We have great news: Bank.Green has been included in a sustainable finance awareness campaign by The Co-operative Bank. The UK bank is amplifying our core message: The money in your account is probably financing environmental destruction. We exist because awareness of this fact is woefully low, so to have this message and our work amplified by a well-known British bank is a major milestone.
The Co-operative Bank’s campaign lays out a clear proposition: “Do you know how your bank invests your money?” A supporting video that depicts Amazon logging, coal-fired power stations, and disintegrating icebergs is currently on British TV and TV catch-up services. Crucially, the video joins the dots between these calamities and our bank accounts by encouraging viewers to “join a bank that hasn’t financed fossil fuel production for over 20 years”. This fossil finance messaging is being broadcast to a huge audience until December.
As well as TV, the sustainable finance campaign will be broadcast via radio, podcasts, and social media commercials, digital influencers, and physical adverts in London and Manchester. With COP27 taking place in November, this fossil finance messaging should find a particularly receptive audience.
The bank was founded in 1872 and currently has 50 branches in the United Kingdom. In 1992, its Ethical Policy became the first by a UK bank to be led by its customers. Historically categorized as one of Britain’s foremost values-driven banks, The Co-operative Bank attained market-leading ESG risk ratings for its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies as recently as July.
This spring, while we were establishing the Fossil Free Banking Alliance (FFBA), the bank was facilitating a survey of 2,000 UK adults through the insight agency Opinium. Over 70% of those surveyed did not know where their bank invests its deposits. We’re not surprised – even if you want to know if your bank is investing in the fossil fuel industry, it’s usually difficult to find out. People need transparency, which is what the FFBA was established to provide. The Co-operative Bank provides it, too, by openly stating that it has not financed “the production or extraction of fossil fuels for over 20 years”.
In this age of climate crisis, it’s easy to be swept away on a tidal wave of terrible news. That’s why we’re taking the time to celebrate this milestone, which demonstrates that increasing numbers of people are open to these messages. Things are changing and every single person who has engaged with Bank.Green or helped to amplify our work has contributed. We see all of your efforts and we’re continually thankful.
The Co-operative Bank’s “The Bank You Can Hold To Account” campaign launched in September 2022 and will continue into 2023. Find out more about the campaign here. Bank.Green’s Fossil Free Banking Alliance launched in February with eight members, representing numerous countries. To date, FFBA membership has grown to 18 banks. Find out more about the FFBA here.
Bank.Green is run by volunteers and does not receive funding. Neither Bank.Green nor The Co-operative Bank paid or received money from the other to facilitate this collaboration.
Banks live and die on their reputations. Mass movements of money to fossil-free competitors puts those reputations at grave risk. By moving your money to a sustainable financial institution, you will:
Send a message to your bank that it must defund fossil fuels
Join a fast-growing movement of consumers standing up for their future
Take a critical climate action with profound effects