CBA app to provide personalised carbon footprints

In an Australian banking first, CBA has joined forces with fintech start-up CoGo to provide personalised carbon footprints for customers based on their spending data.

In the first phase of the partnership, a select group of retail customers will be allowed to view their carbon footprint via the CommBank app and offset their previous month’s transactions by purchasing carbon credits.

CBA says this new feature will be available to all retail customers next year and will enable them to see a breakdown of their emissions by month and category, and eventually at an individual transaction level.

As the relationship with CoGo deepens, CBA expects the app to expand to include select small business customers.

“By combining our rich customer data and CoGo’s industry-leading capability in measuring carbon outputs, we will be able to provide greater transparency for customers so that they can take actionable steps to reduce their environmental footprint,” says CBA group executive, Angus Sullivan.

“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.”

Carbon offsetting involves measuring how much carbon everyday activities, like driving your car, emit and then compensates your emissions through the benefits of green initiatives, such as Australian bushland regeneration.

Ben Gleisner, CEO and founder of CoGo, says: "Businesses and consumers are looking for greater transparency around their carbon footprint. As an impact-led fintech, CoGo aims to help banks harness the power of millions of customers worldwide to make a powerful collective difference.”

He believes the initiative will not only empower Australian businesses and consumers to understand their carbon footprint but also encourage them to take active steps towards doing something about that footprint as well.

A carbon footprint is used to measure a person’s impact created on the environment by calculating greenhouse gases emitted from their activities. Carbon tracking is when these emission values are stored and reported on over time, and provides customers with insights on how their lifestyle may impact the environment over time.

Carbon offsetting can be used to counteract your carbon footprint by purchasing the benefits of authorised Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). These units are issued by the Clean Energy Regulator for greenhouse gas abatement activities, and each ACCU represents one tonne of carbon dioxide. ACCUs are generated through environmental projects, such as the regeneration of Australian bushland, and are stored on the National Registry of Emission Units.

To help customers understand more about carbon offsetting, CBA has worked with CoGo to develop a series of educational articles that explain in more detail what a carbon footprint is, how carbon offsetting works, and some easy tips on reducing your carbon footprint. Customers can check these out on the CommBank Sustainability Hub.

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