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Triodos Bank Enforce Measures To Protect Most Vulnerable From Fuel Poverty

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Triodos Bank are improving living standards for tenants by providing social housing associations with access to innovative finance

Triodos Bank has created a dedicated £15 million lending pot for social housing providers to make energy efficient improvements to current housing stock to alleviate fuel poverty and develop green spaces, in an initiative to raise living standards for the UK’s most vulnerable residents.

People living in social housing can be vulnerable and at risk of falling into fuel poverty as older properties can potentially be energy inefficient. Latest figures from GOV.UK report 2.38 million households in England were living in fuel poverty – an increase from the previous year to 10.6% of all households.

Housing associations face pressures to increase housing capacity which often comes at the expense of making energy saving measures in current properties and developing green spaces that are so vital for well-being. The problem for small-medium housing providers is that there is often not enough financial reserves to make the vital improvements to homes – for both future and current tenants. Even if housing providers show good financial track records, lenders have traditionally only been able to finance loans by taking security – often the housing stock that providers currently own.

Triodos Bank is looking to bridge this gap with Warmer Homes and Greener Communities loans to housing associations. Triodos Bank will take no direct security at the outset of the loan.

Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos Bank UK explains the need to help housing associations protect the interests of their most vulnerable tenants. “The housing crisis has affected almost everyone in society, but none more than some of the UK’s poorest and most vulnerable. Not only are there financial challenges in housing, such as in heating homes, but also many developments lack community spaces and areas of natural habitats, which are formally recognised as having a direct benefit in addressing low grade mental health issues. Together, working with housing providers we want to ensure people can live comfortably, within their means and in healthy environments.”

The Warmer Homes and Greener Communities initiative is the first of its kind widely offered by a UK bank and supports the social housing sector in delivering environmental and social benefits. Housing providers working in partnership with socially responsible sustainable banks like Triodos can help solve some of the housing crisis by for example retrofitting of homes to protect tenants from devastating fuel poverty.

Kevin McCloud, Broadcaster and Director of HAB Housing, a leader in sustainable, affordable, housing schemes, explains that creating lower impact homes and communities are essential to ensuring that living standards are raised.

“Any housing development needs to consider the impact it will have on people and the planet. While tackling the housing crisis with increased numbers, we need to be building homes that are not only cost effective for the people who live there but that also offer wider environmental and aesthetic benefits, with amenity spaces that people are proud to live in. Innovative solutions, including access to finance from banks like Warmer Homes and the Greener Community loan from Triodos, is to be encouraged.”

Sally Gapper, CEO of North Bristol Advice Centre (NBAC) which supports some of the city’s most vulnerable people explains that rising energy costs and fuel inefficient properties can damage health, well-being as well as push people further into debt.

“Fuel poverty is crippling, and escalating winter fuel bills are another problem for tenants to worry about. At NBAC we help people manage their finances, and in the winter this problem is most acute. For some people, it might leave them with the choice of whether to keep their heating on, or have a decent meal – and this is a decision that nobody should have to make, but sadly they do.

“Worrying about heating homes affects the UK’s most deprived people most, and can contribute towards problem debt. Any mechanism which can help social housing providers and tenants be protected from rising energy costs and poorly insulated homes is most welcome.”

Triodos Bank has actively supported the social housing sector for over eight years – providing access to finance.

Watts added: “We believe banks should be thinking about the long-term needs of society and working in partnership to develop finance initiatives that address the real challenges we face, like climate change, fuel poverty, lack of affordable housing and many more. We hope this is an example of how finance can work for good. Banks use your money and we should all be examining whether they do so in our own interests”.

For more information on Warmer Homes and Greener Community loans, visit: www.triodos.co.uk/warmer-homes-greener-communities

Annual fuel poverty statistics report 2016: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-fuel-poverty-statistics-report-2016

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

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“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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