N&P launches world’s first “carbon neutral” mortgage
On Monday 17th July, Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (N&P) says it will become the world’s first mortgage lender to offer a "carbon neutral®" mortgage.
In a move which has been welcomed by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, N&P is making its “Green Mortgage Schemes” “carbon neutral®” by “offsetting” the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) produced by homes, through planting trees in association with the Future Forests. Launched in 1998, the “Green mortgages” offer homebuyers a free energy efficiency survey, a discount off the Society’s base rate and up to £500 cashback that can be spent on the improvements recommended, N&P told edie. To date, around £25 million has been lent under this scheme.
Future Forests was set up in 1989 to raise awareness of the benefits of forests in mitigating the build-up of CO2. It works to help offset the damage done to the environment by all types of businesses and individuals. They do this by planting and maintaining forests and measuring carbon uptake, and by developing carbon management programmes.
For every home, which is purchased or re-mortgaged to N&P using a Green Mortgage, N&P will plant 40 trees – eight trees per year for five years. Over time, N&P says the trees will absorb or offset the CO2 emissions produced by the property, “making it carbon neutral® for five years”. Customers will be offered the choice to carry on the scheme after that, through Future Forests.
Stephen Penlington, General Manager (Products & Marketing), said: “The average home can release about six tonnes of CO2 – the harmful greenhouse gas – into our atmosphere every year. We will neutralise the harmful effect this has by planting trees for every customer who takes out a Green Mortgage.”
“Our Green home loans save our customers money too. For example someone buying a brand new energy-efficient property can save themselves around £1,000 in the first year, through taking out a Green Mortgage and on lower energy bills.”
Nick Raynsford, Housing Minister, said: “The Government is keen to reduce carbon emissions and improve our environment. I welcome schemes such as this which will encourage tree planting and raise public awareness of this important environmental issue.”