Ben Stuart is head of growth and transformation and the chief marketing officer at Bank of the West, where he oversees corporate social responsibility, customer experience, and digital channels.
Earlier this month at COP26, former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney introduced the U.N.’s Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, or Gfanz. Some 450 banks from 45 countries have pledged to report the annual carbon emissions of the projects they fund and have committed to net zero carbon emissions of those projects by 2050.
This is progress, but that goal is too far in an uncertain future. The transition away from fossil fuels to green energy must happen — and it must happen quickly. When it comes to the future of our planet, banks cannot continue to play both sides of the climate emergency.
Banks have been trying to look like they’re taking climate action for some time, for instance installing solar panels on branch locations. But financial institutions cannot tout sustainability efforts while quietly financing dirty energy. This may make them a few bucks in the near term (no, a lot of bucks), but it pushes all of us closer to... Read more