Your bank account is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to literally vote with your wallet.
Many banks invest heavily into fossil fuels. Banktrack found that between the Canadian, Chinese, European, Japanese and U.S. banks, $1.9 trillion has been used to finance fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016) to 2018.
In Europe, Barclays is one of the worst offenders, landing itself in sixth place on the league table of global banks financing fossil fuels, with a huge total of $85.179 billion invested between 2016 and 2018.
Whilst the amount in your bank account might feel insignificant in comparison to the billions being invested by these banks, our money fuels the companies and therefore their investments.
So, this September we’re calling on you to put your money where your mouth is!
First, we encourage you to look into the sustainability of your bank. Then, depending on how ethical your bank is, consider switching to one of these:
Established in 1980, Triodos‘ mission is to help create a society that protects and promotes quality of life and human dignity for all.They only finance companies that focus on people, the environment or culture.
Beyond their assurance of only financing businesses and charities that make a difference, you can see every company they lend money to through their ‘Know where your money goes’ section.
In 2019 it became registered as a UK bank, meaning your savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation scheme.
Ecology Building Society
Ecology is the UK’s only dedicated green mortgage provider. Meaning they loan money to properties and projects that respect the environment and support sustainable communities.
Established in 1981 by a group of pioneering founder members who wanted to start a building society to help finance environmental building renovations and support sustainable development. Since then, they have expanded the reach of their lending but remain committed to their principles.
Your can explore their customer projects here.
The Co-Operative Bank
The Co-Op is one of the few high-street banks to champion sustainability. They have an ethical policy, backed up through annual reports.
Supporting local communities and paying living wage, the bank is beyond carbon neutral and sends zero waste to landfill.
The bank states its support for renewable energy organisations and has a commitment to not provide banking services to the dirty energy industry. The only drawback is that it is now partly owned by hedge funds and as no control over what these companies invest in.