How can you be better at environmentally friendly banking?

Learn how you can help save the planet with better banking habits.

11 April 2016: Australia has many wonderful things unique to itself, but one thing it has in common with the world is the concern for the environment. The global concern about the current state of the planet is one of the most consistent and biggest topics on earth. People are challenged daily by non-profits, communities and businesses alike to make environmentally friendly choices.

This awareness, however, is not limited to just the simple things in life like separating glass bottles from the rest of the rubbish. Environmental awareness is a huge opportunity for innovation in many businesses, and very importantly, banks.

How can you be more environmentally aware when going about your banking?

It is important that people adapt to the innovative solutions that banks offer and help companies to globally lessen the impact on the environment. Below are some basics tips on how you can be more environmentally aware when banking.

Try to use Internet banking as much as you can

For most of your current and future life, visiting the bank consistently is something of the past. Unless you are opening a new account, which some banks now also offer through an online application, just about every single thing you would need to use your bank account can be done online. This includes basic transactions, investing, trading, and business services.

And try to use mobile app banking

As with Internet banking, a banking app is a powerful platform to almost everything you would have usually done at a physical branch. Banking apps are an extension of what internet banking offers.

Switch to electronic statements if you haven’t already

If you are in the habit of meticulously working through your bank statements every one or three months, consider receiving them electronically. Paper might feel more natural now, but as you go on, you will start appreciating the accessibility and time-saving power behind electronic statements!

Ask whether your local branch is environmentally friendly

Many banks now promote using recycled materials within their branches. This includes marketing materials like brochures and posters.

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Which banks should you support?

Although there are no masses of clearly labelled "green" banks right now, it's still a good idea to make sure your banking solution offers, at least, the above-mentioned services. Some banks, like HSBC, have partnered with eco-friendly or non-profit initiatives that are working at creating greater awareness around environmental issues. Others, like Westpac, have focussed on decreasing its environmental impact from an operational, as well services, point of view.

Why do banks need to offer environmentally friendly banking options?

Banks play a vital role in how we interact with money and it results in banks storing vast amounts of data all around the world. This data can include:

  • Profiles of its customers that include all contracts and relevant paperwork.
  • Reports of important events and transactions.
  • Reports on important happenings and decisions that need to be made in the financial sector.

All of these datasets are in paper form and place immense weight on the ecosystems of the world.

The global demand for resources from the environment is not something that can be ignored. And this doesn't even touch on the vast impact of paper money all around the world. Fortunately, banks are aware of the issue and have made innovative steps in helping customers practice environmentally friendly banking habits.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is's publisher for banking and investments. She is currently studying a Masters in Commerce (Finance) and is the author of hundreds of articles. She is passionate about helping Aussies make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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