BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 03 March '15

BUILDING SOCIETY PLEDGES TO PLANT A TREE FOR EVERY CURRENT AND FUTURE EMPLOYEE

New research reveals how important the environment is to the British public, with almost a third (29%) of Brits considering themselves to be very environmentally friendly.

In fact, half of Brits stated they would pay more for products that were environmentally sustainable and almost two-thirds (62%) said they would pay up to 10% more.

The research, from Nationwide Building Society, also highlighted the impact that companies’ sustainability credentials had on recruitment: almost half (44%) of potential candidates in the UK said that the environmental credentials of a company are an important factor when looking for a job.

Nationwide woodlands

To support its long-term environmental plan to be a carbon-neutral organisation, Nationwide has pledged to plant a tree for every current and future employee.

Over 17,000 trees will be planted in the UK in 2015/6 and up to 3,000 additional trees will be planted each following year. The goal is to create woodlands across the country that will provide a lasting community benefit.

‘The creation of woodlands across the country not only delivers an environmental benefit but also provides areas for our members, employees and communities to enjoy for generations to come. In fact our research has shown that 40% of people think that woodland would make their local area a better place to live.

‘Over the last 169 years many things have changed but Nationwide’s commitment to doing the right thing has never been stronger – we run a sustainable business model, have responsible employment policies, like the Living Wage, and work with communities across the country to meet the needs of our customers.’

Graham Beale, Chief Executive Nationwide Building Society

First trees planted

The first trees in the Nationwide Woodlands programme were planted yesterday (02 March 2015) in a Wiltshire Wildlife Trust site adjacent to Ravensroost Wood, Malmesbury. The site is located 11 miles from Nationwide’s Head Office in Swindon.

3,000 oak, blackthorn and hazel saplings will be planted from 02-04 March, and Nationwide plans to plant thousands more native trees on the site in the near future. The Society is also exploring other sites across the UK.

Building credentials

The woodland creation is Nationwide’s latest initiative to build on its sustainable business credentials; in July 2014 the Society became the first major high street financial services provider to be awarded the Carbon Trust Triple Standard in recognition of the reduction in its carbon, water and waste.

In the last few years Nationwide has reduced its carbon emissions by 15% and cut water use by 20%. The Society currently diverts roughly 95% of waste from landfill and will invest an additional £1 million this year to continue to reduce its environmental impact.

More information about Nationwide’s Woodlands Creation can be found here.