Undisclosed: the true Carbon Footprint of RBS

A new report indicating that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is responsible for almost a billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – 1,200 times higher than its own figure – demonstrates the need to better understand emissions in the value chain


The report by the World Development Movement estimated what it describes as RBS’s ‘financed emissions’ – i.e. those emissions resulting from the bank’s loans to coal, oil and gas companies.

By selecting five fossil fuel companies to which RBS lent money and calculating the CO2 emissions from every £m invested, the authors were able to estimate an accurate figure for RBS’s entire 2012 fossil fuel portfolio.

With the Government’s new Mandatory Carbon Reporting (MCR) coming into effect from October there is increasing pressure on companies to disclose the emissions embedded within their value chains.

For many companies this includes the Scope 1 and 2 Emissions from suppliers of products or services, although in the case of a bank like RBS it could also encompass the emissions from investments.      

amee’s free online product - constructed using modelling techniques similar to the WDM report – is a timely tool which helps all companies look at the emissions within their value chain and get a more accurate understanding of their true carbon footprint.

The WDM report concluded that the current voluntary carbon reporting system and the new legislation coming into force from October is “seriously inadequate”.

Until governments make Scope 3 reporting mandatory then the public will indeed only ever get a severely limited impression of the true environmental impact from individual businesses, and businesses themselves may inaccurately evaluate the risks to which they are exposed.   

This is why we believe it’s so important to make access to such data across the value chain easy for all stakeholders and, importantly, for the company itself.    


Back to AMEE Blog