Ecology Building Society Annual General Meeting 2017

16 June 2017

In 2017, our AGM and Members’ Meet up was held at The Station in Bristol. The Station is a former fire station in Bristol city centre, which is operated as a social enterprise by Creative Youth Network, a registered charity that aims to help young people reach their potential. As well as being a youth hub, The Station is home to a number of community youth projects.

We received lots of really positive feedback from our members about the day including particular praise for the catering provided by the café at The Station which is run by the YMCA.

During our AGM business, there was intense questioning from our members about the way the Society operates and the services we offer. The Directors responded to questions on their area of expertise – here are some of the Q&As.

Voting results:

  ForAgainstAbstainSpoilt
1To receive the Auditors' Report125514235
2To receive the Directors’ Reports and the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31 December 2016125817175
3To pass an Ordinary Resolution to appoint KPMG LLP as auditors until the conclusion of the next Annual General Meeting10641261016
4To pass an Ordinary Resolution to approve the Directors' Remuneration Report for the year ended 31 December 2016113086765
5(i)To re-elect TIMOTHY DAVID MORGAN121939345
5(ii)To re-elect CHRISTOPHER JON NEWMAN121839355
5(iii)To re-elect ALISON VIPOND122942215

Overall voting turnout was 16.17% – a slight increase from last year, and 54% used our online voting service which was a big increase from last year and helps us reduce the amount of paper we use. We’re always trying to get more members involved in voting, if you’re a voting member, please use your democratic power in 2018!

At the end of the morning Paul Ellis was presented with a gift by Steve Round in recognition of his 25 years service at Ecology, including nearly 22 years as Chief Executive!

Paul Ellis 25 years at Ecology

In the afternoon members also had a sneak preview of our new animation which we commissioned to help explain and promote how we use money for positive benefit by supporting buildings and projects that respect the environment as well as community-led and affordable housing.

Anna Kear, Executive Director of UK Cohousing Network then explained how Ecology is helping to support community-led housing move into the mainstream to respond to the housing crisis.

Chris Sunderland, Executive Director, Real Economy (Bristol) Ltd then shared his experience of helping to found the Bristol Pound as a leading example of local democratic finance. He went on to explain how he is now setting up a community food centre as a radical intervention to make Bristol an earth friendly city.

In our Sustainable lending in practice session later in the afternoon members heard how Ecology borrower and CEO of the Association for Environment Conscious Building undertook an extensive renovation and retrofit of an old railway cottage in Hereford to Passivhaus EnerPhit standard to create a comfortable energy efficient family home.

In the final afternoon session, Your Society, members participated in more intimate smaller breakout groups and willingly shared and discussed their ideas for how Ecology can grow its role in building a greener society, including developing partnerships with like-minded organisations, promoting literacy in sustainable finance and campaigning on housing standards and national insulation schemes.

We have received lots of positive feedback from members about the day. Feedback from one member: ‘I found it interesting to find out how financial services worked. It is lovely to listen to the positive instead of the negatives’

And, another member commented: ‘“As usual, very informative and inspirational. Especially enjoyed the [small] groups in the afternoon’ and another commented: ‘It means a lot to me that there are companies in this world who hold similar ethical values to myself’.

Thank you to everyone who gave feedback on the AGM. We read every form and your suggestions will be used to help us deliver better events in future.