SILSDEN-based Ecology Building Society has announced an increase in total assets of 13.40% to above £250m for the first time with a record 76.59% increase in new mortgage lending, enabled by a 14.6% increase in the number of members saving with the Society. for the year ending 31 December 2021.

In 2021 Ecology lent over £69.4m supporting 371 sustainable properties and projects ending the year with a 22.3% growth in mortgage assets. This growth was supported by the Society’s enhanced capital position as a result of the Core Capital Deferred Shares (CCDS) capital raise in 2020.

Ethical finance pioneer, Ecology continues to lead the way by being one of the first building societies to comprehensively report its climate-related disclosures, using the internationally recognised TCFD (Task force on Climate-related Finance Disclosures) framework.

The Society, which marked its 40-year anniversary in 2021, offers a range of simple, transparent, ethical savings accounts which fund mortgages for properties and projects supporting individuals and communities to adopt green building practices, improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock and to live or work in a way that promotes a sustainable economy.

Highlights of the 2021 results include:

Total assets of £256.3m (2020: £226.0m)

Savings balances at £239.5m (2020: £210.3m)

Capital strength at £15.698m (2020: £14.997)

Profit after tax of £1.019m (2020: £0.524m)

Gross lending of £69.4m (2020: £39.3m)

During the year the Society launched its 2030 Strategy, co-developed with members and colleagues, setting out how it will realise its ecological mission for the remainder of the pivotal decade ahead. The Strategy provides a roadmap, which reflects our members’ values to ensure we remain on track to build a sustainable future.

The results build on more than 40 years of uninterrupted profitability demonstrating that values-based and purpose-driven finance also makes real economic sense. The £1.019m profit adds to Ecology’s capital base, increasing its financial strength and enhancing its ability to remain resilient to the economic impact of the cost-of-living crisis and extend the benefits of our sustainable lending.

After being a finalist in six categories, members’ voting and positive feedback resulted in the Society being named ‘‘Best Ethical Financial Provider’ and ‘Treating Customers Fairly Champion’ in the Smart Money People British Bank Awards 2021. Ecology’s pioneering approach to ethical finance was also recognised in the MoneyAge Awards and Savings Champion Awards.

Ecology begins 2022 with a strong pipeline of sustainable lending prospects and membership growth generated by the increasing awareness of climate and ecological issues. This provides Ecology with an excellent platform for growth as the crucially important green recovery gathers pace.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Paul Ellis said: “These results mark an outstanding year of sustainable growth for Ecology demonstrating, more than ever, the strength of our lending model and the importance of finance that has a positive impact for people and our planet.

“2021 was a special year for Ecology as we marked our 40-year anniversary of pioneering sustainable finance. We’re powered by over 12,000 members, so it was critical that they helped to shape our new strategy setting out how we will realise our ecological mission for the remainder of this decade. Members can continue to be assured that their money is delivering a real contribution to tackle the climate and ecological crisis as well as supporting our agitation for system change.

“I’m immensely proud that, for the first time, we have made comprehensive disclosures on climate risk using the internationally recognised TCFD framework showing how we’re helping to build momentum for other banking organisations to report on their climate impacts.

“Looking ahead our strong pipeline of lending for low impact homes and financial position gives us a firm foundation to continue to invest in our services to our members, innovate, and grow our sustainable lending further during 2022 and beyond.

“I am departing Ecology well assured that I will be leaving the Society in the very capable hands of those who are determined to build on the Society’s legacy as a leading example of the transformative power of ethical finance.”

Paul is stepping down at the end of April 2022 after more than 40 years of involvement with Ecology, 27 of which as Chief Executive.