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Being a responsible business is part of our mutual heritage. From our people to the environment and communities we serve, we're taking actions to help more people have a home, help people save for life ahead, and support long-term financial wellbeing.

Environmental footprint

We're putting sustainability high on our agenda for now and the future. We take seriously our responsibility to reduce, and where possible, remove any harmful impacts our business activities may have on the environment. We’re constantly trying to find ways to reduce our own environmental footprint wherever we can.

Working towards net zero

A big focus for the Society is net zero – the UK government's commitment to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050. To help us work towards this goal, we’re looking at how we, as a business, can support our own journey, as well as the journeys of our supply chains and customers.

This involves examining our energy efficiency, and engaging with carbon specialists to understand how we can reduce our emissions. We look at our impacts and carbon footprint across our whole value chain, and we know that most of our value chain emissions come from our mortgage lending and purchased goods and services.

Emissions from households are a key contributor to the UK’s carbon footprint. To help members learn how they could improve their home’s energy efficiency, we offer a free EPC Plus assessment to members who own a home over 10 years old. Members can use this report to consider home improvements – which could potentially reduce their carbon footprint and save them money on their energy bills.

On top of this, we’re carrying out a retrofit research project of our own. Retrofit is when changes are made to a property to improve its energy efficiency. Through this project, we can learn about the overall process, costs and benefits involved. This puts us in a better position to provide awareness – and understand the challenges those retrofitting their homes might face. We can also consider how we could support our members in their journey to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

We also have a range of additional borrowing mortgage products available to existing borrowers. These are available to existing customers looking to fund energy efficient home improvements.

Our buildings

We've refurbished almost all of our branches with the installation of LED lighting, efficient air conditioning, and energy-efficient heaters. The vast majority of our boilers have been changed to more energy efficient condensing boilers, and we continue to explore the potential to use solar panels to generate on-site electricity at head office. Here, we also harvest our rainwater and have installed auto sensors for taps to reduce water use.

Our transport

We’ve expanded our EV charge points at Head Office from four visitor and two pool car charge points, adding a further 20 charge points for colleague-use. In addition, in 2023 we launched a colleague benefit for employees to lease an electric or hybrid car on a company hire scheme. This could further help colleagues to reduce the emissions from their commuting and personal vehicle use. We also continue to offer the cycle to work scheme benefit, where colleagues can buy a new bike to enjoy the local scenery on their way into the office.

Our waste

We divert over 99% of our waste from the Society from landfill, and we’ve continued to cut back on our single-use plastics. In April 2024, we launched a reusables scheme in our head office café. We source sustainable marketing materials for colleagues and external events. And in our ongoing mission to become a more digitally-led business, our operational mailings are becoming increasingly digital – with over 70,000 of our customers opting to receive mailings, including annual statements, through email. This results in lower paper usage from communications.

Useful Documents

EPC Plus is provided by Vibrant Energy Matters, who are owned by Connells Group, a Skipton Building Society Group company. EPC Plus is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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