Connect with us

Invest

Ecology Building Society results: record-breaking sustainable success

Published

on

Ecology Building Society Logo

2015 figures show that using money to make a positive difference to people and planet is both possible and profitable

Ecology Building Society today announces record assets, record gross and net lending and record savings balances for the year ending 31 December 2015.

Ecology Building Society, an ethical finance pioneer, offers a range of simple, transparent, ethical savings accounts that fund mortgages for properties and projects which support individuals and communities to adopt environmental building practices, improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s building stock and live or work in a way that promotes a sustainable economy.

The results mark more than 30 years of uninterrupted profitability and provide a compelling case for a long-term, purpose-driven approach to finance.

The Society’s key results included:

  • Record assets of £145.9m (2014: £137.9m) with a strong asset growth rate of 5.85% (2014: 10.62%)
  • Record gross lending of £42.1 (2014: £23.1m) with net lending passing the £25m milestone for the first time.
  • A surge in savings balances to £134.7m (2014: £129.1m) supported by the relaunch of the savings product range in the first quarter of 2015.
  • Strong net profit of £881,000 (2014: £566,000).

Throughout 2015 Ecology also maintained its commitment to ethical business practices including receiving accreditation as a full Living Wage employer, which built on their longstanding commitment to a fair pay ratio. They also recently became the first building society to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark, which sets a benchmark for responsible tax behaviour.

In 2015 Ecology lent over £42m for sustainable properties and projects, with 95% of mortgages advanced on residential properties (including new builds, renovations and shared ownership) and 5% on developments for community gain (including charities, community businesses and affordable housing).

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Paul Ellis said:

We’re proud to be at the forefront of the most exciting type of finance there could be – using money to make a positive difference for people and planet. Our results prove that our approach to ethical values-based banking is more relevant than ever and demonstrate how we are delivering on our mission to build a greener society. 

“Throughout 2015 we have retained our commitment to focus on lending for positive environmental and social impact. Our record levels of lending represent a significant increase in our positive impact.” 

Since his appointment in 1995, Paul has overseen an asset increase of over £120m. He continues to be the longest-serving CEO in the building society sector, in the youngest society still in existence, highlighting a shared commitment to the long term.

Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

Published

on

By

eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

Continue Reading

Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

Published

on

By

Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending