03 March 2022

Becoming a greener Society with a climate change approach

By: Chris Blewitt, Head of Intermediary Distribution, Darlington Building Society

We are all acutely aware of the need to become ‘greener’. Last year’s COP26 summit highlighted the responsibility that lies with individual businesses - of all shapes and sizes - to make incremental changes towards a greener future.

At Darlington Building Society, we rounded off 2021 by announcing our climate change approach, pledging to operate a sustainable business that manages the impacts of climate change and supports the transition to a greener, net zero economy.

But what does that mean in practice?

We began by mobilising a cross-functional Climate Change Working Group. The group will gather insight and perspectives from across the Society to plan a roadmap that is effective, deliverable and maintains a steely focus on building the best Society for our members. 

Responsible governance continues with ongoing discussion and oversight by the Society’s Board and there are plans to formalise performance-linked climate change objectives.

In line with the roadmap, Darlington Building Society now offers a green savings account and a green mortgage product.

The green savings account has a tree planting feature to help reduce emissions. In April we will be planting the first group of trees at local charity Clervaux Trust.

The green mortgage is only available on homes with an EPC rating of A1 to B3. It is our hope that this kind of criteria will prompt people to consider the environmental impact of their homes.

By working with partners and stakeholders, we will continue to develop our knowledge of climate change and take action to manage the impacts on our members, local communities and the organisation.

David Bews, Darlington Building Society Chief Risk Officer said:

“People are consuming differently: from electric cars to refillable bottles, we are making more informed decisions - both in everyday life and when it comes to big purchases. That’s why at Darlington Building Society, we want our members to have access to greener financial services too. After all, what’s a bigger purchase than your home?

“We have invested in a top-down climate change approach. We’re serious about making a change. This strategy will help to reduce carbon emissions, hold ourselves accountable for being greener and provide our members with greener options. Early interest is indicative of people being more selective with how they consume, gravitating towards greener alternatives.

“I’m looking forward to working with stakeholders to deliver our climate change approach, and to develop a Society that is more conscious of climate change for our members.”

You can learn more about our greener products at www.darlington.co.uk

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