The Carbon Footprint of Cash is Going To Be Significantly Reduced in the UK

Several large UK financial institutions have joined forces in an initiative to reduce the environmental damage caused by the cash carbon footprint

The amount of single use plastic and carbon that needs to be burnt both to manufacture and transport cash throughout its lifecycle is significant. Electricity powered cash dispensing machines are also a culprit contributing to a sizeable carbon footprint.

The Cash Industry Environment Charter aims to establish net zero emissions goals and significantly reduced plastic use targets for signatories. They include…

  • NatWest
  • AIB
  • One Banks
  • Loomis
  • G4S
  • G+D Currency Technology GB

Other leading banks, the British Retail Consortium and the Post Office are also reported as being active supporters.

The initiative is designed especially to address the environmental impact of the industry that exists around transporting cash. Most obviously this includes the plastic that is used to bag cash up and package it, but also the heavily armoured vans that are used to move cash around.

The targets that have been listed so far include..

  1. Net Zero operational emissions by 2030;
  2. Sourcing 100% renewable power by 2022;
  3. Eliminate single-use non-recyclable plastic in note centres by 2030 with a 25% reduction by 2023 and 50% by 2025

Not surprisingly, it has been pointed out by NatWest’s Head of Cash and Self-Service Operations that…

“People, families and businesses up and down the country continue to rely on coins and notes for everyday transactions”.

That’s true, but it surely adds weight to the argument that we should all be using our (non-single use plastic, see our blog dated March 17th) contactless cards or smartphones as much as possible!

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