Are we making the right assessment of sustainability?

Today, sustainability and environmental protection is not just the concern of a minority. It affects all aspects of society and has most citizens on edge. However, it is true that ideas relating to caring for the planet have evolved over time and are being incorporated into all areas of society.

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This trend affects individuals, institutions and private companies, which see how their activity is perceived as more positive as they become carbon neutral or take specific actions to increase their social responsibility. More than a trend, in the case of entities supervised by the CNMV, it is a requirement.

And what better than today, May 22 the United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity, to celebrate and analyze the shift of entities towards offering more and more sustainable products?

Maximo Sanchez - Sustainability

Máximo Sánchez

CEO and Founder of AirCO2

The effect of sustainable actions in the financial sector

Banks need to start offering real solutions that address the new needs that are emerging in this area. To do this, it is important to focus on two concepts. First, they need to help users estimate the carbon footprint generated by their consumption habits. Second, they need to offer means to offset this impact on the planet.

The way to achieve this is to offer sustainable products, incorporate green initiatives into their digital banking and accelerate the transition to sustainability. Consumers increasingly value companies taking global warming mitigation measures into account when creating new services. It is good for the annual accounts and for the image of the company.

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Banking industry plans to achieve the Net-Zero commitment

Many entities have plans to reduce emissions in order to reach a carbon-neutral economy by the 2050 commitment. However, in the short term, not all can be eliminated. Every bank produces greenhouse gas emissions associated with heating and electricity use, employee transportation, or those associated with the products and services they offer.

After consulting various sources, we have compiled a number of estimates that show us the importance of sustainability orientation. These are the data obtained:

  • 85% of the entities surveyed believe that helping users with the calculation of their carbon footprint will improve the customer-bank relationship.

  • 89% believe that green financial products will be a category that will show strong growth in the near future.

  • 87% are convinced that it will boost customer loyalty.

  • 82% say that offsetting their clients’ carbon emissions is a priority for their bank.

The search for proximity allies, the best decision for entities

To contribute to all these aspects, at AirCO₂ we indicate the four key points that institutions should take into account. The objective is to differentiate themselves from the competition by positioning themselves as a sustainability-oriented bank. Of course, it is necessary to make a real effort and translate it into a series of tangible actions.

Key points to become a sustainable bank:

Analyze the number of calculated scopes

To calculate the carbon footprint it is necessary to consider three types of scope. Scope 1 is calculated by analyzing the expenditure coming from the gasoline used by the fleet of vehicles and its associated consumptions. Scope 2 takes into account electricity consumption and scope 3 estimates the impact of shipments and transportation costs that cannot be attributed to the entity itself (logistics).

Circular economy

The basis of our project is local offsetting, i.e. offsetting where pollution is occurring. Until now, many of the offers for this type of action consisted of planting or managing forests in geographically distant places, such as the Amazon or Nicaragua. AirCO₂, on the other hand, applies more logical and efficient criteria to prioritize local and zero-kilometer projects.

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Project type

There are two types to choose from: reforestation of land that has been burned or maintenance and conservation of forestry. As a company, we promote and value forestry much more, since this way we take advantage of the existing forest mass and make the most of it. Another benefit of this option is that it contributes to fire prevention.

Local forestry

The fact of choosing forest masses of Galician forests allows us to opt for governmental aids that offer a small amount of financing with which to conserve and take care of the forests. This is a guarantee for future generations, who see how the natural resources of their area are preserved. It is also a very interesting investment option.

Enriching financial data with sustainability metrics.

Offsetting the footprint of individuals and companies translates into benefits for the bank

The four points mentioned above are the most relevant within the AirCO₂ business model. The compensation, rewards or incentives provided by the banks should vary in relation to the level of good practices of each company or individual user. The most favored will be those that show the greatest orientation towards sustainability.

We would like to conclude by pointing out some of the benefits that banks implementing these measures are obtaining:

  • Improvement of brand image.

  • Fulfillment of CSR commitments.

  • Increased satisfaction with digital banking UX.

  • Increased sales of green products.

By positioning itself as a socially responsible entity, it reaches more companies, as they are currently more susceptible to acquiring sustainable financial products.

Companies and organizations must question their impact on society and their environment. Innovation is not only about achieving economic-financial KPIs but also a positive return based on the terms understood by ESG. And this is precisely the engine that drove AirCO2 to be born and develop, to become a point of reference and support for the private and public sector.

Máximo Sánchez – CEO and Founder of AirCO2

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