This week we interviewed Cátia Alves, head of Green Mortgages & Loans department, and responsible for helping UCI to develop sustainable business. The Green department has an active role in the implementation of this new culture which seeks to reproduce the same alchemy developed in the XIV century after the Plague- the new Green Renaissance.
Why is UCI so interested in Green Mortgages and Loans?
UCI is very aware of its responsibility as a benchmark in real estate financing.
That responsibility begins by encouraging our customers to buy highly energy efficient properties or to improve their properties’ energy efficiency, with the clear aim of polluting less.
As part of this company positioning, UCI has embedded Sustainability and Responsibility into its commitment to its stakeholders, adapting its business models to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) laid down by the UN.
Additionally, in 2018 UCI becomes one of the representatives of the Spanish mortgage sector in the European Mortgage Federation’s Energy Efficient Mortgage Initiative (EEMI)
This initiative is ultimately aimed at stimulating and coordinating market engagement, in line with the policy agenda, and launching an Energy Efficient Mortgage label to gather all market actions and encourage consumers to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, by doing so, improving the EU’s building stock.
What have we done so far, and what are our plans for the near future?
We’ve done a LOT.
We have been the pioneers in this Green Mortgage & Loans Residential Sector.
Therefore, UCI and The European Investment Bank have joined forces to boost energy efficiency projects in Spain and Portugal.
We are creating a Green Home needs Ecosytem, where we give our clients an added value proposition, a “one stop shop”.
Do you think our clients (professionals and final clients) are interested in our Green Strategies, and why?
There is definitely a great deal of interest today in sustainability, and it is an issue that affects each and every one of us
In a world where any future depends on sustainability, we need to take the necessary measures and evolve towards the necessities of the future. In short, our green strategies are sought after and needed by professionals in our sector, as we provide them with products adapted to current market trends, as well as sales tools to help their clients understand the advantages in a quick, simple and clear manner. At UCI we aim to speak the same language as our clients with regards to sustainability, so rather than see this future as complicated and technical, they see it is within their reach and benefits each of us directly.
Clients are able to choose from a variety of products from our “Green Line” and can therefore choose the solution most suited to their needs. We offer up to date information about sustainable homes and solutions to refurbish and upgrade existing homes with the aim of making energy efficient homes available to all, which will bring each client a real economic impact both in the short and long term, as well as helping to protect our environment.
In what way do you think that UCI can help homebuyers and sellers with Green Mortgages and other products or services.
First of all, in UCI we have a NAR’s Green Designation for Real Estate Agents, with this certification they get the abilities to sell sustainable properties and we give them innovative tools to facilitate the sale of new sustainable houses (A or B energy efficiency certificate) or energy efficient refurbishment of a second hand house. Consequently, UCI helps sellers to see new business opportunities in sustainable buildings’ development. Next months´ online “Greenmocionate” event will be focused on helping our collaborators to achieve this Green Designation. Also, as previously mentioned, we have a range of products available for purchase and refurbishment of private dwellings, as well as for entire buildings or condominiums.
What do you consider to be the main advantages of a green home as compared to any other home?
The main advantage of a green home, apart from knowing that you are contributing to a more sustainable world, is that we can achieve a high level of comfort and wellbeing. Why? Well the changes in temperature that we “suffer” in an unprepared home are hugely diminished if we have a passive or sustainable home, and a more adequate temperature can be achieved all year round inside our home.
Another important advantage is the great savings that this produces in our utilities, as these homes reduce our consumption of electricity, gas, oil and water, as waste is kept to a minimum, and so our bills are also kept to a minimum!
Both new energy efficient homes and well refurbished existing properties can improve their energy efficiency and improve our quality of life, increasing our comfort without the need to overuse heating and cooling systems, which is healthier for us and for our planet. Most of us have recently spent more time in our homes than we did before, and we understand that living in a comfortable and well-conditioned environment is fundamental to our wellbeing.