Ecology has become the first building society to publish the carbon footprint of its residential mortgage lending.
In order to calculate the carbon footprint arising from its lending, Ecology has applied the new Global Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Standard which was developed by the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) and launched in November 2020.
By reporting its financed emissions, Ecology is adding its weight to the growing momentum for all banking providers to measure and disclose their emissions, it believes.
It noted that this will be critical as the financial sector supports the transition to a net-zero economy to meet the Paris targets.
The move to calculate the emissions from its sustainable lending is in addition to their long-standing commitment to measure and report the carbon footprint from its day-to-day business operations including the energy used to heat its offices, purchasing supplies as well as commuting and travel.
Ecology offsets these operational emissions through accredited tree planting schemes.
The group plans to launch a report at COP26, building momentum for more banking providers to transparently measure and disclose their emissions.
Reporting emissions from residential property also helps to focus attention on the condition of the UK housing stock, and the growing need for an urgent national programme of renovation, if net zero targets are to be met.
Alison Vipond, sustainability lead at Ecology, said: “To achieve net-zero we need to unlock the financial solutions required to transition to a low carbon economy.
“Measuring our financed emissions using the PCAF methodology gives us a better understanding of our current mortgage portfolio.
“We are using this to help develop our net zero plan, especially to target and improve energy inefficient properties.
“We’re looking forward to sharing our experience with other banking providers at COP26 so that they can join us and use the carbon accounting approach to focus on building a sustainable future.”