It marks the first move under the bank's £175m sustainable investment drive announced last month as part of its net zero strategy
Barclays has snapped up a "significant" equity stake in digital energy efficiency platform and consultancy SaveMoneyCutCarbon for an undisclosed sum, as the bank today confirmed its first major green investment since announcing its ambition to become a net zero emission company by 2050.
Founded in 2012, SaveMoneyCutCarbon provides an online marketplace for cost-effective solutions for homes and businesses seeking to reduce their bills and carbon footprint, as well as offering consultancy services, energy efficiency audits, and product installation services.
Barclays said its investment in the firm - which claims to have helped hundreds of thousands of customers reduce their carbon footprint while also saving money through the more efficient use of water and energy - would help fund its growth both in the UK and abroad.
"SaveMoneyCutCarbon has helped UK businesses and households to become more sustainable and we are excited to be part of the next stage of their growth, supporting broader UK and global efforts to limit carbon emissions," said Barclays' co-head of principal investments, Andrew Challis.
The bank has continued to face criticism from climate campaigners over its climate strategy, and its ongoing interests in fossil fuels and other high carbon industries. Late last month a report led by 350.org and several other green groups named Barclays as one of Europe's top fossil fuel financiers in Europe, providing £91.bn between 2015 and 2019 to projects and firms in the sector.
But today's investment marks the first through its Sustainable Impact Capital initiative, which aims to funnel £175m over the next five years in "innovative and environmentally-focused business". The initiative forms part of Barclay's plan unveiled in March to become a net zero bank by 2050.
Mark Sait, CEO of SaveMoneyCutCarbon, the new partnership with Barclays would be "a key enabler allowing us to accelerate plans to grow nationally and beyond".
"We are uniquely positioned to help facilitate the retrofit challenge faced by the UK's domestic and commercial building stock and turbo charging companies' adoption of energy and water efficiency to achieve the UK's net zero carbon target," he said. "Our vision is to become the 'go to' brand for homes and organisations that want to reduce consumption, reduce their carbon footprint and be more sustainable."
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