I’m only one person! I can’t change anything by myself. Whatever I do doesn’t matter. I’m not special. What makes you think that I can make some sort of difference in this huge world? These are the typical thoughts that run through an individual’s mind when they are told they can make an impact. They need to think again. If everyone believes they won’t change anything in this world alone, how are differences made?
Steve Jobs who died with an estimated net worth of 10.2 billion USD once told his Apple Macintosh design team to, “make a dent in the universe”. This quote resonates to this day. If one person initiates the first dent, a ripple effect begins and before you know it, 1,000 people are making dents. Just one person can motivate others to step outside of their comfort zone and make successful impacts.
The Green Banking Dent
Green banking is a topic that is talked about more and more every day. But what is it? Why is it important? What impact is it making in the world? Simply, green banking refers to how environmentally friendly a bank is and how committed it is to eco-friendly policies and improving the conditions of the overall environment.
Historically, banks have only been concerned about profitability and the security of a consumer’s investments. Although this is still extremely important, banks cannot afford to neglect the negative impact the industry has on the environment. Green banks do not have to worry about this because the environment is one of their main concerns. They make it their mission to improve the conditions of the environment as best as they can.
By reducing the amount of paper waste through virtual banking cards and electronic billing payments, there is no need to cut down trees for customers to fulfill necessary transactions and payments. With access to biodegradable materials, plastic materials that may end up in the sea one day no longer need to be used to manufacture a physical banking card.
The Evidence Should Not Be Ignored
According to a poll by Nielson Incorporated where 30,000 consumers were surveyed in over 60 countries, 66% of consumers worldwide are willing to pay more money for goods that are sustainable. By sustainable, we are referring to the goods manufactured in a way that avoids damaging natural resources to maintain a healthy and eco-friendly environment.
Of this percentage, 73% of millennials surveyed stated that sustainability is one of the reasons they do or don’t purchase a product. So, if all of the consumers are willing to pay more for products that are sustainable, why wouldn’t they look into services that are green as well?
Not only are sustainable companies doing what is best for the environment, but there is a positive correlation between sustainability and profitability. This could be due to the fact that organizations no longer need to pay for the energy usage they are cutting down on or the plastic straws that are no longer produced, or because consumers are swayed by the initiatives so give them business over non-eco-friendly companies.
According to a survey conducted by FICO, millennials are 3 times more likely to switch banks than any other age group based on sustainability. By the end of 2017, millennials had more buying power than any other demographic so banks should not disregard their opinion if they want to attract and convert them to be loyal customers.
In The End
There are a few simple steps that customers can take to slowly transform into green banking users. By simply signing up for direct deposit of a paycheck, where the monetary value of the paycheck is automatically placed into the customer’s account without any mailing necessary, we can begin to cut down on paper waste, which contributes to more than 40% of the worlds trash. Utilizing the online features of the bank and setting up an account to electronically pay monthly bills is not only a user-friendly way to bank, but an eco-friendly one as well.
However, if consumers remain with banks that do not care about these ethical concerns, the goals of the green banks will be too easily dismissed and overlooked. Most of these green banks are relatively new to the finance industry and need customer support to grow. It is up to the consumer to make the logical decision to invest money in green banks and take advantage of all of their ethical practices.
The concept of green banking will benefit our environment in the future and the sooner we begin to adapt to its practices, the sooner the environment will begin to improve. By taking part in green banking, you can make the difference in the future of banking, the economy, and the environment.
By Tess Korinko
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