A LOCAL building society has become the first financial services provider to get a five star rating for sustainable development.

Skipton Building Society picked up the rating for its support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, after recognition of its work by Support the Goals.

The stars are awarded when businesses publicly demonstrate plans, commitments, actions and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and involve their suppliers.

The goals are a plan to end poverty, extreme inequality and climate change by 2030 and were agreed in 2015 by world leaders. The UN said these can only be achieved with the support of businesses.

The five star rating recognises Skipton’s commitment to these goals, such as paying SME suppliers faster and helping staff by more environmentally friendly both at home and work, such as by installing electric vehicle charging points at head office.

David Cutter, chief executive (pictured), said: “We are extremely proud; we believe businesses need to get behind the Global Goals and help create a better world by 2030. We are delighted that our efforts have been recognised.

“By being part of Support the Goals, Skipton joins other industry leaders, innovators and everyday businesses who are using the platform to publicly state their support for the Global Goals.

"It also helps us involve our suppliers - where most of our environmental and social impact occurs. And as we improve our sustainability, we improve our efficiency too.”

Colin Curtis, of Support the Goals, added: “Congratulations to Skipton Building Society for achieving their 5 Star rating - so far the only financial services company to have this.

"By publicly sharing a plan and measurable commitments to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and sharing details of the actions it has taken and the progress made so far, Skipton Building Society has shown real leadership.

“Most importantly, by involving their suppliers they’re raising awareness of the goals.”