Danske Bank's Northern Ireland unit has launched the UK’s first mortgage to be certified as carbon neutral.
The mortgage was certified by the Carbon Trust, which has measured the carbon footprint of providing mortgages, including the emissions generated throughout the mortgage lifecycle.
Physical paperwork forms the largest part of the footprint but other activities taken into account include energy consumption in Danske’s offices, digital paperwork at each stage, paper waste generation and a welcome box provided to customers.
The Carbon Trust has calculated the emissions per mortgage at 96kg CO2e, equivalent to driving 241 miles driven in an average car, or charging 11,678 smartphones.
To get this down to carbon neutral, the bank will cut its footprint and offset any remaining emissions by investing in projects that reduce them by the same amount as those generated by providing the mortgages.
Last week, Leeds Building Society agreed a deal with Hometrack to assess the impact of climate change on its mortgage portfolio.