The Mortgage Industry

Digital transformations will be key to tackling the housing industry’s carbon footprint

November 29, 2021

Climate change is front of mind for many UK industries at the moment, including the property sector, based on reports that suggest that 40% of UK emissions come from households. Households have been the single biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the UK since 2015, according to the ONS, meaning the housing sector has often come under fire for its role in polluting the planet.

First and foremost, raising both the awareness and availability of ‘green’ mortgage products will be a crucial step to cutting the housing sector’s emissions. Moving to modular housing could perhaps help too, especially given that current supply chain issues are forcing builders

to look further afield to source materials. In the short-term, however, a move to hybrid or remote work could create a big impact on emissions.

Think of the energy saved if you never had to print, annotate, photocopy, or post a paper document to a client ever again, not to mention the paper saved; or if you never had to travel to the office again, or even run an office at all. Consider the emissions also saved by conducting meetings virtually, rather than driving or even flying for a conversation that could easily be conducted from the comfort of home. Recent analysis from The Guardian found that taking a long-haul flight creates more CO2 than that generated by an average person in various developing countries in an entire year.

As it is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the UK, the property market must be forthcoming with the changes it is willing to make to create a greener future. While product changes and raising awareness are undoubtedly longer-term projects, smaller behavioural changes can a big difference. Shopify saw its emissions drop by 29% after its move to a permanent remote work set-up in May of last year, according to Kauk, giving businesses across the world much food for thought.

With this in mind, we launched our Microsoft-powered SmartrTalk feature in February of this year to allow users to begin, join, and schedule video and audio calls without leaving our end-to-end platform. Our partnerships with Digidentity and Microsoft also ensure that all communication is protected by bank-grade security as Smartr365 users remotely connect from across the world. Removing the need to use paper-based documents and travel to in-person meetings allows for much greater flexibility in the mortgage journey and takes us one step closer towards a greener, brighter future for all.

If you’re keen to see how our SmartrTalk feature could help transform the way you communicate, book your demo today to be guided through the platform by one of our talented team.