YBS publishes first ESG report

The report, which reflects activities undertaken from 1 January to 31 December 2021, shows that the society reduced its carbon footprint by 5% during the period while also diverting 5% of its waste from landfills. 

Meanwhile, it found that the society helped 85,000 people to have a place to call home as well as supporting a record of 42,000 people into their own home for the first time.

YBS also supported 144 homeless young people into their own home.

YBS interim chief executive Alasdair Lenman says: “To measure progress, in 2020 we set ourselves the goals of helping 500,000 people into a place to call home and helping 500,000 people improve their financial wellbeing over the next few years.”

“So far, we’ve supported 138,701 people into a home, just over a quarter towards our target, and we’re almost halfway to completing our financial wellbeing goal, having supported 234,435 people so far,” he adds. 

Elsew., the society passed back an extra £41m to savers through a member loyalty programme and by increasing savings rates. 

Last year, YBS also reported £297m of core operating profit. Lenman explains: “As a result, we were able to return additional value to members through the launch of our member value programme. This programme rewarded 80,000 of our loyal members with our best interest rates and increased the rates we paid many existing savers – raising them in January and once again in June.”

In addition, the society says it delivered savings rates which consistently beat the rest of the market on average by 0.32%.

“At a time when many market rates are at historic lows, we were proud to be in the position to so clearly demonstrate commitment to our purpose,” he adds. 

Other highlights in the report include seeing an increased number of women in senior management positions from 46% to 50%.

The society also received approval for its new climate change strategy and embedded specific environmental standards into its operations and governance as well as including new environmental disclosures in its nnual report and accounts (ARA) aligned to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

In addition, YBS increased investment to expand its range of community programmes at a local, regional and national level. 

The programmes cover various topics focusing on financial wellbeing and literacy, employability skills and digital inclusion.

Commenting on the report, YBS senior manager for social purpose and sustainability Pauline Giroux says: “Over the last few years, we’ve made significant progress in supporting our colleagues, customers and communities. We’ve been working towards fostering an inclusive workplace and have ensured we offer a competitive benefits package to attract and retain the best talent. We’ve always put customers at the forefront of our decision making, and we pride ourselves on excellent customer service.”

“Likewise, we’ve always given back to the communities we live and work in, through fundraising and volunteering for charities and good causes. We recognise the impact our operations have on the environment and have made significant investments over recent years to help reduce this.”

“In 2021 we’ve re-focused our priorities. We’ve continued delivering our purpose ambitions of helping people have a place to call home and improved financial wellbeing, underpinned by the delivery of value to our members. But we’ve also identified three additional areas of focus, which form our responsible business priority areas. These are: investing in our people, building a greener society, and operating responsibly.”