In a courageous move the Co-operative Bank offered support for the global Climate Strike.

Bank employees take part in demonstrationBank employees were encouraged to attend the protests on 20 September and the bank tweeted from the demo in Manchester.

Before the strike the bank issued the following statement:

Why The Co-operative Bank is supporting the Global Climate Strike

13 September 2019

On 20 September, the school strike for climate movement is inviting adults to join children and young people in their call for action on climate change in the first ever Global Climate Strike. Colleagues from The Co-operative Bank will be among them.

The school strike for climate movement started last year with one Swedish schoolgirl sitting in demonstration outside her parliament. It's now a global movement which has elevated climate change as a major issue for public concern.

"There are many reasons why The Co-operative Bank is supporting the Global Climate Strike but our foremost reason is because we have a customer mandate to do so. Since 1998, our customer-led Ethical Policy has included a commitment not to bank any business whose core activity contributes to global climate change via fossil fuel extraction or production.

Being seen as a leader in action on climate change is important to our customers and colleagues, but it’s also important that our efforts are part of a wider movement to tackle the global climate emergency." - Andrew Bester, CEO

The Co-operative Bank has been 'beyond carbon neutral' since 2007, and in 2014 we added Ethical Policy commitments to protect our environment through our business activities and through our products and services. We were the only UK bank to sign the Paris Pledge to end financing for the coal industry in 2015.

On 20 September, as well as giving colleagues time off to support the Global Climate Strike, we’ll be raising money to support Friends of the Earth in their campaign for Climate Action. We’ll also be thinking about how we can continue to reduce the environmental impact of our business, including a 'no business travel day'. We’ve been supporting environmental protection for over twenty years and we’ll continue our work to keep this on the public agenda beyond this day of action.

While in themselves these actions are small, we see them as an important way for us to support our customers' calls for a move towards a low-carbon future, and as a way for our #PeoplewithPurpose to help deliver global change.