To mark Zero Emissions Day, NatWest has launched a package of new initiatives to encourage customers to take control of their carbon emissions. NatWest customers can now sign up to participate in a pilot scheme with fintech CoGo, which will give them access to a real-time carbon footprint tracker based on their spending habits.
As soon as a customer connects their bank account to the app, CoGo will automatically calculate their real-time carbon footprint based on their transactions, and this will update with every spend, showing them their climate impact from morning coffee to lights out. CoGo also provides actions for users to lower their carbon footprint from lowering meat intake to nudging users towards switching to renewable energy. Also, each month, CoGo provides users with the ability to offset their impact too.
NatWest hope that, through the CoGo partnership, it will be easier for customers to make informed choices about how their spending is linked to carbon emissions. Georgina Bulkeley, Personal Banking Chief Operating Officer at NatWest commented: “At NatWest, we know our customers are as passionate about climate change as we are – but it’s really hard to change what you can’t measure. We are pleased to be working with CoGo to ensure that our customers have access to the best tools so that they can make informed decisions about their spending and the impact that has on the environment. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, but for us as a bank it’s important that we are providing support in the short-term as well as investing in tools and education that address longer-term issues and ambitions.”
The bank has unveiled plans to offer a £100 ‘thank you’ payment to customers who participate in the Government’s Green Homes Grant scheme and take out a personal loan with NatWest. The payment will help towards the cost of installing or upgrading climate-friendly home improvements, such as energy efficient boilers, insulation or installing solar panels. To get the £100 thank you payment, customers simply need to produce their green home grant voucher. This package of measures has been driven by research that found 70% of NatWest customers are concerned about climate change, but don’t know what steps to take to reduce their climate impact.
Emma Kisby, Managing Director of CoGo commented: “I am thrilled to be working with NatWest – a trusted partner who shares our passion for finding a solution to the biggest challenge facing our generation, climate change. At CoGo, our mission is to empower consumers to understand the impact of their everyday spend on people and planet. This exciting new partnership will deliver real-time personalised carbon footprints to NatWest customers and nudge them towards actions and suggested businesses to help drive to a sustainable lifestyle.”
Building on its 25-year commitment to financial education in the UK, MoneySense – NatWest’s award-winning financial education programme – has launched a new workshop for schools addressing climate change. Aimed at 8-12 year-olds ‘Save our pennies, save our planet’ explores the topic from a money-saving angle, with pupils tasked to think about everyday activities that use a lot of energy, the role they play in climate change and how to reduce energy costs for a household. In May this year NatWest launched Island Saver, a free to download and play game for PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam.
Recent research suggests a third (32%) of parents say computer and phone games influence their children’s ideas of money and how to spend it. Island Saver has since been downloaded more than 1.7m times and is being released for mobile devices (Apple/Android) this month. NatWest customers also have access to educational support and advice on reducing their carbon footprint via NatWest’s Sustainable Banking Hub.
When NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose announced the bank’s new purpose and strategy in February this year, she announced an ambition to address the climate challenge, with the goal of making NatWest’s own operations net carbon zero in 2020 and climate positive by 2025. Last month, NatWest Group become the first major UK bank to sign up to the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials.