Proplend will target lower carbon emissions and energy efficiency goals as part of its new environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy.
The property peer-to-peer platform has pledged to identify, review and address its operational footprint and environmental performance with a view to becoming carbon neutral in 2022.
It will also start assessing the environmental implications of borrower loan requests, and will offer properties with a higher energy performance certificate (EPC) rating.
The firm may work with charities in the future to help reduce its carbon footprint and improve its ESG profile.
“ESG is important,” said Brian Bartaby, founder and chief executive of Proplend.
“Its something we’ve been working on for a while. We’ve worked with a small party to calculate what our carbon footprint is and we are offsetting that as best we can with a view to doing more in the future on the ESG side. We have already included EPC on our pricing models and will aim to have better EPC ratings.”
Bartaby told Peer2Peer Finance News that he may look at creating a more ESG-friendly lending product in the future, which could be aimed at making older properties more energy efficient.
“In the future, it would be nice if we could come up with some sort of product which allows a borrower to upgrade their property and get a better rate,” he said.
Bartaby noted that real estate is one of the worst contributors to climate change, with estimates suggesting that the sector is responsible for 38 per cent of global carbon emissions.
“Proplend recognises our fiduciary duty to work towards a sustainable transition loan framework to demonstrate our commitment towards a low carbon economy,” the platform said on a dedicated ESG page on its website.
Read more: Is P2P lending better than ESG funds?
“Proplend is keen to promote lending to enable the continued use of existing commercial real estate assets over the knocking down of old and building of new assets and offer reduced interest rates to borrowers where the assets are of a higher EPC rating.
“We have the power to help create a sustainable and prosperous world for all by enabling capital to be allocated to areas that deliver social, environmental and investment value.”