This area of our website offers information about some of the things we do as a responsible business. For information about how you could ‘go green’ and how we’re helping UK homes become greener please visit our Greener homes page.

What's on this page

Building a better relationship with nature

Nationwide’s strategy does not involve lending to or investing in businesses that have a negative impact on the environment. This includes investments linked to fossil fuels, deforestation, or agriculture. We recognise the need to consider our own impact on nature and are actively exploring opportunities to enhance biodiversity around our own offices.

Greener behaviours in our workforce and supply chain

We have ongoing initiatives that are focused on enhancing our colleagues’ understanding of the impact of nature loss and exploitation. Our Green Employee Network and Environmental Support Guide provide resources and solutions to help colleagues maintain greener lifestyles that protect biodiversity. We are also exploring how the way we use the land around our admin centres can better protect and promote flora and fauna.

Nationwide use EcoVadis, a shared information platform and sustainability ratings provider, to collect environmental performance data on third parties from across our supply chain. This assessment also includes questions on biodiversity.

Biodiversity at Oakfield, our not-for-profit housing development

Oakfield is a not-for-profit development of 239 EPC A-rated, off-gas homes on a former Brownfield site. Nationwide is the lead sponsor of Oakfield and has worked closely with the local community in the design and planning of the homes.

Oakfield is designed in a way that encourages wildlife and biodiversity. Central to the development is a landscaped park, which has ‘swales’. Swales are areas of ground that collect and slowly release water into the landscape. This removes pollutants and creates a habitat for certain pollinators. There is also a wild meadow area which further encourages biodiversity.

Species selection has been key in the design

The landscape has been enhanced with plants recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) ‘Perfect for Pollinators Plant List’, to encourage a wide range of wildlife. More than 300 trees of different varieties have been planted throughout Oakfield to bring seasonal interest and variation to accommodate different wildlife.

The development also includes green corridors of formal hornbeam hedges, allowing highways for hedgehogs and other small animals. Homes have also been fitted with bat boxes.

An award-winning development

The development was awarded the industry-leading Building with Nature Design Accreditation (opens in a new window). Building with Nature enables developers to create places that allow people and wildlife to thrive, recognising high quality green infrastructure at all stages of the development process including policy, planning, design, delivery, and long-term management and maintenance.

The Oakfield development has also been awarded the ‘Building for a Healthy Life’ award by Design for Homes in its Housing Design Awards 2021. This award recognises housing developments that have been built to create places that are beneficial for both people and nature.

The future of Oakfield

We will continue to promote the mutual benefits of Oakfield. We hope that our approach will become a blueprint for others to develop sustainable homes, with the support of local communities. Therefore, we are sharing all of our learnings and plans from this development in order to help create positive change.

The development has been designed to minimise carbon emissions, and Nationwide has committed to offset the embodied carbon up to practical completion. This will include all the carbon required to create the building products, transport them to site, and install them. We are currently exploring the best way to offset this.

We have been encouraged by the growing interest in the industry in taking measurable actions to protect and restore nature. We aim to use and embed any recommendations made by the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) in the consideration of biodiversity-related risks and impacts, and in the setting of appropriate targets.

We all have a responsibility to expand our understanding, drive positive impacts and make a difference in this important matter.