Today is the 51st Earth Day, and the theme for 2021 is Restore Our Earth. With this theme the hope from the organisers at Earth Day is to focus on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.

With this in mind we caught up with two of the finalists in our ‘Best Ethical Provider’ category from the British Bank Awards 2021, Triodos Bank and Ecology Building Society, to find out how they’re working all year round to restore the earth.

First up, we spoke to Gareth Griffiths, Head of Retail Banking at Triodos Bank UK.

How is Triodos Bank taking steps to Restore our Earth?

As a bank we are quite unique because we make sure to only lend to pioneering organisations that are bringing about positive change for people and the planet. For instance, Triodos has helped to finance renewable energy projects since the 1990s and for many decades we’ve lent to the organic farming sector, which helps to restore and protect soil biodiversity up and down the country. More recently, we’ve helped to finance the UK’s first 100% renewable intercity coach company as well as a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging points – both are key projects for helping reduce transport carbon emissions.

Overall, there’s a huge range of innovative projects that we’ve supported and – because we’re completely transparent – you can see all of the impactful loans that we’ve made on our website.

Next we spoke with Ian Rigarlsford, External Affairs Manager from Ecology Building Society.

How is Ecology Building Society taking steps to Restore our Earth?

Ecology has been at the forefront of the push for positive change for 40 years. Throughout, we’ve been guided by our mission to build a greener society, using the transformative power of finance to support low-carbon homes and healthy communities, and helping to bring the vision of a fairer, more sustainable future closer to becoming a reality. Given the scale of the climate and ecological crisis, finance will be critical to delivering the financial solutions required to support the transition to a low carbon economy and meet our Paris climate agreement targets.

When our members save with Ecology they can be confident their money is being used for positive environmental and social impact. All of our savers’ money is used to support our environmental lending programme, funding energy-efficient homes and sustainable communities. Our unique C-Change mortgages incentivise energy efficiency through mortgage pricing. As well as supporting new build sustainable homes and whole house retrofits, we provide mortgages for moorings and woodland conservation as well as community housing such as co-housing and community land trusts, enabling a variety of ways of living sustainably.

Thank you to both Gareth and Ian for sharing how their organisations are helping to Restore our Earth on World Earth Day. Both have some great products and solutions that can help you become greener with your finances, if that’s something you’re interested in. At Smart Money People we want to give you the information and insight to make smart choices with your money, by sharing reviews from other customers on financial products, and also highlighting the work organisations are doing behind the scenes, so you can really get a feel for a company before parting with your money.

To find out more about Earth Day, visit the earthday website.

Triodos Bank and Ecology Building Society are finalists in the British Bank Awards 2021. To see who they’re up against, view our recent blog. Voting for the British Bank Awards is now closed, and we’ll announce the winners at an awards ceremony on 8th July 2021 in London. Good luck to all the finalists!