How can brokers be more green?
By Accord Mortgages
Environmental issues are increasingly becoming a priority to consumers, with house buyers in particular looking at the green credentials of a home before making a purchase. In fact, research has shown that 89% of prospective buyers want sustainable homes that are kind to the planet, while 80% would rather have solar panels than a garden.
The new generation of buyers are taking green thinking into every purchase they make, and that extends to who they want to buy a property from. That means you have to actively work to establish strong green credentials and make them known to the environmentally conscious buyers you want and need to attract.
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What does it mean to be green?
In short, a green business is one that thoughtfully and actively holds itself accountable for its impact on the environment. Being green requires the company to review its processes, purchases and outputs through a lens of sustainability and overall environmental impact.
Many new buyers want to see how businesses conduct themselves and the effort that goes into reducing their footprint. You can showcase this in an environmental impact statement and back up your claims by undertaking some of the initiatives mentioned below.
Already feeling green and want to show off your eco-conscious credentials?
You can apply for B-corporation certification.
B-corporations are companies that have proven themselves to have a clear positive impact on environmental, social or governance (ESG) issues. It’s a well respected certification that can immediately act as an identifier and proof point for ESG-conscious buyers. There is no minimum or maximum size of business that can apply and performing the impact assessment alone is free.
Small changes, big difference
Going green doesn’t have to happen all at once and it doesn’t mean revolutionising the way you do business. Even some of the smallest differences can have a big impact, such as:
- Recycle -Starting a recycling initiative at work is a great way to introduce green thinking and start making a difference right away.
- Use eco-friendly products - These days, finding an environmentally friendly substitute for anything is getting easier and that’s especially true of cleaning supplies.
- Bring the green inside - Having live plants in the office doesn’t just spruce the place up - they also purify the air and generally improve well-being.
- Green team days - Encourage your team to participate in local outdoor clean-up initiatives like beach, park or river cleans. Make it a bonding experience and organise a whole team awayday to take care of the planet!
- Reduce paper waste - Many of us have embraced remote and hybrid working in recent years, so your business may have already started this without realising. That means now is the time to take a look at the places where paper is still being used and ask if there is another way.
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You can also encourage those who don’t work in the office full-time to embrace your environmentally aware culture from home, perhaps by offering incentives and prizes.
Here are some easy green wins for working from home:
- Commit to a plastic-free challenge - One of the biggest challenges contributing to climate change is the overwhelming amount of plastic that is disposed of each year. Much of that breaks down into smaller pieces, microplastics, that end up in our food. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) estimates we eat about a credit card’s worth of plastic each week.
- Consider eco-friendly grooming - There are a lot of options out there now to purchase plastic-free, all-natural, upcycled food waste grooming and beauty products that don’t cost the Earth and don’t contribute to climate change.
- Reduce food waste - Use food sharing apps like Olio or Too Good To Go to reduce food waste. Or, if most of your food waste is offcuts from cooking, explore the nutritious recipes trending for offal right now, save some pennies or give composting a go!
- Try meat-free Mondays - The meat industry heavily impacts climate change and skipping one serving of beef every Monday for a year saves the equivalent emissions to driving 348 miles in a car.
- Offset your carbon footprint -You can subscribe to carbon offsetting programs like Native Energy or Ecologi, which fund activities that counteract carbon contributions and enable you to live carbon negative and climate positive.
You can appeal to the generation of green-conscious buyers by creating a greener culture within your business, sharing your efforts or results and making a deliberate effort to be more sustainable.
One way to get started is to engage with the Mortgage Climate Action Group, which helps intermediaries understand and address green issues throughout the mortgage application process.
The group, which we proudly support, provides practical help and guidance on issues such as energy efficiency, so advisers are better placed to make meaningful changes and present a genuinely attractive, environmentally aware proposition to consumers.
With government figures showing that the residential sector accounts for more than a fifth of the country’s carbon emissions, and fewer than half of homes in England and Wales have EPC ratings of C or above, it’s clear that our homes should be at the forefront of the fight against climate change - and you can play a crucial part.
For adviser use only. Please note this content has been supplied by our lender partner and as such, is their responsibility. No party shall have any right of action against Legal & General in relation to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article.