Ethical Banking Europe

Banks Are Under More Pressure Than Ever To Implement Carbon Impact Tracking

Three-quarters of mobile banking customers in the UK want full insight into the carbon impact of their spending; according to the latest research of Cogo, a New Zealand-based carbon management solution provider. 

The company’s latest research, which was developed in conjunction with the Behavioural Insights Team, surveyed 2,007 mobile banking users in the UK to investigate customer attitudes towards banks encouraging them to reduce their environmental impact.

The results indicated a growing appetite for appropriate insights into the impact spending is having on the environment.

Emma Kisby, EMEA CEO for Cogo
Emma Kisby, CEO, Cogo EMEA

Speaking on the company’s findings, Emma Kisby, EMEA CEO for Cogo, recognises the unique position of banks to impact and help to turn around the climate crisis positively.

“Offering green banking solutions to customers can make a big difference,” she explains. “Their reach means huge numbers of people could be able to access carbon footprint management features through a provider that they already have day-to-day interactions with.”

The competitive edge of carbon management

According to the company’s survey, 75 per cent of mobile banking users would like insight into the carbon impact of their spending.

Furthermore, banks have the backing of 48 per cent of respondents who said they support banks engaging in more pro-environmental purchasing choices.

When asked if they wanted to receive carbon spending information from banks, 57 per cent were in favour, therefore presenting an excellent opportunity for banks to provide this support.

NatWest is a major UK bank that offers carbon footprint management features from Cogo in its mobile banking app.

When the partnership launched back in July 2021, David Lindberg, the bank’s CEO of retail banking, marked the integration as “a really important first step in making it easy for everyone to live and spend in a greener way, using the power of their money to influence change.”

As Cogo’s research makes clear, the trend towards conscious consumerism is affecting more than just banking products and services.

The report found that alongside reducing their personal carbon footprint, customers increasingly want to see their bank taking action to reduce their own environmental impact.

Seventy-six per cent want to see banks reduce the carbon footprint of their operations while 73 per cent want to see banks investing in businesses with a low environmental impact.

Reflecting on this statistic, Kisby went on to say “as the competitive playing field for big banks evens out, extra benefits that help customers manage their environmental impact can make a big difference.

“Newer, environmentally astute generations are already opening their first personal and business accounts. Banks offering the green solutions that customers want will be able to access a bigger pool of potential retail banking customers.”

Scaling up solutions

It’s expected that with the growing consumer demand for knowledge regarding carbon footprints, this kind of information will naturally become a distinct offering alongside other key banking services.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) insights will become commonplace.

Cogo’s report recommends partnering with start up solutions as a means for banks to scale up more effectively.

It goes on to explain that ‘proven technologies and approaches can be built quickly and appeal to customers who expect more from their banks’.

In a reaction to its own findings, the company has recently confirmed the roll out of its financial services partnership model.

In partnership with NatWest, TSB and more recently the Hungarian bank OTP, the model seeks to assist mobile banking customers in measuring their impact and carbon footprint.

Integrating this information will enable banks to offer customers money management tools that incorporate environmental impact.

The company reports that the model is on track to give over three million retail banking customers access to carbon footprint tracking features in their everyday banking experience by the end of this year.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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