Ecology Accelerates Its Mission To Build A Greener Society
The Society has secured £3m of investment through an issue of Core Capital Deferred Shares (CCDS), which will enable us to further grow our sustainable lending, invest in innovation, and drive forward our mission to improve the environment by supporting and promoting ecological building practices and sustainable communities through our lending impact.
We’ve led the way on the development of sustainable finance and are a leading green mortgage provider for energy efficient self-build and renovations. Our unique C-Change mortgages incentivise energy efficiency through mortgage pricing, based on the property’s energy rating when the project is completed. The investment will help further build our capacity to support the sustainable recovery and complement initiatives such as the imminent launch of the Government’s Green Homes Grants scheme, which will help homeowners cover the cost of making energy efficiency home improvements.
As a leading supporter of community housing solutions, which promote social well-being economic resilience and environmental sustainability, the additional capital will enable us to support larger community-led housing schemes and meet demand.
Ecology is the third, and smallest, building society to have raised new funds through CCDS, alongside Nationwide, which has to date issued over £1 billion in CCDS, and Cambridge Building Society which placed £15 million privately with its local county council pension fund.
Commenting on the success of the issue, Paul Ellis, our Chief Executive, said:
“I’m delighted that Ecology has secured this investment which marks the beginning of an exciting new era in the Society’s history, underpinning our growth prospects and strengthening our commitment to sustainability and ecological lending. This demonstrates confidence in Ecology’s values-based and purpose-driven model.
The effects of the climate and ecological crisis continue to be felt both here in the UK and across the globe, and it has never been more relevant and important for Ecology to continue to provide a progressive force for positive environmental change. The additional capital will accelerate our lending, ensuring we’re well placed to support the green recovery.”
The structure of the investment preserves Ecology’s status as a member-owned, mutual organisation as each shareholder will have only one vote regardless of how many shares they hold.
Charity and mission-driven businesses funding specialist Allia C&C acted as manager for the offer. Allia placed the CCDS through its network of ethical and mainstream institutional and professional investors. The offer closed early after 8 days having been 1.25 times oversubscribed.
Adrian Bell, Chief Executive of Allia C&C, said:
“There is a growing demand for investments making a positive social and environmental impact. Through Allia C&C’s support to access this demand, Ecology will now be able to significantly increase its lending to sustainable and community projects.”
A spokesperson for the investment team at West Yorkshire Pension Fund said:
“West Yorkshire Pension Fund is pleased to support the new Ecology CCDS issue as a cornerstone investor. The Fund is committed to sustainable investing, and this new investment is an addition to our growing portfolio of stocks and bonds which are actively engaged in green technology and environmentally sound businesses.”
Gildas Surry, portfolio manager at Axiom Alternative Investments, said:
“Axiom Alternative Investments is delighted to take part in Ecology’s capital raising via the Axiom European Financial Debt investment trust. Axiom’s participation will further strengthen the building society’s capital ratios, while supporting the resilience of its unique business model and the growth prospects of its differentiated ethical product offerings.”
Published: 18 September 2020
Author: Jennifer Whiteside