15 February 2012

Bank to invest £1 billion in green energy by 2013

The Co-op is aiming to exceed its own target of lending £1 billion to green energy projects in the UK by 2013 as demand from the industry continues to rise. The Co-op has a new ethical plan, which specifically targets the financing of renewable energy projects, including some £100 million going to small scale community projects.

Small wind farm developers make up much of the investment, but the bank has indicated that it could go much further in future, as only 10% of its current lending is to green energy projects.

The bank has taken up a keen interest in ethical business, and as such has installed renewable energy on its own sites totalling around 30MW. They aim to produce 25% of their own electricity in this fashion by 2017.

The company has further plans to become sustainable as well, including becoming carbon neutral by 2014, halving emissions by 2020 and reducing water use by 30%. The drive has saved the Co-op around $40 million.

This follows a move by the major supermarkets in the UK towards greener packaging, including ‘fresher for longer’ packaging and a reduction in the quantity of unrecyclable packaging.

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