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How carbon tracking helps banks connect with customers

Carbon management





Lucy O'Connor

Carbon management
How carbon tracking helps banks connect with customers





Lucy O'Connor

75% of banking customers say they want to know more about the environmental impact of how they spend their money. Banks that move beyond tracking their own emissions and empower their customers to do the same will reap the rewards.

What is carbon tracking?

Carbon tracking involves measuring carbon emissions from direct and indirect sources. 

Why is it important?

Every climate journey starts with education. Individuals and businesses need to understand their environmental impact before they can take action to reduce it. So, carbon tracking is a crucial first step on the sustainability journey. 

How does carbon tracking work?

Many of our daily activities—like eating, driving, and heating our homes—produce greenhouse gases (GHG). There are many different sources of GHG emissions, so calculating an individual or business’s carbon footprint can be complex. 

As carbon emissions are often linked with spending, one efficient way to estimate a customer’s carbon footprint is to use transactional data. 

How does it work? Most approaches break spending down into categories, for example, food, gas, transport, etc. The categories are then contextualised with research and publicly available emissions data to give consumers their calculations. Through customer feedback loops, the calculations are then refined.

Luckily, AI can help make this process a lot simpler. And banks can seamlessly integrate carbon trackers into their digital experience to quickly analyse, categorise and translate transaction data into simple carbon insights for customers. 

Why banks

As banks possess customers’ personal financial data, they are well-positioned to provide real-time carbon footprints based on people’s spending. Banks can also provide incentives and rewards that help motivate and enable users to adopt climate actions

Most importantly, embedding carbon trackers into banking apps helps reach millions of people who don’t yet proactively manage their carbon footprint via a dedicated app. 

Find out how our carbon tracking solution empowered 8 million NatWest customers to measure and reduce their carbon footprint.

Benefits of carbon tracking for banks

By providing customers with transparency about their environmental impact, banks play a vital role in the fight against climate change, inspiring widespread climate action. Implementing a carbon tracker into the banking experience can also help banks reap the following rewards:

Improve brand reputation

Customer facing sustainability efforts can enhance the reputation of a company, increase brand value and position the bank as a leader in sustainable finance solutions.

Increase engagement

Providing customers with information on the carbon impact of their spending motivates them to log in and engage with the banking app. Banks can also send personalised recommendations and nudges on steps they can take to reduce and offset their impact, helping to increase engagement. 


Our research showed that 62% of UK banking customers want their bank to help them reduce their environmental impact, and this was even higher among people under 25 (71%). Banks that offer carbon tracking will differentiate themselves from the competition and attract the growing segment of conscious consumers.  

Improve ESG performance

The mandatory ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting requirements and political pressure around carbon mitigation have affected the banking industry. Offering carbon tracking to customers also helps banks report on the all important scope 3 emissions

The best carbon tracking solution on the market

Cogo maps spend-based carbon data to financial data such as bank and credit card transactions, enabling near-instant tracking of footprints for your customers. Being based on transactions, these footprints represent the actual behaviour of customers, rather than best intentions. By making it as simple as possible for footprints to be calculated, we free up your customers’ time for the next and most important step: taking climate action.

We leverage the best available EEIO model in each market we operate in, to give you and your customers the full picture of their carbon footprint. EEIO models analyse the emissions intensity of each and every part of the economy in a way that not only covers each industry’s direct emissions but also incorporates upstream supply chain emissions. This enables Cogo to calculate footprints that incorporate the embodied carbon of different purchases. 

As well as increasing customers' carbon literacy, Cogo’s Personal Carbon Manager employs behavioural science techniques, such as behavioural nudges, cues, feedback and rewards to engage customers and reduce emissions.

Learn more about our carbon tracking solution.

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