As a responsible lender, we lend carefully and precisely. Every loan we make balances opportunities and risks, identifying and taking into account the environmental, social and governance impact of the finance we provide.
Our management structure and approach to business ensure that we can respond quickly and safely to the changes and challenges presented by our dynamic marketplace. Likewise, our approach enables us to plan effectively for the long-term, while also operating to the highest institutional standards and maintaining our position as a leading alternative real estate lending platform.
We constantly challenge ourselves to be better and do better. This approach underpins our drive to achieve better outcomes in everything we do.
UK Green Building Council
We are proud to be UKGBC Gold Leaf members. As one of only six representatives from the finance and investment sector on the UKGBC, we are committed to creating innovative finance solutions that advance the sustainability agenda in the built environment.
Atelier’s Carbonlite Challenge pilot was created in response to the problem that we and many others have observed in the residential real estate space – “green” residential developments are not incentivised in the same way as commercial schemes are. Our product has been assessed by the UKGBC, and features in its Solutions Library along with several other brilliant, pioneering solutions within this space.
Planet Mark’s aim is to build a sustainable, brighter future for us and our planet. They provide a truly effective, people-driven sustainability certification.
In 2022, we became Planet Mark certified. They helped us calculate our Scope 1, 2 and part of our Scope 3 emissions (namely our purchased energy, purchased heating and cooling, purchased water, company facilities, waste management and business travel).
We aim to measure the rest of our Scope 3 emissions during 2023 and 2024.
Race to Zero
2020 to 2030 will be a critical 10 years for both humans and the planet. The Decade of Action, as called for by the United Nations, is pivotal to tackling climate change. That is why we at Atelier have decided to make the Zero Carbon Commitment, making transformational change across our business to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Together we are creating a brighter future; you can too.
As part of the commitment, we’ve pledged to:
- Halve our absolute greenhouse gas emissions before 2030
- Achieve net zero emissions before 2050
- Disclose our progress on a yearly basis
In doing so, we are proud to join the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign and join governments, businesses, cities, regions and universities around the world that share the same mission.
Net Zero Targets
With guidance from Planet Mark and their certification report, we are committed to achieving the following ambitious targets:
1) Reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 100% by the year 2027
Our Scope 1 and 2 footprint has been fully measured for 2021/2022 and we are in the process of creating a reduction plan in line with the findings.
2) Reduce our Scope 3 emissions by at least 90% by the year 2035
We have already measured some Scope 3 emissions categories such as business travel and waste, and we’ll be developing plans over 2023/2024 to measure the full extent of our Scope 3 emissions, with the intention of creating an action plan once this has been calculated.
Official data shows that 40% of global carbon emissions come from the real estate sector. At Atelier, we are committed to supporting developers who are at the forefront of delivering low carbon residential property. We’ve made our support practical and powerful by developing an incentivised finance scheme that rewards developers who choose to tackle embodied carbon, operational carbon, and water usage.
2023 and 2024 will be dedicated to:
- Migrating our sustainable product (Carbonlite Challenge) from its pilot phase to become a permanent feature of our lending offering
- Focusing on the national retrofit challenge as part of phase two of the Carbonlite Challenge
- Educating the broker and developer community on sustainable development
- Considering how all future lending can be aligned to sustainability practices
To find out more about the Carbonlite Challenge, click here.
Led from the top, our senior management team and committees are responsible for creating, developing, and implementing our business strategy and reporting on performance. Our board is active, engaging on the detail with all the committees that report to it, either directly or indirectly.
Our committees meet regularly and have clear objectives and a culture of challenge and improvement, including:
- Evaluation of performance and progress against targets and initiatives
- As part of our ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ culture, identifying, assessing and acting on key issues and risks
- Continually reviewing strategy to ensure it remains relevant, ambitious, and focused on being better
Having a clear vision is very important. Our policy, strategy and business planning activities set a clear direction for our business and demonstrate how ESG, and doing the right thing, form a key part of our business model and decision-making process. Together these pillars underpin our business activities and enable our performance to be measured and managed.
The Atelier culture is the DNA of our business. It positively supports employee engagement, improves retention, and stimulates productivity, all of which are precious commodities and valued by our stakeholders.
Being a credit business, our people and culture are also our first line of defence and are essential in managing risk and the execution of opportunities.
The following principles underpin our culture:
- We are Bold: we lead with conviction and aren’t scared to stand our ground
- We are Brave: we are open to new ideas, perspectives, and technologies
- We are Better: we are always open to improving our services, our expertise and ourselves
To secure our long-term sustainability and success, we take account of what is important to our stakeholders, and we believe this is best achieved through proactive and effective engagement. As a smaller but highly ambitious company striving to be better, we continue to develop and deepen our engagement with all stakeholders including:
- Local communities
- Regulators and Government bodies
- Investors and funders
Our board composition and approach are focused on harnessing a range of skills, perspectives, and corporate experience. Diversity of thinking, differing views and attitudes (particularly to risk) are coupled with a deep understanding of our business, culture, and stakeholders. This drives our board to think strategically and generate sustainable long-term value.
We pride ourselves on our institutional approach and the way we conduct our business in an open and transparent manner. Our governance framework and culture are robust yet agile, enabling fast decision-making with effective oversight. Atelier’s Board’s has four principal committees.
- Credit Committee – managing credit risk and key lending decisions
- Portfolio Risk Committee – ensuring that our lending performs to contract for the benefit of our borrowers and stakeholders
- Assets and Liabilities Committee – prudent treasury management not only mitigates financial risk but is an opportunity to reveal additional value in the capital stack
- Risk Committee – this is responsible for reviewing and monitoring key risks and the effectiveness of our risk management systems
As a risk management business, the management of risk is in the DNA of Atelier, its culture, its people and is spoken as a fluent language. As such, risk management is not viewed simply as compliance but as an opportunity to seek, identify and achieve superior returns and better outcomes while mitigating risk.
This principle protects us, our stakeholders, and our borrowers as it requires a fervent adherence to the principles of responsible lending and ‘doing the right thing’.
Our practices, policy, processes, systems, and frameworks are designed and operated to the highest institutional standards, however independent assurance that these are functioning is critical. Atelier takes internal and external measures to ensure that robust and comprehensive assurance is completed, reviewed, and acted upon. The key steps are:
- Internal assurance, reviewing and checking lending decisions
- External review of each loan facility carried out by a leading specialist firm
- ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ quality system to identify, assess, and act on key issues and risks
- Atelier is ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) accredited
We act with honesty and integrity and take appropriate measures to prevent, identify and remedy malpractice. Our people understand this and act in accordance with our high standards of conduct and are actively encouraged to speak out if they witness any wrongdoing or behaviour which falls short of those standards. In support, colleagues are given direct access to an independent director.
Revealing itself in many forms, identifying and preventing financial crime is not only a legal duty but a moral one. As a business at the forefront of speciality lending, we place appropriate resources at the disposal of our financial crime team to ensure we take whatever measures are required to identify and prevent financial crime.
Our investments in financial crime awareness training and people are our first line of defence, supported by leading technologies and comprehensive and robust policies including:
- Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
- Fraud Policy
- AML, CTF and Sanctions Policy
- Business Conduct Policy
Every development is different. So is every loan. At Atelier, we provide custom property finance solutions that are designed in collaboration with developers, driven by innovation and expertise, and strive to make a positive, lasting impact.