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Australian Finance Group Ltd (AFG) has announced that it has partnered with Western Australia-based not-for-profit Carbon Positive Australia (which works with landholders, communities and organisations to encourage positive steps towards climate action and sustainability) to plant one tree for every home loan provided by AFG Securities.
Last financial year, 5,000 home loans were written by AFG Securities.
The move, which became effective for loans provided by the lending arm from 1 July 2022, forms part of the group’s “commitment toward a more sustainable future”.
AFG Securities general manager Damian Percy said the lender was committed to working towards more sustainable operations and wanted to help its customers do the same.
“Given the serious threat climate change presents to our planet, people are increasingly looking for ways to cut emissions and minimise their footprint,” Mr Percy said.
“By planting a tree for every mortgage provided – whether a refinance or new loan – our customers can be assured this important transaction is also having a positive impact on our planet.”
AFG chief executive David Bailey said despite AFG Securities only representing one part of the wider AFG business, the new plant-a-tree scheme represented a “first step of many to come”.
“We started measuring our own carbon footprint in 2021 and have begun identifying and implementing measures to reduce our impact on the climate,” Mr Bailey said.
“We want to help our customers do the same, and the AFG Securities plant-a-tree program kick starts this pledge.”
AFG Securities is the latest non-bank lender to announce a tree planting program in recent years.
Resimac has had a carbon-conscious program in place that plants a tree for every loan settled, and last year surpassed 40,000 trees.
In 2021, Pepper Money said it would plant 21 trees for every employee in celebration of its 21st year of business.
The lending arm of AFG has been growing recently after it successfully completed an upsized $500 million residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) issue in October 2021.
The AFG 2021-2 Trust issue of Australian prime residential mortgages is AFG Securities’ 12th issue since 2013 with the transaction being settled on 14 October 2021, taking the total paper issued to the market by AFG Securities to over $5.3 billion.
AFG Securities priced its inaugural non-conforming RMBS transaction worth $500 million in October 2022, and an upsized $750 million RMBS issue in May 2021.