Darlington Building Society announces its Climate Change approach - David Bews, Chief Risk Officer

Published: 20 December 2021

Darlington Building Society has today announced its 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.

A cross-functional Climate Change Working Group has been mobilised. It will steer and oversee the Society’s progress against an agreed roadmap of activity.

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

In line with the roadmap, the Society now offers a green savings account and a green mortgage. The green savings account has a tree planting feature to help reduce emissions. The green mortgage is only available on homes with an EPC rating of A1 to B3. This encourages people to consider the environmental impact of their homes.

The Society will continue to develop its knowledge of climate change and take action to manage the impacts on its members and the organisation. This will be achieved through working with partners and stakeholders.

David Bews, Darlington Building Society Chief Risk Officer said:

“The recent COP26 summit highlighted the responsibility that lies with individual businesses – of all shapes and sizes – to make incremental changes towards a greener future.

“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 cross-organisation effort will help to reduce carbon emissions, hold ourselves accountable for being greener and provide our members with greener options.

“Early interest has been encouraging on both our green mortgage and our green savings account. This behaviour is indicative of people being more selective with how they consume, gravitating towards greener alternatives.

“We have a long way to go, but I want today to mark a fork in the road where Darlington Building Society picked the greener route. 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.”