Gatehouse Bank celebrates 3rd anniversary of UN Principles for Responsible Banking

Gatehouse Bank celebrates the 3rd anniversary of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking (UN PRB), for which it is one of the founding signatories.

By signing the Principles for Responsible Banking in 2019, Gatehouse Bank joined 130 founding members from around the world who committed to strategically aligning their business with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. Since then, the UN has reported that the number of signatories has grown by over 120%, currently comprising of almost 300 banks with total collective assets valued at US$84.7tn.

As the world’s first sustainable banking framework, the UN Principles are focused on steering the financial sector towards responsible action, particularly regarding its impact on people and the planet.

For Gatehouse Bank, this has entailed formalising its sustainability governance structure, establishing an initial roadmap to net zero, developing green products, driving sustainable procurement, engaging with its customers and community on financial inclusion and health, supporting local charities through volunteering and raising funds, and developing a sustainability agenda aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

One of the key focus areas for Gatehouse is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which has seen the Bank work closely with Carbon Neutral Britain to support international offsetting projects around the world. Following these efforts, Gatehouse Bank was first certified as a Carbon Neutral Business for the year 2020.

Looking towards the future, Gatehouse has set out further environmental targets, including:

  • To remain a carbon neutral business
  • To achieve a 20% reduction in operational emissions from the base year 2019 by 2023
  • To reduce emissions of its home finance portfolio from the base year by 35% by 2030 and 90% by 2050
  • To track and improve the average EPC rating of its home finance portfolio

Another key area of focus has been on creating a fairer society that supports shared financial prosperity, which the Bank re-affirmed by becoming a founding signatory to the UN PRB’s Commitment to Financial Health and Inclusion in 2021. One step towards honouring this commitment has been digitalising and making its savings products more accessible. Over the last year, the Bank has made important steps in encouraging customers to use its digital services by launching a savings app. Gatehouse has also reduced the minimum deposit required on a number of their savings accounts, aiming to help more people build a healthy savings habit.

Charles Haresnape, CEO of Gatehouse Bank, commented: “We are pleased to be celebrating the 3rd anniversary of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.

“As a Shariah-compliant Bank, we believe we are well positioned to drive the achievement of sustainable and responsible finance, as there is a natural alignment with the Shariah principles and sustainable development frameworks.

“We continue to take our commitment very seriously, as driving sustainability requires a consistent focus, dedicated resources, and engagement from all facets of the business. As the world shifts to integrate sustainability into their business practices, I look forward to seeing Gatehouse Bank’s continued sustainable focus going forward.”