2 February 2022

5 sustainability initiatives in fintech

Check out 5 fintech giants who have gone above and beyond to find innovative ways of combatting their carbon emissions in our round-up.

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By Ben Price
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5 Sustainability Initiatives from Big FinTech to get optimistic about

Understanding your environmental impact - and limiting it where you can - is a responsibility we all share. The biggest players in Fintech face unique challenges and opportunities when responding to the climate crisis - here are 5 examples of them stepping up to the plate.

Revolut - Partnership with Watershed

British Fintech Revolut has pledged its commitment to reporting and reducing its carbon footprint through a partnership with Watershed, which provides reporting software to help big corporations reach their Net Zero goals, including Airbnb, Shopify, and Everlane.

The initiative began in September 2021 and has the aim of acting as the company’s first step to reducing its carbon footprint to the minimum possible and, ultimately, achieving Net Zero.

As we often reiterate at Greenpixie, if you can’t measure it, you can’t reduce it. It’s imperative that large businesses with a complex and multi-faceted environmental impact, such as banking services, take practical steps to understand just how big that impact is, so that they can understand how and where to reduce it.

Klarna - Give One

It’s hard not to love the Give One initiative, powered by Klarna. Anyone that uses Elivs lyrics as the hero text on their homepage is off to a good start in my books.

First, you have the 1% pledge, “committing 1% of all funding rounds to planet health initiatives. Starting with $10M USD towards conservation, mitigation, and restoration efforts for climate and biodiversity.”

Second, and rather excitingly, musician A$AP Rocky has pledged 1% of his investment in Klarna to green causes, with the star having “personally chosen to support the Miti Alliance in Kenya, a grassroots organization that is fighting deforestation.” It’s an awesome partnership and one which gives the cause marketability and a bit of star power - attributes that green initiatives have been accused of lacking in times gone by.

Finally, there’s one line from the Give One mission that really chimes with our belief in sustainable progress at Greenpixie;

“Give One stands behind the vision that human society can and should continue developing and thriving, but equitably and sustainably, within the boundaries of the planet.”

Well said. Of course, we all love progress, innovation and evolution - but we must be mindful with every step we take.

Stripe Climate

Climate from Stripe allows customers to “remove carbon as you grow your business”, meaning they can redirect a portion of their income towards carbon removal technologies.

The initiative is easy to sign up for and requires very little input, beyond the contribution itself, from the customers. The Stripe Climate contributions are managed by the same scientific advisors who allocate Stripe’s own carbon removal funds and, as such, customers can feel confident the impact of their positive action is being maximised.

On top of this, businesses can share their commitment with the Stripe Climate badge, offering a win-win of positive publicity for the business and all-important environmental awareness for the customer.

Visa Eco Benefits

In late 2021, Visa launched their Eco Benefits initiative which focuses on the empowerment of Visa customers to make more sustainable choices as consumers.

The multi-faceted scheme includes a carbon footprint calculator (which also tells customers how their choice is impacting on the 1.5°C Paris Climate Change Agreement goal), help with offsetting personal carbon emissions, sustainability education, and donations to organisations such as One Tree Planted.

Once again, information is power. Many people struggle to behave sustainably as consumers, simply because it can be unclear which is the green choice and - with hectic schedules, careers and family lives - the environment drops down the priority list amidst the chaos of modern living. Visa’s Eco Benefits scheme looks to address this with the education that will help consumers make informed and conscious choices with their money.

Paypal - Data Centres

Last summer, Paypal pledged to use 100 per cent renewable energy sources to power its data centres by 2023, as part of a wider goal to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Of course, we know very well the devastating contribution that energy-intensive data centres are making to climate change, with over 4% of global carbon emissions attributed to digital operations. At Greenpixie, our goal is to create software to measure this impact and offer businesses digitally sustainable solutions.

It is heartening to see a Fintech of PayPal’s stature recognising the hugely significant contribution digital operations makes to their annual carbon emissions. Utilising renewable energy sources to power their huge data centres is an important first step, but of course, we know the Fintech industry - and the rest of the world - have a long journey ahead to achieve digital sustainability.