Danske Bank in Northern Ireland has launched the UK’s first mortgage to be certified as carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust.
The Carbon Trust measured the carbon footprint of providing mortgages, which includes the emissions generated throughout the mortgage lifecycle.
Physical paperwork forms the largest part of the footprint but other activities taken into account include energy consumption in Danske’s offices, digital paperwork at each stage, paper waste generation and a welcome box provided to customers.
The Carbon Trust has calculated the emissions per mortgage at 96kg CO2e, equivalent to driving 241 miles driven in an average car, or charging 11,678 smartphones.
To achieve carbon neutrality for our mortgage service, Danske has committed to keep reducing this carbon footprint yearly and to offset any remaining emissions by investing in projects that reduce emissions by the same amount as those generated by providing our mortgages.
Danske will work with carbon reduction specialists ClimateCare to offset the environmental impact of the mortgage by supporting wind energy projects in India.
First-time buyers, home movers, and switchers, with a home Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA) rating of A-C, are eligible to apply for the Danske Carbon Neutral Mortgage.
Aisling Press, managing director of personal banking at Danske Bank said: “At Danske Bank, we’re already carbon neutral in the heating and electricity we use in our branches and offices. So the mortgages we’ll provide on greener homes won’t contribute to rising greenhouse gas emissions. That’s certified by the Carbon Trust.
“Domestic homes generate an estimated 15% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so improving the energy efficiency of our homes is crucial in the fight against climate change. As a leading mortgage lender, we have a responsibility to support customers who choose a greener home. We’ve therefore made the Carbon Neutral Mortgage our most competitively priced mortgage and launched a new cashback offer of up to £2,000.”
John Newton, associate director at the Carbon Trust Advisory, said: “The Carbon Trust is pleased to certify Danske Bank’s mortgage service to the PAS 2060 Specification, demonstrating the carbon neutrality of the activities associated with the provision of the service. The initiatives that Danske Bank has undertaken to achieve this certification demonstrate the company’s commitment to continually reduce and offset the carbon impacts of their mortgage product.”
Chris Martin, head of climate risk & strategy at Danske Bank added: “At Danske Bank we’ve committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, and have a strategy in place to achieve that target.
“We’ve already delivered significant reductions in the emissions produced through our own operations, for example through more energy efficient heating systems, LED lighting, solar panels and changing our company car policy. We’ve also been providing sustainability training for employees and have developed a climate literacy programme with Business in the Community for businesses. But the Carbon Neutral Mortgage is the first step in developing climate friendly products and services, and we’re excited about what’s still to come.”
Danske Bank is offering home buyers up to £2,000 cashback with every mortgage on a home with a valid EPC rating A-C**.