Environment

Energy windfarm on a hill

The impact our business activities have on the environment is small compared to that of businesses in many other sectors. Despite this, we endeavour to minimise our environmental impacts where possible. Our main environmental impacts are the energy we use to power our buildings; business travel; waste, in particular paper; and the CO2 emissions associated with all of these. We manage these impacts through our environmental management programme and regular reviews ensure we are dealing with the most material issues.

Corporate profile

Provident Financial is a financial services group specialising in the provision of personal credit products for consumers in the UK non-standard lending market.

Environmental management

We manage the impacts we have on the environment via the environmental management system (EMS) we have in place across our business.

Our main environmental impacts relate to the energy we use to power our buildings; business travel; waste, in particular paper; and the CO2 emissions associated with all of these. Our EMS enables us to reduce our impacts on the environment and mitigate risks associated with environmental legislation. It also provides us with opportunities to generate cost savings through improving energy and resource efficiency and reducing waste. Details relating to our performance in these areas are disclosed in our annual CR reports.

A third party audits our EMS on an annual basis. The audit covers the business activities of our Bradford-based head office, a small sample of the Consumer Credit Division’s branch offices, and Vanquis Bank’s business premises in London and Chatham, Kent. The audit process involves asking the area managers in our branch offices to complete an environmental audit questionnaire. The aim of the audit is to verify our performance against the requirements of the international environmental standard ISO 14001 and to assess our compliance with environmental legislation. In addition, the audit provides us with practical help and assistance on how we can improve the effectiveness of our environmental programme and verifies the accuracy, completeness and relevance of the data that underpins our EMS.

In 2012, our head office in Bradford continued to be formally certified to the international standard to ISO 14001: 2004.

Monitoring and reporting our carbon emissions

We have measured and reported our energy usage and associated carbon emissions data for over a decade. This helps us to minimise our contribution to climate change, improve our energy efficiency and reduce the carbon intensity of our business activities. We do this by purchasing electricity from renewable sources; making use of energy efficient fixtures and fittings; offering more fuel efficient vehicles and those that use hybrid technology in our company car fleet; and offsetting our carbon dioxide emissions.

We continue to disclose information that relates to our carbon management via our submissions to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Details of our CDP submissions can be found at: www.cdproject.net

Carbon offsetting

During 2012, we offset the carbon emissions associated with the company’s business travel. These business-related journeys accounted for 3,870 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Our emissions were offset through a Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Fuel Switch project in Brazil. The project reduces global carbon emissions through switching from using heavy fuel oil in ceramics factories to renewable biomass and waste products. The projects provide a range of social and environmental co-benefits such as improving air quality, reducing green house gas emissions and investing in employee personal development.

Our emissions were offset through a Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Fuel Switch project in Brazil. The project reduces global carbon emissions through switching from using heavy fuel oil in ceramics factories to renewable biomass and waste products. The projects provide a range of social and environmental co-benefits such as improving air quality, reducing green house gas emissions and investing in employee personal development.