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Ben Makowiecki: Huge opportunity for businesses to go green

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Emerging from Brexit and recovering from the pandemic provides businesses with an important opportunity to focus on their green credentials, according to Ben Makowiecki, sustainability director at Lloyds Banking Group.

 

Discussing the decarbonisation of finance at the NACFB Commercial Finance Expo, Makowiecki added: “As far as the bank is concerned, sustainability has already been part of it, and remains so in the future. We have ESG teams throughout the bank, as part of the group, the commercial bank, the SME and corporate part.

“We have a £5bn green fund, which goes across sustainability in making loans, green deposits and asset finance.

“We have KPIs for our relationship managers and for each part of the bank – it is becoming part of everything that we do.”

When asked whether businesses can afford to focus on their green credentials at the moment, with the challenges that face them in the current economy, Makowiecki said: “Sustainability offers the chance to work their way out of some of these challenges.

“No business that isn’t ‘Sustainable with a big S’ can be ‘sustainable with a small s’ for very long.”

“There is certainly a fear about the expense of sustainability, and in certain sectors that may be true, but there’s a huge amount that needs to be got across to businesses in terms of awareness and information that’ll help them realise that actually it doesn’t need to be expensive.”

Paul Brett, managing director, intermediaries at LandBay, added that in the housing sector specifically, moving towards a sustainable future means looking at the whole process from the ground up.

He also said: “In the buy-to-let sector the government has put in targets for EPC ratings, and this is so important for sustainability in this and the wider proxy market.

“But it’s also looking at the whole carbon footprint of building houses, which we’re only really beginning to investigate.

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