The ethical finance provider offers savings accounts to fund mortgages for properties and projects supporting individuals and communities to adopt green building practices, improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock and to live or work in a way that promotes a sustainable economy.
In 2017 the building society reported record assets of £178.7m, an increase from £173.1m in 2016, and gross lending of £28.2, a decrease from £30.7m in 2016. Last year Ecology lent over £28.2m for sustainable properties and projects, with 78% of mortgages advanced on residential properties (including new builds, renovations and shared ownership) and 22% on community-led housing (including charities, community land trusts and housing co-operatives) and non-residential properties such as sustainable businesses.
Profit was maintained at £915,000 from £920,000 in 2016, marking more than 30 years of uninterrupted profitability for the building society.
Chief executive Paul Ellis said: “Recent initiatives such as the report of the government’s Green Finance Taskforce are positive signs of a growing interest in Ecology’s sustainable lending model, demonstrating how finance can support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“We’ve been providing sustainable mortgages for more than 30 years, offering innovative discounts that incentivise the most energy efficient projects and properties. Our continued growth and success shows that finance that benefits both people and planet can be profitable.
“As well as supporting more and more people to renovate their homes to a high environmental standard, I’m particularly pleased that we have increased our lending for community-led housing solutions which are helping to tackle the housing and affordability crisis.
“We have a strong pipeline of lending opportunities which will enable us to continue to grow our mortgage book in 2018 while maintaining our commitment to our core principles of sustainability.”
Ecology was the first building society to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark for responsible tax behaviour and says it continues to reduce its own environmental impact as well as supporting environmental lending. Based on its eco-build offices in Silsden, West Yorkshire, the building society has over 9, 500 members, 1,297 of whom voted in the AGM last year.