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Virgin Money UK plc today announces that it has joined the Development Council of Future-Fit Foundation, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to help the transition to a society that is environmentally, socially and economically fair.

Future-Fit provides businesses, investors and policy makers with the tools and guidance required for this change, while managing and disclosing progress toward the elimination of negative environmental and social impact.

Virgin Money is the first bank to join the Development Council, a select group of international companies 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 Future-Fit 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 group by providing the insights of a bank and major provider of financial services to the UK SME market.

Gavin Opperman, Group Business Director at Virgin Money, said:

“Given the turmoil over the last few months, we need to work together to rebuild our economy. Fundamental to this will be the need to help businesses achieve future long-term prosperity through developing sustainable growth plans, taking into account both the environment and the wider society in which the organisation operates. In addition to traditional financial reporting, there is increased demand for organisations to report on a broader set of metrics and performance indicators. Future-Fit is at the cutting edge in developing a simple, meaningful and effective approach that will help define the next generation of ‘extra-financial’ data reporting and we are very much looking forward to working with them.”

Martin Rich, Co-Founder and Executive Director, commented:

“Future-Fit Foundation helps businesses gain an holistic understanding of their environmental and social impacts, and to measure, manage and articulate those impacts to create system value. The dynamic leadership and clear commitment to sustainable business practice within Virgin Money made them an obvious partner for us. We are absolutely delighted to welcome them into the Development Council as the first UK banking member.”

The partnership is key to Virgin Money UK’s approach to sustainability. Following the acquisition of Virgin Money in 2018, the Bank is taking the opportunity to develop a new sustainability strategy, committing to embedding its key priorities into the core business and strategic decisions. These include increasing financial inclusion and wellbeing, removing barriers to business and community success, and protecting and nurturing the environment.

The new strategy will be published in the Bank’s Annual Report and Accounts in November and will include medium term targets and initiatives to support our stakeholders tackle important issues such as climate change and social inequality.

Graeme Sands, Corporate and Mid-Market Director at Virgin Money, will sit on the Development Council on behalf of the Bank.