Sustainable Finance: 3 Green Initiatives in 2020

11-02-2020 | The Blog Series


Sustainable Finance, also known as Green finance, includes investment decisions that take into account environmental or social issues and result in sustainable practices.


This blog describes three of the most recent examples of green initiatives launched by financial institutions. These companies combine the provision of financial services with sustainability-oriented solutions.

1. MasterCard: Carbon Footprint Offset

In December 2019 MasterCard announced its partnership with Doconomy to battle climate change. The two companies introduced a monitoring service of the carbon footprint their customers have. Essentially, this sustainable practice provides consumers with the ability to be environmentally responsible by making them aware of the CO2 impact their purchases have.

Mark Barnett, divisional president for UK, Ireland, Nordic and Baltics for Mastercard, explained that “climate change is bigger than any company”

Doconomy is a FinTech company with a carbon tracking tool. It uses the cloud-based Åland Index Solutions to connect the environmental impact certain categories of transactions have. In addition, Doconomy received recognition as a partner of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Generally, Mastercard describes the company practices as sustainable and conscious about managing their climate impact by incorporating renewable energy and scientific targets. This green initiative aims at providing cardholders with the same opportunity. 

Finance, Green Initiative, Development, FinTech sustainability

2. bunq: Metal Green Cards

At the end of November last year Bunq introduced its new Green Card, intending to create a greener world. The company started the initiative to plant a tree for every €100 a consumer spends. The FinTech startup is partnering with Eden Reforestation Projects to support reforestation.

The limited edition of bunq cards comes with the motto “You spend. Forests grow. Everyone’s a winner.” Moreover, the card is made of metal instead of plastic. In addition, Green Card works with every bank, so consumers do not need to switch banks. They can simply keep their existing account. The Green Card’s annual cost is €99.

According to the latest updates from January 2020, in just two months of the project launch, the challenger bank has already managed to plant over 40,000 trees. In other words, consumers using those cards have reduced the global CO2 emissions with 12.3 million kilograms, equal to 13,000 flights between Paris and New York. 

3. ING

ING describes its green goal as not just decreasing their environmental footprint but also support and finance a social change towards sustainability. Therefore, they strive to stir environmental, economic, and social progress.

ING received the Green Bond Pioneer Award in 2019 as part of the Climate Bonds conference. This is one of the most famous finance sustainability events globally. The recognition is due to the fact that ING was the European bank with the biggest green bond transaction at all times.

In addition, The Dutch bank is a member of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative. UNEP FI consists of responsible banking outlines and ways how financial institutions can combine the provision of financial services with sustainable impact.

ING is 100% carbon neutral and further plans to use 100% of renewable electricity by 2020 for all the buildings it operates. In conclusion, ING sees sustainable finance as the fabric of every financial decision made.


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