FinTech: Virgin Money Offers Free ESG-Tracking App And Sustainability Loans To UK Businesses

October 18, 2021 | ESG and Sustainability, FinTech, News

The launch of the app was timed with one of the first Sustainability-Linked Loans being agreed with a UK smart metering business.

The Virgin Money Sustainability Business Coach is a free app available to all UK businesses, not just Virgin Money customers, designed to help them with sustainability goals by measuring, tracking, and offering guidance on improving their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) credentials. (Virgin Money UK)

Virgin Money Sustainability Business Coach

Becoming more sustainable is important to the majority (85%) of UK SMEs, but less than half (43%) of SMEs are managing to implement clear ESG targets, according to research conducted by Virgin Money.

The company’s Sustainable Business Coach app aims to help SMEs overcome this challenge.

The company developed the app in collaboration with fintech Life Moments and not-for-profit Future-Fit Foundation. Life Moments is a provider of platforms and tools to improve customer experience and generate data insight. The Future-Fit Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help the transition to a society that is environmentally, socially, and economically fair.

The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

It enables a business to assess the ESG impacts of its operations – both positive and negative. It also helps the business set up high-priority goals against which the app tracks progress via actionable scores.

The progress measured by this app may help the business become eligible for Virgin’s Sustainability-Linked Loan.

Sustainability-Linked Loan

Companies availing this loan can reduce their cost of finance provided their activities enable consumers and other businesses to operate in a more economically and environmentally sustainable way.

Virgin will waive the arrangement fee for any customer having a robust EST assessment and borrowing at least £250,000.

Virgin Money is the first bank in Europe to offer such commercial loans based on an objective science-based methodology. It has committed 5% of all its business loans to firms driving environmental and social change by September 2022, as judged by the app.

Related Story: Funding Circle Launches BNPL Solution For Small Businesses

Image credit: Virgin Money Media Centre

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