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App feature to help Westpac customers track carbon footprint

07:00am May 04 2023

Westpac is rolling out a new feature on its banking app which will allow customers to estimate their carbon footprint. 

Westpac customers will soon be able to track their carbon footprint, with new functionality on the banking app that enables those with eligible accounts to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their spending.  

Carbon Footprint Tracker technology, developed in partnership with carbon management fintech Cogo, estimates emissions from a customer’s transactions based on an “emissions factor” calculated by Cogo, using average data from the industry associated with each transaction. Industry categories include home energy, car fuel, and groceries. 

Australians are increasingly concerned about sustainability but can struggle to find the resources to help them make more sustainable choices. 

“Our customers have been telling us that they sometimes feel like passengers on this journey, and they don’t actually know what their carbon footprint is. So we’re excited to be able to show them that data, to invoke their curiosity, and start a broad two-way dialogue,” Jason Hair, Westpac’s chief digital officer, said in a Wire interview.

Customers will be able to compare their estimated carbon footprint with Australian individual and household averages across categories, as well as tracking their own progress with month-to-month comparisons and a monthly average trend. 

The Carbon Footprint Tracker adds to a growing suite of features available on the Westpac app that aim to give customers more control over their finances and insights into their spending. 

In September, the bank unveiled personal finance management tools, including the ability to track and categorise expenses, budgeting tools to monitor monthly income and outgoings, and personalised insights to help customers make better financial decisions. 

“Our research shows Australians are increasingly concerned about sustainability, however there are knowledge gaps that prevent people from engaging in more sustainable behaviours,” said Chris de Bruin, Westpac Consumer and Business Banking Chief Executive. 

To address that, the bank also plans to roll out in coming weeks a sustainable living hub to go alongside the Carbon Footprint Tracker. Powered by articles, resources and insights from Cogo, the hub will help inform customers on how they could live a more sustainable life. 

Westpac is on its own journey to lower its environmental impact, Hair said, with the bank last year signing up to the Net Zero Banking Alliance, and continues to work on reducing its operational and financed emissions and align its lending portfolio to net zero emissions by 2050.  

You can find more information on Westpac’s sustainability strategy on the bank's website

James Thornhill was appointed as editor of Westpac Wire in May 2022. Prior to joining the bank, he was a business and financial journalist with more than two decades of experience with international newswires. Most recently, he was a resources correspondent for Bloomberg, covering the mining and energy sectors, and previously reported on a broad range of topics from economics and politics to currency and bond markets. Originally from the UK, he’s had stints working in London, New York and Singapore, but is now happily settled in Sydney.

Thomas Evans joined Westpac Wire in 2022 as a Video Producer. With experience across varied media forms, he strives to tell powerful and engaging stories in all the work he produces. Hailing from Sydney, he began his career in Marketing before shifting into multimedia.

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