NatWest Group Advances Climate Agenda by Building Sustainability Into Technology Business Management Reporting and Analytics

“We’ve taken the carbon footprint into TBM and created a dashboard, So, everyone can see a cost and a carbon footprint against each application and then against each franchise (business unit).”

Executive summary

Climate change is everyone’s concern. At NatWest Group, leaders are taking action by embedding sustainability in the company’s culture and establishing a shared purpose across the entire bank. Using their Technology Business Management (TBM) platform, Apptio, they’re able to track the carbon footprint of technology across the enterprise. This is bringing to light the carbon footprint and related costs for every business unit and helping to drive systemic change in support of the company’s aggressive climate agenda, which has already produced a 46% reduction in direct own operations emissions since 2019.

Company overview

NatWest Group is a Fortune Global 500 company in the banking and insurance sector. The company serves over 19 million people across the U.S., Europe, Asia Pacific, the U.K., and Ireland, offering personal and business banking, private and investment banking, insurance, and corporate finance through a variety of banking brands. With a history dating back hundreds of years, NatWest Group is the largest business and commercial bank in the U.K.

Sustainability is a shared purpose

At NatWest Group, taking action on climate change is not just talk. In fact, the company has made addressing the climate challenge and supporting its customers in their transition to net zero a key strategic priority.

“Everybody is supporting the climate agenda,” said Lisa Scrimger, TBM lead at NatWest Group. “It’s a shared purpose across the entire company.”

The group has firm climate objectives. By 2030, company leaders are targeting reductions in the organization’s climate impact from financing activity by 50%, a reduction of the carbon intensity of its in-scope assets under management (AuM) by another 50%, and emissions reductions across its operational value chain by 50%. All of this is in support of reaching the overall goal of being net zero by 2050.

In addition to getting their own house in order, NatWest Group is helping customers address the climate challenge. The company offers attractive incentives, such as green mortgages and loans for solar panels and heat pumps, and provides customers with a carbon planner to help them become more sustainable in their daily lives.

Sustainability aligns with the company’s purpose and creates opportunities for growth. As a result, from senior executives on down, consideration for sustainability has cascaded throughout the organization. This is reflected in the company’s performance management framework, where climate is included in the performance objectives of every employee.

“Sustainability is being embedded in our culture,” Scrimger said.

Building sustainability costs into TBM

Consistent tracking, reporting, and analysis are critical to achieving sustainability objectives. This includes internal reporting to company executives as well as external reporting to regulatory agencies. NatWest Group has focused on making this capability a top priority, striving to become best-in-class in quality of data and external reporting.

From a technology standpoint, NatWest Group uses Apptio to include aspects of sustainability in their TBM model. Apptio enables the company to track their carbon footprint and environmental costs across the entire technology estate — racks, servers, switches, data center equipment, power, cooling, and more — and allocate those carbon calculations by application.

The company charges back each business unit for the tech products and services they consume, presenting each with a self-service bill of IT using their purpose-built Apptio solution. Extending that same solution, they also provide a “Bill of Carbon,” reflecting each business unit’s carbon footprint and related carbon costs for the technology consumed.

“We’ve taken the carbon footprint into TBM and created a dashboard,” Scrimger said. “So, everyone can see a cost and a carbon footprint against each application and then against each franchise (business unit).”

For NatWest Group, Apptio has proven to be an essential application. It provides much-needed transparency and insight about tech spending to the company’s leaders. This helps them make better decisions, optimize costs, and deliver more business value.

Considering sustainability when making purchases

Today, Apptio enables leaders at NatWest Group to make investment decisions based on cost, benefit, and sustainability. They now can make choices like paying a little more in exchange for a material reduction in carbon emissions or moving to options that may cost the same or less but may have positive environmental impacts.

“From our dashboard, we can see which data center is the most carbon efficient and which one is the least efficient,” Scrimger said. “And the data is then broken down to applications and infrastructure. We have teams that report on the carbon footprint of our equipment and then use that information to move us to more sustainable infrastructure.”

Nadine McClement, finance director at NatWest Group, added, “This insight from Apptio has increased our awareness and influenced our decisions. For example, when we recently upgraded our mainframe kit in one of our data centers, environmental costs were a factor in the decision. We upgraded from a z14 to a z16 and reduced our carbon footprint.”

Beginning with the 2024 tech budget, NatWest Group hopes to make sustainability a key factor in each business unit’s planning. Scrimger said the budget pack that will be sent to each business unit will include sustainability costs so that each leader can see inefficiencies and perhaps make different investment or consumption decisions to reduce their carbon footprint.


According to McClement, the long-term goal is for sustainability to be a strong consideration in every business plan the company puts together. She envisions that one day, sustainability will be just as important as other parts of a business case, such as risk and ROI, and become a key factor in determining whether a project gets approved.

“That’s the ambition,” she said. “Our data analytics team is heavily focused on the process of tracking the data lineage of our sustainability agenda and carbon tracking throughout the organization, ensuring there is a systematic process. We are not fully there yet, but we are making good progress.”

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