World Environment Day: 5 June 2021

A key theme of World Environment Day 2021 is to ?Beat plastic pollution?. As the bulk distribution of cash creates a great deal of waste, much of it plastic, a variety of stakeholders in the UK cash industry have come together to discuss how they can collaborate to make moving cash to and from customers more environmentally-friendly. The group, which includes banks, cash processors, Cash in Transit providers and other key participants in the cash supply chain are working to share ideas around best practice and reduce the amount of plastic and other packaging waste sent to landfill. Changes have already been made to some processes to remove plastic wrappings, but the group hopes to identify and work on further areas of improvement. 

The Bank of England, The Royal Mint and LINK, the ATM network operator are taking a keen interest in this work which is underpinned by the Cash Industry Environmental Charter launched earlier in the year. The group, which is chaired by Andrew Holmes of G4S with support from UK Finance, will meet monthly to focus on areas where collaboration can help to reduce the environmental impact of cash, while keeping it available for those who choose to use it. Several members of the group are champions for environmental change within their own organisations and there is a high degree of enthusiasm for ?levelling up? across the industry.

Not just plastic

Members are already looking at initiatives to reduce waste and work is underway to create an industry-wide inventory of processes to allow interested parties to compare methods of working. The aim is to identify both quick wins and longer-term aspirations for improving efficiencies in wholesale cash processing and distribution.

Some members of the group are already using 100 per cent renewable electricity for their cash operations. There is also an objective to reduce the overall volume of carbon emissions created by the cash supply chain. 

Collaboration is key

Simple things like ensuring vehicles are filled to capacity have already made the industry more efficient. Wholesale cash processors have been working with The Royal Mint to enable them to move to a more sustainable method of packing new coins and various trials are ongoing to prove reusable alternatives to single use plastic. Making changes in isolation is difficult. However, with industry collaborating to share best practice and highlight what works well, we hope to make a difference.

Current supporters of the initiative are: ACBI, Allied Irish Bank, Bank of England, Cummins Allison, De La Rue, G4S, Giesecke & Devrient, Glory, HSBC, IBM, LINK, Lloyds Banking Group, Loomis, NatWest, OneBanks,
Post Office, Santander, Tesco, The Royal Mint, TSB, Ulster Bank, Vaultex, Virgin Money


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