Earth Day is an annual event to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held in 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org. The theme of this years Earth Day is “Invest in our Planet”, and in response to this, many fintech and financial services companies have announced their measures of support to aid in the pursuit of a greener planet.
Here we delve into some companies efforts to help both themselves and their consumers become environmentally friendly.
GoHenry makes all cards biodegradable to help kids live greener
GoHenry, the prepaid debit card and financial education app for kids aged 6-18, has made all its cards biodegradable. All cards, including customised cards, will now be printed on compostable polylactic acid (PLA). This follows research that 76 per cent of UK kids would prefer an eco-friendly bank card and builds on the success of GoHenry’s existing range of Eco Cards, which launched in 2020. Producing cards with PLA, which is derived from field corn waste, uses 65 per cent less energy and 68 per cent fewer greenhouse gases than conventional plastic.
Louise Hill, Co-Founder and COO of GoHenry said: “We’re all about helping kids make smart choices with money and now they can help keep the planet healthy at the same time. We know our customers are passionate about the environment and our Eco Cards can support them in living greener day-to-day. When we launched our initial range of Eco Cards two years ago, the ultimate goal was to eventually print all of our cards on the greenest material possible and it’s great to see that vision come true. It’s an important step for GoHenry as we continually build and implement more sustainable practices.”
LOQBOX to plant trees for new members
LOQBOX has announced it will plant thousands of trees on behalf of every employee and every new member to LOQBOX (who joins on Friday 22nd April) to celebrate Earth Day.
Co-Founder and Co-CEO of LOQBOX Tom Eyre commented: “We decided to use Ecologi to raise awareness of Earth Day and to encourage our team and our members to consider their relationship with the environment. We expect to plant around 5,000 trees across the world as part of our investment in our planet, and we hope our members value seeing their positive impact as a community.”
Alibaba Group Joins Low Carbon Patent Pledge
Alibaba Group Holding Limited has joined Low Carbon Patent Pledge (LCPP), an international platform that encourages sharing patents for low carbon technologies, to accelerate the adoption of green technology and foster collaborative innovation by making nine key patents for green data centre technology available for free to external parties. In keeping with its support for green initiatives, Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, also aims to have its global data centres running entirely on clean energy by 2030, starting with upgrades to five of its hyper-scale data centres in China.
“We believe technology innovation is a key driver in transitioning to the low-carbon circular economy of the future. As a pioneer and global technology leader, we are committed to taking broader social responsibility to use technology to level the playing field and to empower the wider social groups, creating long-term value. We are excited to join the pledge as a way to encourage a collective approach to build a sustainable and inclusive future for the society and environment through open collaboration, joint innovations and mutual inspiration.” said Dr. Chen Long, Vice President of Alibaba Group and Chair of Alibaba’s Sustainability Steering Committee.
Data Rails to plant “Excel Evergreens” forest
DataRails, the next-gen financial planning and analysis solution for SMEs, is planting a forest of 1,000 trees this Earth Day – one for each client. Just like financial services can be revolutionised – one business at a time – DataRails strives to be a leader in positive environmental action, leading the way to a better and cleaner future. This new forest will be planted in the Washington state area after the 2020 catastrophe that left the land completely barren.
Crowdcube data shows retail investors are going after cleantech
Crowdcube is a retail investment platform that makes it simple for people to buy equity in some of Europe’s fastest-growing private businesses and those that they are truly passionate about. Through their recent data, the company is seeing a rise in support for sustainable and cleantech businesses
Matt Cooper, Chief Commercial Officer at Crowdcube comments: “This year, the Earth Day theme “Invest In Our Planet” is something that we are seeing retail investors do in abundance through our platform. Interest, and more importantly, investment, is pouring into cleantech companies, showing that people want to be proactive in helping solve the climate crisis.
“It’s not just a change in sentiment we’re seeing, but a tangible shift in investor behaviour. Our data shows that cleantech and sustainability investments by retail investors surged by 445 per cent in the three years to December 2021 and already in Q1 of 2022, we’ve seen a 44 per cent increase in the funding raised compared to where we were at the same point last year. On top of this, the proportion of cleantech companies raising investment on the platform has increased from 2018 to 2021 by 186 per cent in terms of number, and 172 per cent in terms of amount raised. In total, we’ve raised over £130million across 150 separate funding rounds in this sector vertical.”
Finastra teams up with EcoTree to provide a green offering for banks
Finastra announced that it has teamed up with EcoTree, a specialised forestry company focused on carbon removal and biodiversity preservation through tree planting and sustainable forestry management. The initiative provides Finastra customers the opportunity to remove the carbon footprint associated with both the running and implementation of technological solutions, an important step as banks and financial institutions move towards net-zero carbon emissions. Finastra will also use the service to balance its own emissions, supporting its goal to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Klarna to match consumer donations
Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments, and shopping service announced a series of initiatives dedicated to supporting our planet’s health. During this year’s Earth Week, Klarna pledges to match all consumer donations made towards its planet health initiatives, as well as upgrade its CO2 emissions tracker to allow consumers to gain even more granular insights into their environmental footprint. Klarna is also expanding its shoppable Conscious Collections in the Klarna App to bring greater awareness to environmentally and ethically friendly apparel to all consumers.
David Sandström, Chief Marketing Officer at Klarna: “Our vision is to empower consumers to vote with their wallets to enact change. With the help of our enhanced CO2 Emissions Tracker, consumers can now gain detailed insights into the environmental impact of their shopping. Combined with our donation features and Conscious Collections, we’re excited to give consumers powerful tools to act on this knowledge and inform their shopping choices”.
Consumers demand more from businesses on environmental issues
The latest research from American Express has found that UK consumers have high expectations of businesses to be more vocal on environmental issues and efforts to tackle climate change – and will offer support to those that are.
The Amex Trendex report revealed that 91 per cent of UK adults want companies to address environmental issues and 89 per cent agreed these businesses should be transparent about their climate impact. Over six in 10 (61 per cent) agreed they pay attention to how a business takes action to reduce the impacts of climate change.
For those businesses that do demonstrate action in this critical area, they will be rewarded with a more loyal customer base; Around eight in 10 of UK adults agreed they would choose to shop with a business that takes actions to reduce the impact of climate change (80 per cent), and they would be more likely to trust a company that works to address environmental issues (79 per cent).
Since 2018, American Express has remained a carbon-neutral company across its operations and has been powered with 100 per cent renewable energy. Last year, the company committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035 and announced a $10million grant commitment to organisations and initiatives that drive action on climate change through 2025. Now American Express is taking further action to support the reduction and removal of carbon emissions through a range of innovative solutions.