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.