Building Society seeks a greener future for all

Building Society seeks a greener future for all

Hinckley & Rugby Building Society has launched a new environmental strategy to make the business greener and encourage its customers to save money by cutting their energy use.

Thursday’s [November 21 2019] launch was marked by staff volunteers litter picking in Hinckley, plus head office and branch staff wearing green and each donating £1 to support tree planting in the nearby National Forest.

A team of more than 30 staff collected bags of rubbish from streets, alleyways and parks near the Society’s head office and Castle Street branch in Hinckley town centre.

A committee of staff from across the Society has been working for seven months to create the environmental strategy, which addresses both what the Society can do about its own activities and also how it can incentivise and educate its customers to also act.

Hinckley & Rugby’s chief executive Colin Fyfe is chairing the national Building Societies Association’s Green Finance Taskforce, as well as the Society’s own environmental committee. Greener finance initiatives include developing products such as mortgages that incentivise homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their houses or install renewable energy technology.

Colin said:

“With a third of all the UK’s carbon emissions coming from the nation’s homes, there is enormous potential to reduce that through building low or zero carbon houses and retrofitting insulation and new heating and energy technologies to the existing stock.

“Greener finance products such as mortgages can help people opt for greener homes and at the same time educate them about how saving money and saving energy can go hand in hand. Hinckley & Rugby is looking forward helping our members make those choices.”

The Society’s environmental strategy addresses cutting back on the resources used in its day to day operations. Moving away from pen and ink signatures to online and email approval processes and the digitisation, through scanning and other means, of documentation aims to cut that use.

During the launch day staff right across the business wore green, with branch staff talking to customers about the initiative. Proceeds will be donated to the National Forest’s project to plant nine million trees, a target set to be hit soon with 8,965,000 planted to date.

Other environmental activities under way at Hinckley & Rugby include: staff are being invited to bring in recyclable items from home including pens, foil and crisp packets for the Society to use to fundraise for charities; renting a Christmas tree for the head office, which will be replanted and reused each year, with decorations made by staff from recycled materials; further litter picking in its heartlands; and using recycled paper.

Colin Fyfe said:

“Our environmental launch is just the start of a longer journey as we introduce new ways of working to help make a positive difference. We want to enable our thousands of borrowers and savers to choose to be greener and make countless small alterations to their own behaviour which add up to a big impact.

“Our staff are newly energised and mobilised to make Hinckley & Rugby a greener, more energy aware and waste conscious organisation. And we all want to go further and faster in becoming an environmentally sustainable supporter of greener ways of living in our wider community.”

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