13 Sept 2021
At Funding Options, we believe in the immediate need to mitigate climate change and achieve net zero by 2050. But we’re also aware that actions speak louder than words. Read on to find out about how we’re championing sustainability and how we’re helping UK businesses play their part too.
The financial services sector must adopt a “lend green” mindset if the UK is going to its target of net zero by 2050. Businesses operating in the sector itself will also have to reassess their own carbon footprint.
At the beginning of 2021, we unveiled our Sustainability Policy and launched our green finance proposition for lenders and businesses.
Funding Options is well-placed to lead the way to a greener future by supporting businesses that need finance for green growth.
By facilitating green lending, we hope to play a key role in decarbonising the UK economy, and we’re excited to help our customers reach their net-zero goals and to drive a more sustainable economy.
In line with the United Nations’ Paris Agreement and the UK Government’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we’re enabling SMEs to decarbonise the UK economy and build greener businesses – Funding Options’ Green Commitment
We’re working towards our green goals through our strategy, governance structure, approach to climate opportunities and the targets we’ve set ourselves.
Our strategy for building greater resilience against climate-related risk in the UK economy is underpinned by two pillars: Fund Green and Lend Green.
But what do these new terms mean, exactly?
wind turbines in field
To “fund green” means to provide businesses with the capital they need to fund green assets, green projects, green operations and green businesses. To measure the success of this project, data capture and insights will be a key priority.
Funding Options defines a green asset as a renewable or low/zero carbon asset, such as a solar panel or electric vehicle (the same goes for green projects and operations). We define a green business as one that has renewable, low/zero carbon or sustainable business activities, products or services.
To “lend green” is to enable all businesses to find, engage with and – if possible – receive business funding from a green lender. Funding Options defines a green lender as one lenders that meet at least one of the following criteria:
Provide a financial product designed for the purchase or leasing of green assets or green businesses.
Be committed to supporting green businesses.
Be open to funding businesses at a different pricing rate who have renewable, low/zero carbon or sustainable business activities, products or services.
Have a sustainability, ESG or green policy.
Ultimately, our mission is to provide our customers with easier access to funding so that they can decarbonise their own products, services and operations.
Of course, we need to demonstrate our own sustainable values, which is why we’re also working to decarbonise our own business activities.
We will be identifying, assessing and managing our Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions on an annual basis in Q4 2021.
Scope 1 GHG (greenhouse gas) relates to the emissions that come from sources an organisation owns or controls, such as company vehicles.
Scope 2 covers indirect emissions that come from things like the generation of purchased electricity.
Scope 3 covers all other indirect emissions that occur in the organisation’s value chain.
wind turbine farms for sustainable funding
Measure our Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions (in Q4 2021).
Engage with the SME lending market more often regarding climate change.
Use content, webinars, blogs and thought leadership pieces to educate our customers on the importance of sustainability and becoming net zero.
Conduct staff training to educate Funding Options employees on the importance of sustainability and our organisation becoming net-zero.
Advocate on policy. For example, we’re setting up a meeting with the BBB to discuss the importance of greater government engagement with the alternative finance industry in relation to driving climate reduction within the SME community.
As with everything we do, the success of our customers is our most important consideration. We’ve implemented the following governance structure to ensure our team is able to fulfil every aspect of our sustainability policy and pledges.
Our CEO has executive oversight over the Funding Options’ sustainability strategy and mandate, and is responsible for ensuring that everyone is following the policy.
Our Risk and Compliance team is responsible for implementing our sustainability policy into our risk department. Key responsibilities include updating the policy as it evolves and ensuring Funding Options remains compliant with internal and external regulations.
The Sales and Commercial teams are responsible for ensuring Funding Options meets the commercial requirements of the sustainability policy.
They’ll ensure we’re actively engaging with our green lander panel and onboarding more lenders. They’ll also be responsible for helping businesses access green finance and will identify broader strategic opportunities relating to the green economy.
The Engineering, Product, Design & Data (EPDD) team is responsible for ensuring Funding Options meets the technical requirements of the sustainability policy.
This includes things like ensuring data capture and quality is of the necessary standard, and that the wider systems Funding Options use are able to assist businesses with their sustainable finance needs.
The Marketing team is responsible for communicating Funding Options’ ESG policy and impact on society. Key responsibilities include communicating Funding Options’ sustainability ambitions in relation to achieving net zero and communicating key data points that demonstrate impact and progress towards this goal.
The People team is responsible for ensuring Funding Options’ staff understand the impact the organisation has on carbon emissions and climate change. They’re also responsible for ensuring the organisation has measures and initiatives in place to assist staff in reducing their own carbon emissions.
If you're looking to fund a green business venture or if you’d like to join our growing panel of green lenders, check out our green finance page, where you’ll find everything you need to know about green finance and how to apply.
We’re looking forward to helping you achieve net zero!
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