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6 ways carbon management drives ROI for banks

Banks
Climate action

14.10.2022

5

 mins

By 

Lucy O'Connor

Banks
Climate action
6 ways carbon management drives ROI for banks

14.10.2022

5

 mins

By 

Lucy O'Connor

Banks can use transactional data to help customers measure, reduce and offset their carbon footprint. Not only will this help drive action at scale, but implementing a carbon management strategy can help drive ROI for banks. Keep reading to find out how. 

Carbon management for banks 

Carbon management is about understanding how and where an organisation’s activities generate greenhouse gas emissions. This includes emissions from internal activities (scope 1), indirect emissions (scope 2) and all the greenhouse gases an organisation is indirectly responsible for, up and down its value chain (scope 3). 

Carbon management helps banks identify where and how to reduce carbon emissions Ultimately, it is about incorporating an understanding of carbon data into strategic decision making.

Carbon management for customers

Every product/service we buy has a carbon price tag. But that price tag has been invisible to customers, until now. 

As banks possess customers’ transactional data, they are well positioned to help customers understand the carbon impact of their spending. Plus, the introduction of open banking means financial institutions can collaborate with fintechs to deliver carbon management products to their customers. 

Understanding carbon emissions is the first step to taking action to reduce it. By empowering customers with this information, banks play a vital role in the fight against climate change. 

Imagine if every banking customer reduced their carbon footprint by just 10%... Now that’s scalable climate action. 

Insights from our pilot with NatWest showed the average user saved approximately 11kg of CO2 emissions per month by committing to behavioural changes that used less carbon—such as composting, reducing meat consumption, or switching utility providers. If this behaviour is replicated across NatWest’s 8 million customers who use the mobile app, it would save more than 1 billion kg of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to planting 17 million trees.

6 ways carbon management drives ROI for banks

Not only is there significant potential for huge carbon savings, but implementing a carbon management strategy can help drive ROI for banks. Here’s how: 

1. Attract conscious consumers 

We conducted research with over 2,000 banking customers and discovered that 62% of respondents want their bank to help them reduce their environmental impact, and this was even higher among people under 25 (71%). Banks that take a proactive approach and provide customers with carbon footprint information will attract this growing segment of conscious consumers. 

2. Engage users  

Carbon management gives banks an excuse to engage customers through the mobile banking app experience. Banks can educate customers on their carbon footprint and their progress towards sustainable goals. It also provides an opportunity to personalise the banking experience and speak to customers on the sustainability issues they care about. 

3. Promote green finance offers 

Carbon management offers banks the opportunity to promote green finance offers based on users specific needs. For example, if a customer emits significant carbon emissions on their daily commute, the carbon manager might recommend they switch to an electric vehicle (EV) to reduce their impact, and the bank could offer a green loan to help them afford an EV. This would both help accelerate users’ positive impact and financially benefit banks too. 

4. Help SMEs transition to net zero

Recent Cogo research highlights that business owners often feel overwhelmed when setting sustainability goals and determining how they’re tracking compared to competitors or within their industries. 

The research highlights that one of the main barriers to climate action is a lack of understanding of what a carbon footprint “looks like” in the day-to-day business environment. Banks can provide this information and help businesses track and reduce their carbon footprint. This in turn, would help banks meet ESG requirements. 

5. Promote partner offers 

Banks can promote partner offers and marketplace solutions to help customers find more sustainable businesses. For example, the carbon manager might highlight that a customer needs to switch to more energy-efficient light bulbs and promote a sustainable business that could offer the product. This would help customers easily make sustainable changes, benefit SMEs and improve the relationship between the banks and their customers. 

6. Support ESG reporting 

There is increasing pressure on banks to report on their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). Carbon management helps banks understand their scope 3 emissions, which in turn, supports ESG reporting. 

Cogo’s carbon management solutions 

We’ve developed carbon management solutions to help your customers—both retail customers and SMEs—calculate their carbon footprint and empower them to take action to reduce their impact. 

Cogo’s Personal Carbon Manager

Encourage behaviour change: We use behavioural science techniques, like nudges to encourage climate action, and we motivate users with incentives and rewards. 

Increase retention: Users gain access to a live transaction feed that gives them information about their carbon footprint and their progress towards their set carbon budget. We also send push notifications to encourage users to check their carbon footprint throughout the month, helping engage users. 

Improve carbon literacy: We focus on educating people about the impact of their spending, and we communicate the carbon footprint on a spectrum which uses scale and colour to help visually compare the impact of different actions. 

Deliver a personal experience: We use spending data to offer users a bespoke experience. One that speaks to them about the sustainability issues they care about. 

Download our white paper to learn more about how our product drives climate action. 

Cogo’s Business Carbon Manager

Our Business Carbon Manager tool uses a spend-based approach to calculate carbon footprints, making reporting and analysis easy for businesses. 

Business owners can see how their spending directly impacts their carbon footprint. And they can identify how to reduce their operational emissions. 

Key Business Carbon Manager features:

  • Powerful transaction categorisation, and the option to categorise manually
  • Transaction aggregation by time, vendor or category
  • Business industry mapping and climate actions for relevant markets
  • Access to the best economic models that track entire supply chains of industries to ensure all components are included
  • Carbon emissions factors split into three Scopes in line with the GreenHouse Gas protocol

Give your business customers what they really want, request a demo today.

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