“Earth, air, land and water are not inherited from our ancestors, but borrowed from our children. Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas about how we should treat the earth are noble and inspiring, but they should also make us question our current behavior.

In the business world, the financial sector is one of the worst offenders, funding more than 700 times its own emissions, according to CDG research. Banks, lenders and other financial institutions need to shut up and pay attention.

Technology is our sustainability superpower

Undoing the damage is a daunting task, but the time has come for the financial services industry to stand up and be counted, setting an example for other industries to follow. Technology can play a big role in changing behavior for the better. Here are four ways technology can help financial institutions become more sustainable.

1. Enable net zero transition

At the top level, financial services firms need to find ways to use technology to move to a net-zero state. DBS Bank has changed the very nature of the cards it offers its customers, launching Asia’s first bio-based credit card, taking action to reduce its carbon footprint by 42 tons and industrial waste by 19 tons. I was.

DBS provided a very concrete example, but achieving a net-zero future requires more than just delivering sustainable products. Banks need to be able to track a wider range of carbon emissions, and technology will play a key role in this transition. Data from digital sensors and networks can be used to create and test digital twins of real-world systems, and even manage them in real time for energy efficiency and smart resource utilization.

2. Building a sustainable value chain

Technology can completely transform the entire value chain, making it more realistic to reach sustainability goals. For example, combining machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain capabilities with digital identity systems can ease the burden of risk management. This convergence of technologies means that a risk manager can identify any issues faster and act more quickly, so the organization is less exposed to his ESG-related risks.

3. ESG performance measurement and reporting

Consumers are increasingly moving to sustainable services and products. The growing popularity of apps such as Buycott and DoneGood that help users find sustainably run brands reflects this trend.

This means that measuring and reporting ESG performance is now a high priority. Technology provides the tools, capabilities and methodologies to effectively measure the business value of every stakeholder and his ESG impact and help financial institutions build sustainability into everything they do. increase.

Four. Sustainable customer decisions and experiences

With deep insights and digital tools, making actions, decisions and experiences more sustainable can become more real. For example, by migrating from 14 digital systems to one, Hoist Finance streamlined decision-making and significantly reduced its carbon footprint. This has resulted in much clearer insights and an enhanced experience, with almost a third of debt settlement cases in the UK resolved entirely digitally.

Tailored services from our technology partners help financial institutions meet consumers on their sustainability journey and redefine their perception of their organization’s sustainability efforts. Data-driven insights, intuitive and integrated platforms, and AI-enabled cognitive virtual assistance enable banks to significantly impact customer decisions and experiences.

come to the rescue

It is clear that technology holds the key to unlocking a more sustainable future in finance. From banks to wealth managers, the financial sector has financed some of the world’s largest emitters in the past, but there are already signs that things are changing.

By really leading the way in sustainability efforts, the financial sector can play the hero role and set an example for other industries to offset their own carbon footprint. By showing that they have listened to people’s demands for sustainability, this not only allows financial institutions to enjoy increased customer satisfaction, but also helps to leave a healthy world for future generations. .


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