The Ecology Building Society is dedicated to improving the environment by supporting and promoting ecological building practices and sustainable communities.
It aims to build a greener society by providing mortgages for properties and projects that adopt environmental building practices and improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s building stock, funded through their range of simple, transparent savings accounts.
In 1980, during a conference of the Ecology Party (the forerunner of the current UK Green Party), a Yorkshire based solicitor complained of the difficulty he had in finding a mortgage for a property needing extensive renovation. Someone asked ‘Why don’t we start our own building society?’ In those days, a building society could be started with just £5,000. Ten people put in £500 each and some of those still save with the society. It began trading in 1981, from a tiny upstairs office in Cross Hills, West Yorkshire, just a few miles from the current headquarters’ eco-build offices (section above).
April AGM approaches
Several reports have been written about this year’s progress. The first lead was a link from the Business Desk (Yorkshire), which led to an article recording another year of solid results, which continues more than 30 years of uninterrupted profitability with record assets and savings balances for 2016.
For the year to December 31, 2016, it recorded assets of £173.1m (2015: £145.9m):
- gross lending stood at £30.7m (2015: £42.1m)
- savings balances rose to £163.1m (2015: £134.7m)
- and net profit increased to £920,000 (2015: £881,000).
In 2016 Ecology lent more than £30.7m for sustainable properties and projects, with 94% of mortgages advanced on residential properties, including new builds, renovations and shared ownership, and 6% on community-led housing, including charities, housing co-operatives and community businesses. Chief executive Paul Ellis (left) said: “Our priority for 2017 is to continue to grow our mortgage book, particularly supporting more and more people to renovate their homes to a high environmental standard.
“Our financial success is based on sticking to our core principles: thinking long-term, putting our members first and focussing on our social and environmental impact”.