Our commitment to customers
As well as operating our own business in a sustainable way, we also want to help our business customers achieve long-term prosperity through developing sustainable growth plans, considering both the environment and the wider society in which organisations operate.
We have partnered with Future-Fit, a non-profit organisation, which provides businesses, investors and policy makers with the tools and guidance to create a more sustainable future.
The partnership is key to our approach to sustainability within our business and Future-Fit is part of our new sustainability strategy. We are committed to embedding our priorities into our core operational and strategic decisions. These include increasing financial inclusion and wellbeing, removing barriers to business and community success and protecting and nurturing the environment.
Sustainable Business Coach
As part of our partnership with Future-Fit, we have developed a benchmarking tool that helps support businesses that are actively taking steps to create a sustainable future. The tool supports business of all sizes, including SMEs, to rapidly understand their likely environmental and social impacts, and provides guidance on remedial steps to ensure they achieve their sustainability objectives.
Used in a banking context for the first time, the tool has a user-friendly question set that draws upon the established Future-Fit methodology that enables businesses to holistically assess their environmental and social impacts. The tool uses a scoring mechanism and guidance to identify and address areas which require further focus.
Any business can access to the full tool and its features, and is not limited just to Virgin Money’s customers. Search for "Sustainable Business Coach" in your app store or visit: uk.virginmoney.com/business/sustainable-business-coach/
Download the Virgin Money Sustainable Business Coach Case Study: How banks can use the Future-Fit Business Benchmark to help build a better future (PDF, opens in a new window) (Most compatible with a Windows PC)
We’re the first bank in Europe to offer Sustainability-Linked Loans in commercial banking, using the Sustainable Business Coach to appraise a company's core purpose and operational activities. This will reduce the cost of finance for businesses whose core activities enables consumers and other businesses to operate in a more economically and environmentally sustainable way.
For eligible customers, borrowing at least £250,000 and with a sufficiently strong ESG assessment, our SLLs will have no arrangement fee. We have also committed that by September 2022, 5% of all our business loans will be to firms whose core activities enable consumers and other businesses to operate in a more economically and environmentally sustainable way, as judged by our Sustainability Benchmarking Tool.
Future-Fit Development Council
Virgin Money is the first bank to join Future-Fit’s Development Council, a select group of international businesses from across key industry sectors. Members are committed to true sustainability leadership and are willing to collaborate actively in the development of the Future-Fit methodology and tools, such as the Business Benchmark, ensuring they are useable and useful across any industry and for any size of company.
Virgin Money joins existing members, including Chanel, De Beers, Novo Nordisk and The Body Shop, and will augment the council by providing the insights of a bank and major provider of financial services to the UK SME market.