Since 2008, BCF has been drawing up its CO2 balance sheet, considering its production of direct and indirect emissions. Since 1 January 2024, when the SBA Directives entered into force, the Bank has been required to collect energy data relating to the buildings. On this basis, the Bank’s objective is to calculate the CO₂ emissions from scope 3 in the near future.

To date, the main sources of emissions have been related to heating buildings and commuting, which together account for 79% of all emissions. This is followed by office supplies, where the impact of the replacement of computers was first recorded in 2023 and represents 11% of this category.

From 2018 to 2022, the total emissions of BCF decreased by almost 300 tCO2 per year. The significant increase in the impact of electricity between 2021 and 2022 is due to the revision of the emission factor for hydropower electricity (EF). Previously, the EF only considered the impact of the operation and maintenance of dams. Since 2022, the Coordinating Conference of the Construction and Building services of the Public contractors KBOB, the coordination body of the federal construction services, has included the impact of grey energies related to the construction of the latter.

The reduction in CO2 emissions by 22.2% is relatively moderate if one does not take into account the fact that BCF’s balance sheet increased more than 2.5 times over the same period. By comparison with its growth rate, BCF actually reduced its CO2 emissions by more than 50 percent without reducing the number of points of sale. This demonstrates the effectiveness of measures taken to reduce CO2 consumption. For example, we can say that impact materiality has long been an integral part of BCF’s business models.

A plan of measures

BCF invests pro rata to its CO2 production in the Carbon FriFoundation, allowing it to obtain two labels, certified by Climate Services, an accredited organisation that ensures ISO compliance:

  • The Carbon Fri label certifies that its balance sheet is drawn up in accordance with international standards and ISO 14064-1, thereby confirming that BCF has a climate policy and a plan of measures to reduce CO2 emissions. The Bank is responsible for collecting the necessary data, whereas Climate Services, accredited by the Carbon Fri Foundation, quantifies emissions, interprets the results and drafts the balance sheet.
  • The second certificate concerns the online Bank. Meeting ISO 14044, it confirms that the whole life-cycle assessment (LCA) of its online products ( site, maBCF portal, e-Banking and mobile banking) is taken into account when calculating CO2 emissions. LCA is a valuation method that allows the environmental impacts of a service or product to be quantified throughout its life cycle (upstream supplier, BCF production and customer use downstream of the product value chain).

BCF systematically promotes energy and natural resource savings in all areas. In 2023, it continued to take the necessary steps to participate in the collective efforts to avoid an energy blackout in Switzerland. In addition to these one-off measures, it planned to change many of its lighting fixtures, launch the renovation of the ventilation system at its headquarter and started the renovation of several of its branches. Energy efficiency is taken into account in each of these renovations.

Environmental aspects are also taken into account in purchasing: both the suppliers and the products and services, if possible from within the Bank’s area of activity, must not only meet price and quality requirements, but also respect ecological and social standards.

High performance buildings

The Bank continues to upgrade its buildings for better energy performance. In 2023 it opened two branches, Chiètres and Morat. It has also undertaken the renovation of part of its headquarters offices. In this context, BCF takes into account best practices, particularly with regard to the building envelope. Wherever possible, photovoltaic panels are installed. In 2022, a project to connect the headquarters to the district heat was started, to be effective in 2024. BCF buildings are at the centre of urban areas and therefore do not affect biodiversity-rich areas.

Optimising resources

BCF uses and optimizes its resources efficiently in order to have a positive impact on its CO2 balance sheet. A number of actions are added to the annual action plan. BCF has been publishing figures on its environmental commitment in its Annual Report for several years and continues to develop its indicators in this report in the years to come.

From green electricity to the meter

The electricity supply is 100% covered by Hydro Fribourg green electricity. BCF favors LED or low-energy bulbs for the exterior and interior lighting of its buildings. When modernizing its buildings, it implements automatic lighting management. It operates exclusively on green hydro power and has signed several district heating contracts for its buildings for the 2024-25 period.

For a more responsible IT

BCF customers are encouraged to participate in climate protection by using e-banking.

The annual Carbon Fri certificate for the Bank’s online services was issued to BCF in April 2023. This certificate attests that the CO2 balance has been established by an accredited organisation guaranteeing compliance with the ISO 14044 standard. It also guarantees the presence of a climate policy and a declaration of intent to reduce CO2 emissions as well as the existence of a certificate of investment in the Carbon Fri Foundation.

In 2023, BCF participated in a workshop on sustainable digital, organized by Swiss Triple Impact Fribourg, and will publish the action plan adopted in 2024.

100% of BCF’s IT services are outsourced to Swisscom, which in 2020 was voted the world’s most sustainable company in the field of telecommunications companies by World Finance magazine.

Reducing paper consumption

100% of the paper used by BCF is recycled paper. All paper is FSC certified. BCF also gives its customers the possibility to do without paper mailings with its e-documents. In 2019, BCF replaced its counter receipts with an electronic signature, which corresponds to a saving of 2 million sheets per year. Since 2019, the Bank has reduced its paper consumption by 40%. From that year, the replacement of the workplaces was integrated into the CO2 balance sheet and accounted for 11% of the office supply volume.

Business and commuter traffic

Wherever possible, work trips are made by public transport. Work-related traffic has decreased by 37% between 2013 and 2022.

BCF provides financial support to its employees when they purchase an annual public transport pass (job abo). BCF has also installed charging stations for the electric vehicles of its employees.

In 2022, BCF established a mobility plan recognized by the Fribourg Agglomeration. The plan offers employees financial advantages on annual Frimobil transport pass. Measures to promote soft mobility will be implemented, such as the acquisition of electric cars and cooperation with Mobility.

Objectives 2024-2027

  • We are improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, using environmentally friendly resources and reducing business-related waste as much as possible.
  • We supply ourselves with 100% renewable energy.
  • We are reducing all greenhouse gas emissions from our operations since 2019 by 10% by 2027.
  • We increase our energy efficiency by 30% from 2008 levels by 2027.
  • We connect all our buildings to district heating as soon as it is available.
  • We supply ourselves with 100% recycled paper and FSC only.
  • We are investing in the projects of the Carbon Fri Foundation pro rata to our production of CO2, and are thus awarded the Carbon Fri label.
  • with our CO2 balance sheet certified by Climate Services, we annually update our corrective measures plan.