
Being greener with suppliers and partners
We source as many goods and services as possible from the local area. This not only reduces travel-associated emissions but also supports local business and the local area. We have also reviewed packaging on deliveries to reduce the amount of disposable packaging sent to the office.
With an office in London and one in Nottingham, business travel plays a significant part in our carbon emissions. Because of this, we have been investing in state-of-the-art video conferencing facilities to make it easier to meet without travelling. We also have a Cycle to Work scheme with on-site bike parking facilities and excellent shower and locker facilities.
Helping people be green
Our people are our best asset and they make our business tick. They play a key role in reducing our environmental impact by making greener choices in their working practices. Our active Green Team helps employees operate with a low environmental impact by running educational events and helping everyone to work out what practice is most environmentally friendly. We also have a formal partnership with the Nottingham Wildlife Trust and give our employees volunteer time each year to get hands-on and improve the local environment.
In 2012 we ran a successful waste campaign to reduce our paper use. By talking to our staff about their paper use and giving them simple ways to reduce it, we saw an overall reduction of 60%.
In 2013, the Green Team upgraded our recycling facilities, helping colleagues know what to do with each type of waste. Our recycling rate is now at 75%, up from 50%. Any unrecyclable waste goes to a local incinerator, which provides the heat for our building. We send zero waste to landfill.
We also abide by the WEEE directive that ensures responsible and secure disposal of our redundant IT equipment. This recovers as much of the useful material in the equipment as possible, such as precious metals, so it can be recycled.