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How your banking choice can save the environment


5 June 2020 at 4:05 pm
Samuel Philipos
To mark World Environment Day, Samuel Philipos from the Benevolence Financial Group explains five simple ways to ensure your money is being used for good and starts saving the planet.


Samuel Philipos | 5 June 2020 at 4:05 pm


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How your banking choice can save the environment
5 June 2020 at 4:05 pm

To mark World Environment Day, Samuel Philipos from the Benevolence Financial Group explains five simple ways to ensure your money is being used for good and starts saving the planet.

Let’s be honest, 2020 is cancelled, especially here in Australia. From bushfires to floods, and now coronavirus, what’s next? If you are fed up like me then you’re probably wondering “What can I do to ensure that tomorrow is certain?”.

If you care about the environment, you are probably doing what you can. Whether that is recycling or buying environmentally friendly products, or if you are serious, investing in companies that benefit our planet. Yet, have you thought about how your banking choices affect the health of our planet?

As you know, banks have money – a lot of it. Some of it is yours if you have money saved in a bank. The way banks continue to operate and generate profit is largely through loaning money to businesses and other customers. Some of the money loaned is yours. Banks also invest in various industries and businesses.

How does your banking choice affect our future?

Banks have enormous money and power, especially when it comes to determining who has access to money. They determine which ideas and businesses are empowered and supported.

Initially, the decision of whether to loan is based on the viability of the customer to pay back the loan. The bank generally makes the loan when they are confident. In more uncertain cases, they must make a decision. Ultimately your bank has control if they loan or invest in businesses that are committed to preserving and protecting our environment or destroying our environment by investing in fossil fuel industries.

How does your financial institution use its profits? In Australia, since 2008, banks have made $135 billion worth of loans to fossil fuel projects. As green energy and green products become popular, there is growing pressure for banks to invest more in environmentally-focused industries. Right now, as a customer, you can find out which banks invest in fossil fuels and which banks do not. You can also take the step to find out where your superannuation funds are going to.

We are living through a pandemic, and it’s time to consider where our money goes and what it is used for. 

Here are five practical ways to ensure your money is being used for good:

  1. Find out how much your bank is funding to fossil fuel industries through market forces.
  2. Voice your opinion to them directly on their public social media channels or raise a complaint directly with them through their website (complaints are taken seriously).
  3. Move your banking elsewhere to a bank that respects the planet.
  4. Keep up to date with what your bank is doing
  5. Encourage your colleagues, friends and family to take a stand.

As consumers and customers, we have the power to make sure our banks do the right thing for our planet and us. If this year hasn’t convinced you that it’s time to take a stand for our planet, what will?


Samuel Philipos  |  @ProBonoNews

Samuel Philipos is the founder of Benevolence Financial Group.

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