Westpac to offer customers the ability to track carbon footprint
4 May 2023
Westpac has today announced it has begun rolling out a new capability where customers can track their estimated carbon footprint in the Westpac App and gain insights to help make more environmentally friendly choices.
The tool will provide customers with an estimate of their carbon emissions tracked from spending from their eligible accounts, based on aggregate industry categories such as home energy, car fuel or groceries. The Carbon Footprint Tracker technology has been developed in partnership with carbon management fintech, Cogo.
“Our research shows Australians are increasingly concerned about sustainability. However, there are knowledge gaps that prevent people from engaging in more sustainable behaviours,” said Westpac Consumer and Business Banking Chief Executive, Chris de Bruin.
“The Westpac Carbon Footprint Tracker will give customers high-level insights into the carbon footprint associated with everyday purchases, such as takeaway food, transport, and groceries.
“This new feature is another investment in our banking app where we are continuing to roll out practical and easy to use solutions to give customers more control over their spending decisions,” he said.
Westpac’s Carbon Footprint Tracker will enable customers to compare their estimated carbon footprint with Australian individual and household averages in similar categories.
The tool will also link to useful articles and resources with ideas from Cogo on how consumers might make better choices to live more sustainably.
Customers will see a comparison to their previous month’s overall estimated carbon footprint and their monthly average trend over time.
Westpac Chief Sustainability Officer, Siobhan Toohill, said Westpac recognises the impact that climate change has for businesses, customers and the community.
“At Westpac, we’re on a path to reduce our own direct footprint, and as part of the Net Zero Banking Alliance we’re also continuing our work to align our lending portfolios with net zero emissions by 2050,” said Ms Toohill.
“We also want to support our customers with insights to assist them on their own personal sustainability journey. The Carbon Footprint Tracker is a great conversation starter that encourages our customers to consider the carbon emissions from their eligible Westpac accounts.”
Over the coming weeks, the Carbon Footprint Tracker in the Westpac App will be supplemented by a range of resources on the Westpac website, including information on how an estimated carbon footprint is calculated, key insights and helpful information for customers to explore their individual estimated carbon footprint.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gases (including CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases) released into the atmosphere due to day-to-day human activities. It represents impacts on climate change from the indirect and direct emissions generated by your daily activity and decisions on the goods and services you consume and use. Knowing this impact can be a significant step to assist you in making decisions to live more sustainably.
How is it calculated in the App?
The Westpac App uses two pieces of data to calculate your estimated monthly carbon footprint: the transaction amount, and the transaction’s industry category which has an associated emissions factor calculated based on Australian industry average data. Each eligible transaction is multiplied by an 'emissions factor' (how much greenhouse gas that type of activity emits per dollar spent) to work out the estimated carbon footprint for that transaction. Our partner, Cogo, has provided these emission factors, mapped to their comprehensive database of industry categories (e.g., home energy, petrol, groceries, fashion, etc) for Australia. Your estimated carbon footprint is based on the total transaction amount, and not the individual items making up that purchase.
How can it be tracked?
Westpac consumers can see a snapshot of their estimated total carbon footprint for their eligible accounts in the Carbon Footprint Tracker in the Westpac App and can also review their footprint by category. They can track how their estimated footprint changes month to month and compare to Australian individual and household averages. The Carbon Footprint Tracker technology has been developed in partnership with Cogo.
Can it be managed?
The Carbon Footprint Tracker within the Westpac App will link to useful articles and resources with ideas from Cogo on how consumers might make better choices to live more sustainably.