Banks that turn green, yes, but at what cost? Commonwealth Bank, an Australian bank also known as CBA, that already refuses to allow its clients to support The Expose, has teamed up for the first time with CoGo, a startup that specializes in “carbon management solutions”, to create a feature that monitors the carbon footprint of its customers through their transactions.
As part of this partnership, a select group of customers can view their carbon footprint through their online banking apps. In addition, they can purchase carbon credits to offset excess emissions from previous months.
Customers can pay a fee to help offset their CO2 footprint within the app.
Customers get notified when their individual purchases exceed the “acceptable” carbon average. The customer would then get guilt-inducing messages on his phone, like “8 trees were cut down”.
Towards mandatory monitoring of carbon footprints?
By combining the bank’s extensive customer roster with CoGo’s industry-leading capabilities, we will soon be able to offer enhanced transparency to customers so they can take concrete steps in reducing their environmental footprint, ” CommBank Group Director Angus Sullivan said in a statement on October 5.
He also added: ‘Our data capability will provide greater personalisation for customers over time, including more granular information about their carbon footprint with the option to offset individual transactions.’
The bank calculates a customer’s carbon footprint based on the ‘transactions made on your CommBank credit or debit cards’.
It says the national average for carbon emitted in kilograms is 1,280 – while a sustainable figure is around 200.
This upcoming feature will be available to all bank customers next year. Initially presented as a personalized carbon footprint.
Commonwealth Bank says the data is private and not given to CoGo, and that eventually, the data will be so specific it can be broken down into individual transactions.
Despite a supposedly better understanding of carbon footprints and their compensation, there is still a fear that such programs will become mandatory. This will restrict individual purchases under the guise of combating global warming.
In the scientific journal Nature, four climate experts raised the idea of a disturbing program to better control individual consumer CO2 expenditures.
A kind of personal map on which the carbon footprint would be expressed in the form of quotas. These would decrease according to travel, heating and electricity costs and other domestic lifestyles.