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Sustainability and people

Our approach to ESG

ESG is short for Environmental, Social and Governance and refers to a set of standards or principles that manages Sainsbury’s Bank's environmental and social impacts in a transparent way.

We know our customers care about a wide range of complex issues that impact them and our wider world. They trust us to be a responsible business, whether that’s by supporting the communities we serve and source from, managing our environmental impacts or contributing to a healthier, more inclusive society.

We strive to do the best for our customers and business, addressing key ESG issues and living up to our Sainsbury’s values. We’re committed to driving improvements across the ESG agenda. We’re working across Sainsbury’s to get to Net Zero 2035 and driving bank-specific initiatives for E, S and G. We’re leveraging Sainsbury’s environmental agenda, and focusing on social and governance where we can add the most value. We’ve aligned our business to the principles of doing the right thing in how we make decisions and approve products for our customers.

We’re also part of Sainsbury’s Plan for Better initiative which sets out to tackle climate change by reducing carbon, food waste and plastic. This underlines the importance of climate-related issues and actions and highlights commitments the business is undertaking. Central to this is our core target to become a Net Zero operation by 2035. The Bank is part of this core commitment which includes making sure that our Scope 1 and 2 emissions, covering our direct and indirect emissions are appropriately monitored, measured, and aligned to this target.

David Wishart, Chief Risk Officer and Bank Executive sponsor for ESG

“Financial services have an important role to play when it comes to ESG, making sure that we act to help protect the environment, build a sustainable future for all, and deliver on our responsibilities to our society. The Bank is part of Sainsbury’s commitment to become a Net Zero operation by 2035 in a bid to limit global warming and we collaborate across boundaries and embrace difference to deliver the best customer and colleague outcomes. This is an ongoing project but we have good momentum and look forward to more great progress in the months ahead.” 

We’ve been making progress in E, S and G and have initiatives to help drive the agenda forward. Below are some of our successes to date.


The environmental challenges that are facing the world have never been greater which is why we’re committed to playing our part in helping to improve our planet through our products, supply chain and operations. We also want to help our customers and colleagues reduce their environmental impact. 

Sainsbury’s is committed to having Net Zero carbon emissions within its own operations by 2035 in a bid to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Find more information about Sainsbury’s commitment.

Things we’ve achieved within Sainsbury’s Bank:

  • Reduction in paper usage

    • Fulfilment e.g. statements online or in the app
    • Encouraging customers to go paperless
    • Delivered a number of online apps which encourage customers to self-serve online, and in time will reduce the need for written correspondence
  • Improved recycling

    • New credit cards issued are from 57% recycled plastic
    • Symbols on our instore marketing materials so instore colleagues know how to recycle each item
    • Reducing consumption of single-use plastics in the office
    • Reducing the consumption of un-recycled paper
    • Upgraded building lighting to LED lighting
  • Innovation

    • Card freeze in our credit card app meaning customers have time to search for their card instead of reporting it missing or stolen
    • Savings and loans application improvements meaning customers can do their whole application online
  • Fossil fuels

    • We do not directly invest in fossil fuel companies. Since June 2021, our Wholesale Credit Risk Policy includes the following statement to formally commit to our intentions: ‘The Bank will not directly finance companies or organisations whose main activities actively contribute to climate change.’
    • We are part of Sainsbury’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030
  • Reporting within Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD framework) since 2022


At Sainsbury's Bank, we put our customers at the heart of everything we do. We’re committed to being there for our customers, employees, suppliers and the wider community. We want to make our services as simple as possible for everyone to use, including people who have a disability - such as sight or hearing loss, or physical or cognitive impairment - so we’re working hard to continually improve our online accessibility.

Things we have achieved:


​​​​​Making sure the Bank maintains focus on accessibility, inclusion, customer journeys and dealing with vulnerable customers.

  • Accessibility

  • Making it easier for customers

  • Customer journey improvements to online applications and ability to self-serve
  • Vulnerability framework to make sure we respond to customers needs and treat everyone fairly. We write in plain English to make it easier for customers.
  • Dark Mode optimisation to reduce the glaring white light on your screen
  • Live chat (on our car, home, pet and travel insurance)
  • Assess customer satisfaction via NPS which is reported to the Board


  • We have various support networks including Women in Finance Charter, Ethnic Minority Groups and Making It Better Together to make sure voices are heard across the business
  • Actively getting feedback from colleagues in our We’re Listening survey which is discussed at Board
  • Wellbeing initiatives and wellbeing champions supporting colleagues
  • Inclusion targets are reported on regularly to the Board


  • We have a charity committee and we encourage all colleagues to do a community day per year.
  • In 2022/23, our colleagues raised over £60k for charity with over £54k of this for Maggie’s who help to provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer. Maggie’s have been our charity partner since 2019 and we’ve raised over £150k for Maggie’s to date. This has been raised through lots of activities including the Maggie’s cycle and internal Christmas markets.


Our values are in place to make sure that our customers are always at the heart of everything we do. We also work with a number of governing policies and legislation that we adhere to.

Plan for Better