We take our social and ethical responsibilities seriously. As we do not invest our member’s money in stocks and shares, many of the issues normally associated with ethical investment do not apply to us.
The Cumberland is a mutual organisation, and as such we do not need to maximise profit for external shareholders and the Society is run in the best long-term interest of its members. We encourage members to take an active role in the Society and we have one of the highest voting figures at our AGM of any UK building society.
We recognise that we have an impact on the environment arising from our activities, including the use of energy, the purchase and disposal of materials and equipment and pollution arising from its motor vehicles.
Our Environmental Policy is designed to manage and reduce our environmental impacts through ongoing energy conservation, recycling and waste reduction.
The key elements that are being undertaken to achieve this are:
We have also been designated a Fair Trade organisation.
As an independent regional building society, we believe we have a responsibility to support our local communities. In the last financial year, we donated more than £100,000 to support local community, educational and charitable initiatives. We also believe our branches are important to the local community and have designated several of our smaller branches as ‘community branches’. These offer a range of free services to the local community including photocopying, faxing, ticket sales for local events and a recycling collection point.
Our staff are encouraged to be active in the local community and recent collective activity has included fund-raising by participating in the Great Cumbrian Run, Midnight Walks and the Race for Life. In addition, all staff are offered a day’s paid leave each year to support their preferred charity or community project.