The fintechs leading the green finance revolution

By Aisling Finn on Monday 19 April 2021

FeaturesAlternative LendingDigital BankingSavings and Investment

Fintech but make it eco-friendly.

The fintechs leading the green finance revolution
Image source: Nik on Unsplash.

Green finance has long been becoming more and more popular as the race to save our planet is increasingly important.

For years now we’ve heard about how we all need to do our bit to slow the rapid pace of global warming and it seems like the message has taken a hold of the fintech world.

There’s a growing trend among firms in the sector to operate in a more eco-conscious manner, from planting trees to offering fossil-fuel-free investment options, the fintech world seems to do it all.

To help you navigate the tricky world of green finance, we have compiled a list of fintechs doing their bit to help the environment, from stalwarts of the fintech world to fresh, new fintech firms hoping to make a dent.

So, here is a (non-exhaustive) list of fintechs leading the way to green finance.

Bunq

Dutch challenger bank Bunq has long been at the front of the pack when it comes to green finance.

The digital bank is responsible for having planted 2.8m trees on behalf of its customers through its partnership with the Eden Reforestation Project.

As part of its green crusade, Bunq has a series of eco-friendly subscription plans that its users can sign up for.

Most recently it added new features to its Easy Green plan, which helps users become CO2 free in two years. As part of the subscription, users can also select their ‘Bestie’ in the latest update and plant a tree for every €100 spent on their Bunq cards, also helping them to be carbon neutral in two years.

Moneybox

Savings and investment app Moneybox is another fintech helping its customers to go green.

The fintech gives its customers the option to create a more environmentally-friendly portfolio.

This time last year, Moneybox finally launched its pension after over a year of teasing its launch and rolled out a Socially Responsible pension that created a fossil-fuel-free portfolio for its eco-conscious users.

Oxbury

Already with a reputation for eco-friendly banking, Oxbury bank recently took it one step further, launching a Forest Saver savings account.

The agricultural bank for farmers is offering its customers an FSCS-protected savings account with 0.7 per cent interest.

All the interest generated by the new savings accounts will be dedicated to funding tree-planting projects and the bank has partnered with Forest Carbon, with the first tree-planting will take place in the Scottish borders imminently.

PensionBee

Another fintech some might not immediately think of when listing the top green fintech, but PensionBee has a keen focus on the environment. 

The digital pension provider announced back in November 2020 that is was looking for a £100m commitment from its customers to launch a fossil-fuel-free pension, only to reach the target just 34 days after the announcement.

PensionBee’s eco-friendly pension pot will exclude companies with oil, gas and coal reserves from their investments as it looks to support its environmentally-conscious users.

Starling Bank

One of the most popular digital banks in the UK, Starling Bank, also recently made the foray into green finance.

The digital bank has long used recycled card when sending out its debit cards but has made the transition to using recycled plastic in its debit cards now too.

Starling Bank’s debit cards will now be made of 75 per cent recycled plastic that has been sourced from EU industrial waste from the printing and packaging industries, with the remaining 25 per cent of the card made up of unavoidable non-recyclable elements, such as the card’s chip and magnetic strip. 

In October 2020, Starling also revealed that it would plant a tree for every successful customer referral as it began to turn its focus to more environmentally friendly practices.

Sugi

Sugi is a fintech whose sole purpose is to make users more aware of how environmentally friendly their investment portfolios are.

The Moneyhub-powered portfolio checker allows retail investors to check the carbon impact of their investments and compare investments with industry benchmarks to help them build a greener portfolio.

Just last month the fintech also launched a new tool that allows users to check if their portfolios are aligned with the 2°C Paris Agreement target.

Tred

Another new green fintech on the block, Tred is hoping to change the way we think about our carbon footprints. 

The fintech is in the midst of a heavily oversubscribed crowdfunding campaign and has been hailed as a ‘Green Monzo’.

Tred tracks your carbon footprint, helps you reduce your impact on the environment and gives you a simple way to offset the rest.

Similar to the Bunq premium green subscription plan, every time you spend using your Tred card you help plant a tree, with all profits going towards reforestation projects based here in the UK. 

Triodos Bank

The sustainable bank has long been at the centre of the world of green finance, with its founding mission statement, from all the way back in 1980, promoting sustainability before others jumped on the bandwagon.

Recent research from Triodos found that more people than ever are focused on protecting the environment.

According to the data, 60 per cent of people in the UK think that 2021 will be a “pivotal year for building a greener future,” largely thanks to the election of President-elect Joe Biden and his promise to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord.

In another survey from the eco-conscious bank, it found that transparency and ethical options are among the key demands from the next generation of UK savers and investors.

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