Green mortgages and property-linked energy efficiency upgrade finance

Green mortgages have been around for years for building energy-efficient properties or improving existing homes. Green mortgages incentivise homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to environmental sustainability. They work similarly to standard mortgages but can be more affordable, making it easier and cheaper for homeowners to make their properties more energy-efficient. Lenders such as Barclays, Nationwide, NatWest, Virgin Money, and others already offer green mortgage products or benefits, providing homeowners with numerous options. By opting for a green mortgage, homeowners can invest in energy-efficient homes and contribute to a more sustainable future while enjoying preferential fees, interest rates, and cashback on larger loans. 

Green Mortgages Property Linked Finance

These Green mortgage products are often linked to properties achieving specific energy efficiency standards once upgraded, such as A or B-rated for energy performance. EPC’s Energy Performance Certificates help homeowners identify potential energy-saving opportunities, which not only help the environment but also save them money. 

According to research by the Green Finance Institute in 2021, 83% of respondents viewed energy efficiency as important. The primary reason was to reduce energy bills, though environmental concerns were also significant. In early 2022, due to rising energy costs and international events like COP26, held in Glasgow in November 2021, energy efficiency and the urgency of climate change became hot topics for UK homeowners. Nearly 90% now consider the energy efficiency of their property as necessary, a substantial rise from Spring 2021.

2023 saw a tripling of energy bills, leaving many households struggling to pay them. This financial strain is a significant factor driving the heightened importance of energy efficiency. Suddenly, saving energy became sexy! In Spring 2021, only about 25% of respondents were likely to use traditional Finance for energy efficiency upgrades, while nearly 50% were unlikely to use it, citing reasons such as not needing Finance or concerns about using it. Rising interest rates and inflation have also driven up the cost of energy-efficient upgrades, impacting household budgets and leading to a vicious circle of growing energy bills and the cost to mitigate these increasing simultaneously.    

So, whilst the Green Finance Institute (GFI) research indicates a growing consumer interest in energy efficiency, especially amidst the energy crisis, upgrading UK homes for energy efficiency is a significant challenge. Current estimates forecast a bill of £250 billion by 2050. Mobilising private capital alongside public funds is seen as a transformative solution.

Why have previous energy-efficiency government initiatives failed?

The UK Green Deal was a government initiative introduced in 2013 to help people make energy-saving improvements to their homes or businesses without paying all the costs upfront. It aimed to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. One of its fundamental principles, known as the “Golden Rule,” states that the charge attached to the energy bill should not exceed the expected savings, and the payment period should not exceed the expected lifetime of the measures. A challenging concept to sell! It is even more problematic when the Finance is paid for through your energy supplier. 

This “Golden Rule” intended to guarantee that the financing for energy efficiency improvements was cost-effective and fair. It protected consumers by ensuring that the loan repayments did not exceed the expected savings on their energy bills. The Green Deal was designed to enable households to improve their properties’ energy efficiency, creating warmer and cheaper homes to run.

Why did the UK Green Deal fail?

The UK Green Deal failed for various reasons, including poor policy design, unattractive financial propositions, complexity of the process, and a lack of marketing and information. The Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) design and implementation failed to persuade householders that energy efficiency measures were worth paying for, leading to a lack of demand and low uptake. The scheme’s failure also resulted from the “Golden Rule,” which led to an unattractive financial proposition for most households. Also, there needed to be more effective marketing and information, which was not surprising when those promoting the scheme were the same energy companies that profited from selling energy. All in all, this contributed to low household participation. The scheme’s failure damaged confidence in government efforts to improve energy efficiency in private domestic homes in the UK.

The future of home energy efficiency finance 

In the last year, there’s been a decline in the likelihood of homeowners considering third-party Finance for property energy improvements, coinciding with broader affordability issues and energy bills, interest rates and inflation pressures.

The GFI analysis highlights a critical challenge – while energy efficiency is increasingly essential to consumers, traditional finance choices may need to align with the needs or desires of all those looking to boost their home efficiency rating.

In response, the UK government is also considering measures to facilitate by offering Property-Linked Finance for Home Energy Efficiency, demonstrating the country’s commitment to reducing emissions, achieving environmental targets, and releasing billions of pounds of private investment.   

What are Property-linked Finance (PLF) financial solutions? 

PLF solutions are yet to be available in the UK. Yet, they are thriving in the US and globally, showing promise in meeting the rising consumer interest in energy efficiency. It offers a way of linking long-term energy efficiency investment finance that stays with the property when it changes hands. 

Expanding Home Energy Efficiency with Property-Linked Finance 

PLF is an innovative financial model that offers a promising solution for enhancing home energy efficiency in the UK. This model, inspired by the success of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in the United States, presents numerous benefits for homeowners, the environment, and the economy.

Financial Innovation and Consumer Benefits:

  • Flexible Financing: PLF allows homeowners to finance the total cost of energy efficiency upgrades, easing the financial burden.
  • Property-Linked Approach: The unique aspect of the Finance tied to the property and not the owner ensures that the investment continues to pay off even if the property changes hands.
  • Attractive for Property Buyers: Properties with energy efficiency upgrades will likely be more attractive to buyers, potentially increasing their market value.

Addressing the Payback Period Barrier:

  • Immediate Benefits, Long-Term Payoff: Homeowners can enjoy the primary benefits of energy efficiency without worrying about the payback period, as the financial obligation transfers with property ownership.

Enhanced Home Comfort and Health:

  • Combatting Poor Living Conditions: PLF addresses issues like dampness, mould, and excessive cold, which affect a significant portion of renters in England, including many households with children. Improved building efficiency means healthier living environments.
  • Reducing Healthcare Costs: By mitigating health issues related to poor housing conditions, PLF can also reduce healthcare costs.

Economic and Employment Benefits:

  • Job Creation: Similar to its impact in the US, PLF can stimulate the creation of green jobs in the UK. The US example showed substantial job creation through investment in commercial and residential building upgrades.
  • Market Growth: The potential market size in the UK for energy retrofitting financed through PLF is estimated between £52 billion and £70 billion, indicating a significant opportunity for economic growth.

Environmental Impact:

  • Reducing Carbon Footprint: By funding energy-efficient upgrades, PLF helps lower greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which are a significant contributor to the UK’s carbon footprint.
  • Supporting Net-Zero Goals: The initiative is aligned with the UK’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions, especially considering the substantial investment required to upgrade the country’s building stock by 2050.

Security for Financial Providers:

  • New Investment Opportunities: Financial institutions have the chance to participate in a growing and potentially lucrative market.
  • Reducing Risks: Enhanced energy efficiency can reduce risks for lenders by increasing the value and resilience of the property portfolio.

Policy and Regulatory Support:

  • Leveraging Public and Private Funds: PLF schemes can be capitalised by public funds and institutional investment, allowing a transition to private financing as the market scales.
  • Consumer-Centric Design: PLF must be designed with strong consumer protections and in alignment with existing legislative frameworks.

Property-linked Finance could be a solution. 

PLF represents a transformative approach to addressing the energy efficiency of buildings in the UK. Its potential to improve living conditions, stimulate economic growth, create jobs, and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions makes it a key component in the UK’s strategy to tackle climate change and energy challenges. The success of PLF, however, hinges on effective collaboration among stakeholders, including financial institutions, government bodies, and the retrofit industry, to ensure its widespread adoption and impact.

For more information, visit Green Finance Institute.

“Eco-Friendly Travel: The Large Discrepancy Between Travelers’ Beliefs and Actions”

A recent study by Phocuswright reveals a significant gap between what travellers believe about Sustainable Tourism and their actual practices. The research, presented at a conference in Florida, focused on six Western markets: the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Through an online survey conducted from June 2 to June 26, 2023, and in-depth interviews with various travel industry participants, the study gathered insights from over 5,000 respondents and 21 organisations. None of the participants knew they were being surveyed regarding Sustainable Travel. This underlines the differences between what travellers say and do without the focus on the environmental spotlight. 

Sustainable Travel – Tourists Intentions and Actual Behaviours

The presentation thoroughly explored the disparity between travellers’ sustainable intentions and actual behaviours. This insightful research, designed to uncover authentic travel patterns without the bias of sustainability as a focus, combined surveys and in-depth interviews with industry experts.

Traveller’s Understanding of Sustainability

The study found general confusion among travellers about what constitutes sustainable Travel. They are familiar with basic environmental measures, such as littering, recycling, using public transport (less so in the US), conserving energy in hotels, avoiding single-use plastics, and opting out daily hotel linen changes. Their grasp of cultural and economic sustainability is limited.

Green Transportation Choices

About half of the travellers in the US and Europe claimed they would prefer transportation options based on their carbon footprint rather than convenience. However, the number of those making eco-friendly transportation choices was closer to one in ten.

Lodging and Accommodation Selection

A similar pattern was observed in lodging choices. Despite a significant proportion of travellers expressing a preference for environmentally friendly accommodations, only 6% to 13% actually considered such factors among their top priorities when selecting lodging.

Destination Choices and Overcrowding

Many travellers expressed a desire to avoid overcrowded, famous destinations in favour of less crowded ones. While this area had a slightly better follow-through, a substantial gap between belief and behaviour existed.

Support for Local Communities

A notable discrepancy was found between travellers’ professed desire to support local communities and their actual practices. Less than a quarter inquired or verified if their choices (like food or lodging) were locally sourced or owned.

Perception of Responsibility and Impact

Many travellers do not see sustainability as their individual responsibility and believe that governments, destination organisations, or travel providers should lead sustainability efforts. This perception contributes to the gap between their sustainable intentions and actions.

Cost Concerns and Premium Tolerance

Many travellers perceive sustainable travel options as more expensive. However, they are willing to pay a premium (10-15% more) for recognisable sustainable choices.

Recommendations for Bridging the Gap

  • Increase and Highlight Sustainable Options: Travel providers need to offer more sustainable choices that are clearly marked and easily accessible.
  • Affordable Sustainability: Introduce options at various prices to ensure sustainability is not perceived as a luxury.
  • Education on Sustainability: There’s a critical need for comprehensive education about all aspects of sustainability, including over-tourism and cultural impacts.
  • Meeting Travelers Where They Are: The industry should work towards building a deeper understanding of sustainability among travellers, starting from their current level of awareness and misconceptions.

The presentation highlighted the urgent need to bridge the gap between what travellers believe about sustainable Travel and what they practice. This requires a concerted effort from travel providers to offer viable, sustainable options, clear communication, and education to help travellers make informed decisions that align with their sustainable intentions. 

There is no mention of attitudes toward flying. 

Nevertheless, the research didn’t touch on attitudes to the general concept of reducing air travel. This is a hard sell if your business model relies on carbon-intensive transport. According to the research, numerous travellers are prepared to pay more to make greener choices, which is positive news. Perhaps communicating the environmental benefits of reducing short-haul flights, particularly in Europe, may help spread a message of sustainable tourism.   

This study underscores the need for increased awareness and education about sustainable travel practices among consumers and the role of travel providers in promoting eco-friendly options.    

Knowledge gaps, charging infrastructure and battery longevity worries hinder used Electric Vehicle (EV) takeup.

Transportation accounts for a significant portion of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, with road transport being the most important contributor. It is crucial to transform mobility patterns to achieve net-zero emissions and prioritise electric vehicles (EVs) in the road transport sector. Yet, the high upfront costs of new EVs have impeded their accessibility for many households. In this context, the used EV market is vital in democratising the shift to net-zero transportation — analysis conducted by Green Finance Institute offers solutions to boost consumer trust and accelerate secondhand EV sales.

The Green Finance Institute’s research sheds light on the untapped potential of the UK’s pre-owned EV market. 

Electric vehicles research key findings:

  1. Strong Demand for EVs: The research indicates that 61% of non-EV drivers in the UK, equivalent to over 25 million drivers, are willing to buy an EV today.
  2. Massive Demand for Used EVs: Among those willing to buy an EV, 73% expressed their preference for a used EV; this represents a significant opportunity to scale up EV uptake.
  3. Barriers to Adoption: Approximately 27% of drivers, equivalent to 6.75 million UK drivers, have concerns and knowledge gaps that need addressing to convince them to switch to a used EV.
  4. Battery Longevity Concerns: The primary concern among hesitant EV buyers is battery lifespan. Introducing battery health certificates and extended battery value guarantees were identified as critical solutions to boost confidence.
  5. Affordability Concerns: Upfront costs of used EVs remain higher than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, discouraging potential buyers. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculators and salary sacrifice schemes can help address affordability concerns.
  6. Charging Infrastructure: Access to reliable charging infrastructure is a crucial factor influencing consumer confidence. Increasing the availability of charging infrastructure and providing transparency on charging costs can encourage EV adoption.

Potential solutions to consumer EV anxieties:

  1. Battery Health Certificates & Guarantees: Standardised battery health certification schemes and extended battery value guarantees to instil confidence in the remaining battery health of used EVs. These solutions are crucial for both buyers and dealerships.
  2. Total Cost of Ownership Calculators: TCO calculators provide a holistic view of owning an EV, including purchase costs, maintenance, and charging/refuelling expenses. Standardisation of metrics and definitions is necessary to enhance consumer trust.
  3. Salary Sacrifice Schemes: Collaborating with employers to offer salary sacrifice schemes can significantly reduce monthly costs for EVs, making them more financially viable for a more significant number of drivers.
  4. Multiple Products in One Monthly Payment: Bundling various products, such as the vehicle and home charging installation, into a single monthly payment simplifies the customer journey and reduces upfront costs.
  5. Increasing Public Charging Infrastructure: Expanding public charging infrastructure is essential to alleviate concerns regarding access to charging points. Reducing the VAT rate on public charging and offering affordable financing options for home charging installation can further support EV adoption.

Creating a booming used EV marketplace 

Transitioning to EVs is critical to achieving net-zero emissions in the transportation sector. The research conducted by the Green Finance Institute highlights the immense potential of the used EV market. It identifies key barriers and solutions to accelerate EV adoption. Battery health certificates, TCO calculators, salary sacrifice schemes, and improved charging infrastructure can address concerns related to battery longevity, affordability, and charging accessibility. By implementing these solutions, we can boost consumer confidence and democratise the transition to EVs, making it accessible and affordable for all. The thriving used EV market and supportive measures are pivotal in achieving sustainable growth to a net-zero transport system.

View full report here:

Environmental documentary – MATTER OUT OF PLACE – film review

At first, you wonder what will happen as the film’s carefully considered cinematography draws your attention. Unusually, the imagery, editing and script lack all the cues of contemporary filmmaking. It’s slow. The cameras are static, and there are no close-ups. Yet, these beautiful, thought-provoking landscapes hold your attention. Then abruptly, the reality dawns. This pristine environment you are viewing is full of rubbish. Finally, the narrative is set, and you unexpectedly spend precious time considering something you would rather ignore – and chuck in an instance. Waste! A mesmerising film.

Austrian documentary filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter takes you worldwide on a beautiful, startling expedition. He traces our waste across the earth – from the mountain tops of Switzerland to the shores of Greece and Albania, into an Austrian refuse incinerator and then to Nepal and the Maldives, and finally to the deserts of Nevada – and sheds light on the ongoing grind of people to gain control over rubbish.

In Switzerland, you experience the sanitised, out-of-sight, out-of-mind of waste management of wealthy nations. The striking image of a garbage truck dangling from a cable car looks more like a James Bond film than an environmental documentary. In contrast, Nepal sees the waste collection as a dirty haphazard, dangerous task where physical labour rather than machines rule. Here, the director’s skill is to draw you into the process. Long static shots allow you to watch the transporting, sorting, and dumping of plastic waste. Somehow, this deliberate locked-off view of the world focuses your attention on the realities of those scavaging a living in such horrendous circumstances while highlighting the toxic leaching out of pollutants into the local environment.

The film highlights the impact of waste in marine environments and demonstrates the immensity of the problems. For instance, you see divers in Greece wrestling with extracting seabed garbage, an extraordinary manual task. In Albania, beach clean-up of plastic takes on a monumental task powered by a rickety tractor and enthusiastic recruits.

By contrast, the dystopian world of The Burning Man festival, Nevada, gives you a MadMax conclusion. Leaving without a trace is somewhat challenging for those tech entrepreneurs who have arrived by helicopter!

The Austrian Film Festival, running 23-26 March 2023 at London’s Ciné Lumière. #watchAUT 

What is the Circular Economy?

In a circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible, maximising their lifespan (and therefore their value) before the materials are eventually reused and recycled. Unlike the traditional linear economic model in which raw materials are mined, processed to develop a product and then disposed of, a circular economy has several essential benefits such as reducing waste, preserving resources and driving a more sustainable production process. The short-term consumption associated with the linear model contributes to an unsustainable society where materials are used for one purpose and waste is an inevitability. On the other hand, the cyclical nature of the circular economy allows for longer-term growth and maximisation of value by using resources more efficiently.

In 2019, the European Commission adopted a report on the implementation of the Circular Economy Action Plan, a 54-action package aimed at helping the EU transition to a circular economy. This includes measures such as improved labelling on electrical appliances, encouraging remanufacturing of waste products and economic incentives for innovative product design that enables better recycling opportunities.

Other services such as WRAP are aiming to support organisations in their efforts to improve resource efficiency by providing advice and tools to help businesses make necessary changes.

Counting the cost of clothing – Slow fashion to save the planet – Green Choice’s tips

Waking up to the news that we all need to wake up to the urgency of climate change was unpleasant but not surprising. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched a special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5C. It urges rapid action, yet we all twitter whilst the planet burns!

We know that there are many factors contributing to climate change and the report calls for significant action in the four big areas – energy, land use, cities and industry. So is fashion that much of a problem? Well, yes. In the same way as choosing what to eat ultimately determines land-use – what we wear has an impact too. My first thought when seeing a glossy mag full of models wearing the latest trend of oversized jumpers and coats, was “what an unnecessary waste of materials!” And the disgraceful practice of burning of clothes and products by Burberry and the like to protect their ‘brand integrity’ is just the tip of the (melting) iceberg of environmental impact.

The concept of ‘slow fashion’ takes its inspiration from the ‘slow food movement’ – the antidote to ‘fast food’. ‘Slow fashion’ attempts to make us consider the impact of fashion on the environment and the people employed in the industry. It’s staggering to learn that Fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry in the world, after the oil industry! So what can we, as individuals, do about it? Here are some tips to reduce the impact our clothing has on the environment.

Buy less and buy better quality

I find it staggering that you can buy a T-shirt for the same price as a sandwich! It is tempting to buy more than you need and to easily chuck them away when they disintegrate after a few washes. Go for fewer, better-made items that will stand the test of time, but remember that just because something costs more doesn’t mean that it is made ethically or will last longer. Look at the label, and check out it’s credentials using the app ‘Good on you’.

Buy second hand

Pre-loved, vintage, charity shop or jumble sale – even e-bay – shopping can still be fun, just in a different way. Create your own style and work out what suits you. Did ra ra skirts suit anyone?

Keep classics

Keep any classics in your wardrobe, but give anything not needed to charity shops but be aware that a lot of items can end up in landfill or shipped out to developing countries for them to dispose of.

Natural or man-made?

Both have environmental issues. Cotton production uses a staggering amount of water and pesticides, according to WWF cotton accounts for 11% of worldwide pesticide sales and 24% of global insecticide sales. Polyester has another problem in that it sheds microfibers when washed which enter our water systems – so it goes on polluting. Dyeing fabric has implications for workers and for the environment. Organic natural cotton is better but it still requires a lot of water for its production.

Make do and mend

Instead of throwing damaged clothes away, check if you can repair them. Or look out for brands such as Nudie Jeans who offer a lifetime guarantee and repair service.

And finally don’t buy – ask yourself do I really need it? Can I make do with what I have?

What are microbeads – is a ban on the way?

What’s the issue with microbeads?

It might only be a small success of President Obama’s reign, but on his checklist of achievements he can include getting microbeads banned from ‘rinse off ‘ cosmetic products. So if the U.S. can do it why can’t we? Well, a UK ban might well be on the way – even if it doesn’t include all our European partners, as the Environment Minister Rory Stewart recently told the Commons “If we cannot get a common position out of the European Union, we are open to the possibility of the UK acting unilaterally.” This will please campaigners such as the Marine Conservation Society who have been urging governments to act, following many years of evidence gathering by themselves and others on the harm caused by microbeads.

What’s the issue with microbeads?

Microbeads – sound a bit cute, they are anything but – they are small bits of plastic added to face washes, body scrubs, toothpaste and the like to help buff and exfoliate our bodies. The problem is that once they are washed down our drains they can’t be filtered out and end up in our seas, rivers and lakes, absorbing toxic pollutants as they go. Looking yummy to fish, they then enter the food chain and potentially we eat plastic! Excellently explained by this video by the Story of Stuff Project.

How can I avoid them?

Check the label – plastics are called many things, and listed in very small print, so if you can read it it’s best to avoid anything listing Polyethylene / Polythene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), – Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), – Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or Nylon. Alternatively, a handy app has been created see You just need to scan the barcode and it tells you if the product contains microbeads. What can I do to help?

What can I do to help?

Vote with your pocket, and choose alternative products that don’t contain plastics, try Fauna & Flora International’s Good Scrub Guide for suggested alternatives and take the Microbeads pledge to stop using them. Greenpeace were successful in their petition calling for David Cameron to ban the use of polluting plastic microbeads in cosmetics. Perhaps the Prime Minister can add it to his ‘Things I’ve achieved list’ like President Obama!

More information on Toiletries & Cosmetics

Climate Change Summit

Here we go again – another summit on Climate Change. This follows a day of action yesterday, The People’s Climate March, that saw street protests in London, New York and a staggering 2,000 locations across the world, all demanding urgent action on climate change. Reportedly attracting hundreds of thousands of marchers.

The UN will host a climate summit at its headquarters in New York with 125 heads of state and government to be present. This is the first summit since the climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009, which was not successful in securing progress on a universal agreement on emissions reductions. Let’s hope this time the science is listened to too.

Can’t see the wood for the trees? – Forestry Commission launches new app

For many of us it’s difficult enough identifying fully grown trees let alone identifying young trees or shrubs in a woodland setting; a problem woodland managers, foresters, ecologists and the like have grabbled with for years – how do you identify which naturally established plants you want to keep and which ones to remove?  Now the Forestry Commission has turned to a technical solution to help in woodland management. It has just launched an app at the Forest Research show. Forestry Commission’s Matt Parratt said ” …..The app allows people to quickly and accurately identify self-set trees and shrubs regardless of their age. They can also record field notes and locations using GPS without a mobile signal. This is always going to be more efficient and helpful than revisiting a site”. So potential carbon savings there too. The app costs £1.49 and can be downloaded from the AppStore and Google Play.

Energy focused social investment fund Ignite announce its ‘Big Energy Idea’ winners

Ignite yesterday announced the names of 10 successful entrepreneurs who they will be working with to tackle energy challenges, and make real, sustainable change in communities. 

  • The Big Energy Idea will provide 10 social entrepreneurs with an individual package of investment readiness support and the potential to access a minimum £50,000 investment over the next year
  • 10 successful ‘Big Energy Ideas’, including local business Sust-it were announced on 30th April, at an event held in Windsor
  • The Big Energy Idea is run by Ignite, a fund that will invest £10 million over 10 years, backed by Centrica

Among the winners is Ross Lammas, founder of Sust-it, a family-run price comparison site that enables consumers to make informed buying choices based on energy usage and running costs of electrical products.

An individual package of support will be provided to the social entrepreneurs, Ross included, helping them gain investment and grow their ventures. The fund has been established by Ignite Social Enterprise, a social investment fund backed by Centrica plc, which is focused on energy-related businesses and enterprises.

As part of the tailored business support on offer (which brings together industry expertise from The Henley Business School, The Good Analyst, UnLtd and confidence coach Peter Nicholas) the primary objective will be to get each venture investment ready in order to grow its social impact.  The businesses will be able to gain access to between £50,000 and £2 million from the Ignite fund.

Ross Lammas of Sust-it, said: “Becoming one of the successful Big Energy Ideas will make a huge difference to us. We’ll get additional expertise from the energy industry to build our future strategy, and hopefully, investment at some point in the next year. This will enable us to help those on low income save money and also to improve everyone’s energy literacy.

Centrica CEO Sam Laidlaw, who announced the winning ideas, said: “I believe that the answers to society’s challenges do not lie solely with the private sector or the public sector, but with social entrepreneurs, in communities, and in cross-sector partnerships. I am passionate about the potential of each of these business – supported by us – to find some of these answers.”

Ignite is investing time, money and support into energy-related social enterprises, and is aiming to invest a minimum £10 million over 10 years with investments ranging between £50,000 and £2 million. The profits from Ignite’s investments will be reinvested and recycled back to help more social enterprises and ventures grow and scale up their work. Ignite has already committed £3.4 million of the fund across four projects that will be creating social change in the UK.