FinTech Wales hosts first Huddle event – How Green is your Fintech? 

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Last night we hosted our first-ever Fintech Wales Huddle, with a sustainability focus, at Tramshed Tech. We’d like to thank everyone who attended for a great and engaging evening. 

Why ‘Huddle’? – “In sport, a huddle is an action of a team gathering together, usually in a tight circle, to celebrate, strategize or motivate.” 

Similarly, we hope that our Huddle events will provide a place for the Welsh Fintech ecosystem to gather and celebrate our members’ achievements and initiatives, whilst leaving attendees motivated and with new insights.

The networking event brought together people from our membership to hear from our keynote speaker on this month’s chosen topic, followed by a panel of our members’ case studies, as well as a Q&A session with the speakers, and, finally, some time for pizza, drinks and networking with the Welsh FinTech community.

Our board member and CEO at Illustrate Digital, Scott Jones, was the evening’s MC. Scott described his own journey and considerations around sustainability before introducing our lineup of speakers…

Keynote Speaker –  Rutang Thanawalla, Director at Deloitte

Rutang kindly set off the evening, defining some of the terminology surrounding climate conversations and explaining the role that fintech’s can take in addressing the climate emergency. 

The four simple steps that Rutang shared which Fintechs could take to progress their climate response included: reviewing your climate risks (materiality assessment); mobilise by preparing data and governance for climate considerations; commit to identifying key climate and sustainability initiatives; and disclosing climate-related targets and metrics. 

Hannah Curwen, Business Development at Vantage Data Centers

Hannah shared with us how data centres such as Vantage and fintechs can partner to prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. 

Hannah also encouraged us all to put pressure on our data suppliers, and to be concise and know what we want and expect from them. 

You can read more about how Vantage are making sustainability a key business strategy for long-term success in their recent Q & A with Senior Sustainability Director, Amanda Sutton, here. 

Ben Joakim, Head of Strategy at Principality Building Society

Next up, Ben divulged with the audience Principality’s road to becoming net zero. 

Principality’s commitment to be a more environmentally friendly organisation has led to the decision to introduce climate awareness training for all colleagues, which you can read about here. 

Ben also spoke about Principality’s recent collaboration with Foundry alumni Sero to accelerate the transition to net zero for new and existing mortgage customers.

Katrin Herrling, CEO & Co-Founder of Funding Xchange

Last but not least, Katrin spoke about Funding XChange’s collaboration with the NFU (National Farmers’ Union)

The two companies worked together to structure a financing package for small-scale farmers to install solar energy / heat pumps. These investments are typically difficult to finance – and so Funding Xchange put together a marketplace of funders who want to support this net-zero initiative, using their technology to match projects with the best funding solution.

Katrin aptly pointed out that whilst we’re all aware of the big targets when it comes to addressing climate change, we should aim to start from the bottom up. 

Our CEO Sarah Williams-Gardener commented on the evening: 

“Tonight’s Huddle was all about connecting the Welsh Fintech Ecosystem on a topic that we all feel passionately about. We’re all on our own journeys towards becoming more sustainable, and it was great to learn from one-another on ways in which we, as part of the fintech industry, can help to collectively tackle the climate emergency.” 

Stay tuned on our socials for all information on upcoming Huddle’s which we aim to host monthly in the new year.