A small Nordic bank with a big impact on climate change

Updated: Jun 21, 2019

By Danielle Pamela Neben, Editor of NFI and Marketing Director at ePassi in Iceland

Would you believe that a 700-employee bank in the Nordics has come out with a world leading innovative product to help reduce carbon footprint? And that this solution is open to any bank? I was truly inspired by the presentation given by Anne Maria Salonius, Director of the Finnish Mainland Business Area, Ålandsbanken in Helsinki on 28 May 2019.

Ålandsbanken and the Baltic Sea Card

Ålandsbanken is a small Finnish bank servicing 100.000 private and personal banking customers. Their vision is that we should all fit one one planet, with enough resources for the future.

The world´s first credit card measuring carbon footprint

In July 2016, they issued the world´s first credit card that counts the carbon footprint of transactions. This solution arose from their concerns that the Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted seas, and came up with this idea after getting feedback from employees and customers. This card is also a new type of biologically degradable credit card and can be easily recycled.

What gets measured gets managed

There exists many tools on the internet to measure carbon footprint. But this takes personal effort and interest. Ålandsbanken wanted everyone to have this possibility and to change consumer behaviour. They have mapped out 4.000 companies and impact from each industry with an index. People can see the impact they have on carbon footprint in their credit card statement.

And with this, consumers will be empowered to make better-informed decisions, with the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint and change behaviour.

Open to any bank

All other banks are invited to join and use the Åland Index through its cooperation with MasterCard. This is an excellent example of where innovation in banking crosses over with sustainability.

For more information and how to get your bank started, go to http://www.balticseaproject.org/en/