Our approach to responsible business

Responsible behaviour, integrity, and contributing to society are integral to who we are and what we do. We continue to reinforce our purpose of building society, nationwide, with robust governance and our approach to responsible business.

Leadership and governance

Nationwide Leadership Team and Board of Directors

The Board is the main decision-making body of Nationwide and is responsible for governing the Society. It has overall responsibility for the business and affairs of Nationwide, the establishment of its strategy and oversight of its risk management. The purpose of the Board is to set the strategic direction of Nationwide and is the ultimate decision-making body for all strategic, financial, regulatory or reputational matters. The Board, as part of its remit, sets out the guidelines within which the business is responsibly managed and has oversight to ensure that fair outcomes are delivered for stakeholders. In doing this, consideration is given to environmental, social and governance matters. Nationwide is run day-to-day by the Chief Executive Officer, who is assisted by the Nationwide Leadership Team.

Responsible Business Committee

We've established a Responsible Business Committee to focus on:

  • the social and environmental impact we have
  • the way we operate
  • the financial support and work opportunities we offer, and
  • the people and communities we touch.

The Committee ensures that all responsible business activities, risks and opportunities are managed. Matters, as necessary, are escalated to the Nationwide Leadership Team and the Board.

Responsible Business and Climate Change Risk teams

Our Responsible Business and Climate Change Risk teams are mapped into our governance structure to drive environmental, social and governance considerations throughout our Society. By having dedicated teams and governance, we can ensure both risks and opportunities are continually explored and drive engagement at all levels of our business.

How we decide what to focus and report on

As a signatory to the UN Global Compact, we are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our purpose ‐ to build society, nationwide ‐ aligns with a number of the goals.

We also regularly engage with our stakeholders to ensure we are focused and report on the things that matter most to the people we serve.

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

What we are doing to achieve the goals we are most aligned to:

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, detailed in full on this webpage.

SDG 1 No poverty

  • We take positive action against homelessness.
  • We actively look for ways to improve financial inclusion and support, and protect our members’ money.

SDG 10 Reduced inequalities

  • We’re working to reduce economic inequality.
  • We seek to ensure everyone has access to good and secure housing, finances, and work opportunities.

SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities

SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production

  • We maintain the Carbon Trust Triple Standard.
  • We work hard to reduce our environmental impact by sending no waste to landfill and, recycling our office equipment.
  • We source food throughout our offices locally.

SDG 13 Climate action

  • Internally, our energy use and business miles from our fleet are carbon neutral.
  • Our green propositions will help members to reduce the carbon footprint of their home.

  • Goal 1: No poverty
  • Goal 2: Zero hunger
  • Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing
  • Goal 4: Quality education
  • Goal 5: Gender equality
  • Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
  • Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic Growth
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
  • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 14: Life below water
  • Goal 15: Life on land
  • Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • Goal 17: Partnerships to achieve the goal

Engagement with stakeholders

We engage stakeholders in a variety of ways, including:

Materiality assessment

We ran a dedicated responsible business, ‘materiality assessment’ in 2019, to inform our reporting and strategy. Feedback was gathered from over 1000 stakeholders, including members, non-members, colleagues, suppliers, and investors.

During the assessment:

  • We identified the environmental, social, and governance issues currently important to Nationwide, using internal workshops, external insight, and trend reports.
  • Our stakeholders were asked to rank the issues and how well they felt Nationwide was responding to them.

The themes that came out of our materiality assessment as most important were:

  • taking care of personal data and money
  • being a force for social and environmental good in all we do
  • demonstrating honesty, integrity, care and empathy.

The findings were reviewed by our Strategy, Responsible Business, Investor Relations, and External Relations teams. They’ve been used to inform the development of our Mutual Good Commitments.

Our Mutual Good Commitments

When members choose Nationwide, it’s a choice that’s for the mutual good of all. We’ve made five Mutual Good Commitments because we believe that everyone:

  • should have a place fit to call home
  • should have confidence in managing their money
  • deserves to be treated with respect.

1. Helping to achieve safe and secure homes for all

By 2025, we’ll:

  • help 250,000 members to buy their first home
  • help 25,000 members to use the money built up in their home to live a better retirement
  • equip 50,000 landlords with tools to improve tenants’ lives.

This aligns with our commitment to SDG 11 ‘Sustainable cities and communities’.

2. Leading the greening of UK homes

By 2030:

  • 50% of homes in our mortgage book will be EPC rated C or better
  • our business operations, suppliers and commuting will be carbon neutral.

This aligns with our commitment to SDGs 13 ‘Climate action’ and 12 ‘Responsible consumption and production’.

3. Supporting our members’ financial wellbeing

By 2025, we’ll support 200,000 financially squeezed and struggling members to become regular savers.

This aligns with our commitment to SDG 1 ‘No poverty’.

4. Champion thriving communities

  • Every town and city that has a branch today will still have one until at least January 2023.
  • We’ll give at least 1% of pre-tax profits to charitable activities.

This aligns with our commitment to SDGs 10 ‘Reduced inequalities’ and 11 ‘Sustainable cities and communities’.

5. Reflect the diversity of our society

By 2028, our people at all levels will reflect the society we represent.

This aligns with our commitment to SDG 10 ‘Reduced inequalities’.