Principality Building Society has become carbon neutral in its operations as it begins its long-term commitment to reaching net zero status.
The largest building society in Wales, with a workforce of more than 1,000, has ambitious plans to reach net zero status by 2030 through a number of activities including reducing travel, the use of paper, and ensuring its head office and branches are more sustainable.
The Society achieved carbon neutral status through its partnership with ClimatePartner, who helped it to measure and accurately calculate the CO2 emissions from its operations. Unabated emissions were then offset by supporting an internationally recognized hydropower project in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which generates clean power for four million people who previously had no electricity.
Julie-Ann Haines, CEO at Principality said: “It is great news we are officially carbon neutral as we’re taking our sustainability targets seriously as an organisation. This is new territory for us – the first steps of an exciting journey for our colleagues, and we are learning all the time about how we can be a better business for our environment here in Wales and globally.
“Our work with ClimatePartner will help us to understand what more we need to measure, so that we can achieve our goal of becoming net zero in our operations by 2030. There are a team of environmental champions at Principality who keep the executives and board on their toes by telling us where we can improve, and a sustainability team who are driving us forward and training colleagues. Switching to renewable energy, reducing travelling by working from home, using less paper, and ensuring our premises are more sustainable, are some of the ways we hope will help us to achieve our goals.
“It is important that we continue to be a responsible, sustainable business, focused on the future. Whilst we will continue to invest in technology to benefit our members, we will increase investment to help more first time buyers get a home, help more people to live in carbon neutral homes, ensure our members have a choice in how we run their building society, and create a much fairer society for the benefit of our customers, colleagues and communities.”
Whilst Principality’s emissions are generated solely in the UK, CO2 is distributed evenly in the atmosphere. This means, the concentration of greenhouse gases is roughly the same globally, no matter where they occur. By supporting a carbon offset project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Principality is not only able to offset its emissions, but it can also promote sustainable development and have a much bigger social impact beyond what is possible in the UK.
Emilien Hoet, Head of ClimatePartner UK said: “It is always exciting to work with companies from day one, as they embark on their sustainability journey. Principality has shown a great eagerness to operate in a way that takes the future of our planet to heart. Becoming carbon neutral is a critical first step for any company that is serious about getting to net zero. We look forward to continuing this journey with Principality