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Co-op Bank polls customers on social investments as it celebrates best ESG ranking


By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

July 19, 2021 | 4 min read

Banking brand Co-op Bank has been celebrating a major sustainability milestone with a campaign that sets out to involve customers in its ethical decision making.

The Co-operative Bank promotes its ESG credentials in 'We Won't Stop' campaign

The Co-operative Bank promotes its ESG credentials in ‘We Won't Stop’ campaign

After 149 years in business, the Co-operative Bank hit a major milestone this week. It’s been recognized as the UK high street bank with the best ESG rating. To commemorate this achievement, the bank has brought out ’We Won’t Stop’, a print and social media campaign that invites customers to suggest which social issues they want the bank to prioritize.

Ranked by Sustainalytics, ESG (environmental, social and governance) is a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. According to a recent poll by Opinium Research, 37% of UK adults would consider switching to a banking provider with stronger ESG credentials. However, only 15% currently know what their provider’s ESG rating is.

With that insight, The Co-operative Bank naturally wanted to shout about its achievement. “We have always been extremely focused on making the right environmental and social impacts,” insists Deb Darlington, director of brand and marketing. Now that it’s been recognized, she knew “it was time we once again put important social issues front and center of our advertising and marketing.”

 Co-op ad

The print ad will feature across most major UK newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, and The Observer. It defiantly opens: ’Injustice won't stop. Abuse won’t stop. The climate crisis won’t stop. So neither will we’. The ad then leads to spells out all the good that The Co-operative Bank has done over the years.

As part of the campaign (its sixth time in 30 years) Co-op Bank is offering all of its 3.3 million customers the opportunity to have their say on what environmental and social issues it should prioritize.

“We have a long history of leading on environmental initiatives such as being beyond carbon neutral and sending zero waste to landfill,” Darlington insists. “And in recent years we’ve also campaigned to right social injustices in partnership with Amnesty International and we continue to work with domestic abuse charity Refuge to raise awareness of Economic Abuse in the UK.

“We now want to know if these issues are as important to our customers now or if there are more pressing concerns that we can also support and champion in the future.”

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