Virgin Money launches UK’s first dedicated net zero fund for farmers
A new £200m fund to support farmers has been launched by Virgin Money. The fund is designed to help farmers transition themselves to a net zero, by offering lower cost loans that can be used to invest in changes which reduce on-farm emissions.
The Agri E Fund is the first fund of its kind to be offered in the UK dedicated to helping farmers with the investment and carbon audits required to help reduce carbon emissions and achieve a net zero rating.
0% Arrangement Fees
The loans are available with a 0% arrangement fee, when a farm completes a carbon audit and has chosen to borrow over £50k, with the money being invested into emission reducing initiatives, like renewable energy, energy efficiency initiatives or activities that reduce greenhouse gasses.
The agriculture sector has a key part to play in the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. It is thought that the UK farming industry contributes 10% of the UK’s carbon emissions, whilst this may seem small overall, the significant land resource within agriculture, provides the opportunity to capture and store carbon over and above the sector’s level of emissions, helping to enable the wider economy to transition to a net zero.
The agriculture sector has set itself an ambitious target to be at a net zero by 2040.
Virgin Money, following a recent survey, has announced that 72% of respondents said they wanted to see specialist banking products tailored towards sustainability whilst 82% of respondents said that reducing climate emissions was important to improving their sustainability.
Furthermore, within the marketplace, the survey revealed that the agriculture sector was helping to drive the pace of change, with almost a quarter (22%) of farming businesses saying they had been asked by their own customers to highlight what actions they had taken to reduce their carbon footprint.
Brian Richardson, Head of Agriculture at Virgin Money said:
“Farmers need to be proactive in adjusting their businesses to a low carbon future. While many farmers are working towards their net zero targets, we know from our research that there are many who know what they’ve got to do, they just aren’t sure how to go about it. By providing lower cost finance, our new Agri E Fund is providing targeted support to help agri-businesses make the transition and enable investment in reducing and capturing carbon emissions.
“We have a long history of supporting the agriculture sector through periods of change and are committed to working closely with our farming customers to help them on their journey to net zero.”
To further help farmers achieve their target of a net zero, Virgin Money have teamed up with Carbon Metrics, a consultancy firm which aims to help rural businesses understand emissions management and auditing more easily.
Further information and guidance on the Agri E Fund is available on the Virgin Money website.