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Green light for carbon-neutral schemes from HBOS and L&C

The mortgage industry is stepping up its campaign to become more environmentally friendly, with HBOS and broker London & Country unveiling new initiatives.

HBOS plans to become carbon-neutral by the end of the year while L&C pledges to plant 50 trees for every new mortgage taken out by its clients in 2007.

HBOS says it has reduced CO2 emissions by nearly two-thirds since 2004. It plans to cut the firm’s rate of business travel growth by half and offset its projected 2007 UK emissions by funding carbon-reduction schemes.

It will launch a green mortgage in the second half of next year where it will help borrowers reduce or offset the impact of their home on climate change.

Group communications manager Shane O’Riordain says: “The initiatives we are announcing today mean the group will become carbon-neutral before the end of the year.”

L&C estimates it will plant 1.5 million trees around the world. Mortgage specialist James Cotton says: “A lot of consumers are interested in green mortgages but there is confusion about what they are and many are not willing to pay the extra price. By getting advice from L&C, borrowers can go carbon-neutral in the first year of their mortgage without compromising on the value of the deal.”

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