Zellar, the sustainability score for every business, has received a £600,000 investment from The Co-operative Bank.
The deal follows the successful roll-out of an initiative launched earlier this year, in which The Co-operative Bank pledged to provide lifetime subsidised access to Zellar for all of its UK-based SME customers. The Co-operative Bank’s investment is in return for a two percent share of Zellar, based on a £33m market valuation.
Headquartered in London, Zellar was founded to help SMEs measure, plan, activate, report and share their sustainability journey and reduce costs. It captures every sustainable action that a business takes and reflects it all within a single score that shows both them and the outside world their sustainability progress.
As the only UK high-street bank with a customer-led Ethical Policy, The Co-operative Bank has committed to inspiring others to develop a target-driven sustainability strategy and is supporting customers who want to evolve how their businesses operate.
As part of the agreement The Co-operative Bank will continue to promote Zellar to its SME customer base. It will also work closely with the company to help develop products and services that reward and incentivise sustainable businesses – in line with Zellar’s scoring framework. The Co-operative Bank will also sit on Zellar’s steering committee.
Zellar plans to use the investment to support a number of platform developments already in flight. Zellar is currently focused on creating richer, deeper and more meaningful experiences within the platform, by heavily customising the sustainability journeys across an initial 64 business sectors.
Gary Styles, Founder and CEO of Zellar, commented: “As the UK high street bank with the best ESG score from independent analysis, The Co-operative Bank is a perfect investor for Zellar. We hold so many shared values. We both believe passionately in cutting though the greenwash and driving meaningful environmental change, and helping local businesses and their wider communities to take action. The overwhelming interest shown by The Co-operative Bank’s customers following our launch programme in June this year, is a real confirmation of the synergies between our two companies. This investment will help us to deliver an even better, more meaningful experience to our shared customers and beyond.’
Styles continued, “This is an exciting time for Zellar. Not only is our SME base increasing rapidly through partnerships with The Co-operative Bank, SSE Energy Solutions and a growing number of local authorities. But we also have a number of ground-breaking pilots underway with nationwide corporates – as well as institutions like school academies and faith institutions – all of whom have the shared challenge and responsibility of understanding and driving local sustainability across multiple UK sites.’
Catherine Douglas, Managing Director at The Co-operative Bank comments: “Zellar has become instrumental in helping us to deliver on our vision of igniting and driving action against climate change amongst SMEs. We’re delighted to be following up on the success of our subsidy programme by continuing to work with and invest in Zellar. This will not only help to enhance the experience for our SME customers on the Zellar platform, but for thousands of other businesses across the UK.”
The Co-operative Bank becomes the first external investor in Zellar and marks the opening of a seed investment round, in which the company is seeking a further £2.4m to further develop the product in 2023.
Launched in 2021, Zellar is the sustainability score for every business. Its online platform helps businesses to measure, plan, activate, report and share their sustainability journey.
Zellar captures every climate positive action a business takes along its sustainability journey – whether it’s reducing emissions, switching to green energy or offsetting carbon. It then reflects those measures within a single score that shows both them and the outside world their sustainability progress.
Zellar customers include thousands of UK SMEs, as well a growing number of national chains, school academies and faith institutions that are looking to drive local sustainability across multiple UK sites.
The company has already attracted numerous partners including The Co-operative Bank, SSE Energy Solutions and East Midlands Chamber.
Zellar is privately held and headquartered in London.
About The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank plc provides a full range of banking products and services to retail and SME (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) customers and is committed to values and ethics in line with the principles of the co-operative movement.
In 1992 The Co-operative Bank took a pioneering step to become the UK’s first bank to have a customer-led Ethical Policy. And it’s still unique today. The Bank’s Ethical Policy defines how it acts as a business, the causes it supports and the ways it uses (and won’t use) customers’ money. It is shaped by the views of customers in regular Values & Ethics Polls.
In 2022 The Co-operative Bank is celebrating its 150th year of providing ethical banking services, and remains strongly positioned to provide an ethical alternative in the UK banking market.