Unbeknown to many, financial institutions actually have a crucial role to play in protecting the environment and decarbonizing economies to achieve the goal of zero net emissions by 2050, in line with the main goal of the UN-sponsored Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). Importantly, the alliance clearly recognizes the vital role that banks play in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net-zero emissions.
The lowdown on sustainable green banking
Green banking, also known as ethical banking, is environmentally-friendly banking that encourages customers to reduce their carbon footprint via their banking activities. Traditional banks have been known to use significant amounts of paper to deal with daily customer requests, be that the opening of a new account, the processing of a loan request or an updated statement. Offering an alternative way of carrying out transactions, green banking prioritises sustainable services and actions that guarantee a brighter future. As such, financial institutions use technology to reduce negative impacts on the planet.
As emphasised in an insightful White Paper by Tata Consultancy Services on ‘Going Paperless’, a recent Bank of America study has highlighted that the transition to online statements will reduce about 37,000 metric tons of GHG emissions and 136 million gallons of blue water consumption. Going paperless clearly has a vast range of benefits, as financial institutions and banks help reduce environmental waste and damage to the environment. That’s not to forget increased productivity, lower operational costs, and an enhanced digital-first experience for the customer.
Sepaga: all eyes on a greener future
Working towards a greener future, Sepaga (an Electronic Money Institution licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus) is already implementing various ‘go-green’ initiatives in line with its dedication to innovation and socially responsible banking. With the company’s main philosophy focusing on online banking and electronic money, it is actively helping to reduce carbon footprint by minimising the movement of clients to and from bank branches, eliminating the need to sign papers or contracts. Meetings have now largely shifted online, and all documents and client data are efficiently stored in the cloud, reducing the need for printing, and lowering the consumption of energy in the modern Sepaga offices via the use of local servers.
This also ties in with the company’s paperless policy, always prioritizing the use of electronic documents. Any limited paper that is used for any reason is always recycled along with all plastic used in the offices. Importantly, Sepaga has also implemented the EMAS certification; the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme which helps companies evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance.
In this fast-evolving digital era, time consuming paper-based processes that place a further burden on our planet are slowly becoming a thing of the past. The shift to online banking – and the use of the internet for a whole range of convenient financial solutions – now means that managing funds, making global payments, converting currency and much more, can all be conducted electronically in a far more ethical, convenient and secure manner.
The shift to electronic money and paperless online banking means that sustainability and sustainable finance is now taking centre stage. To be a part of the change, contact the Sepaga team for more info on how we can help you and your business today.