Financial institutions are simultaneously responsible for perpetuating many of the systems that maintain the status quo and poised to reinvent those systems in ways that governments simply are not. With that said, below are 3 ways financial institutions can make the world a better place.
Partner With Green Credit Card Companies
A green credit card is a standard credit card that the issuer creates and sells as an ecologically beneficial consumption instrument. A green credit card is distinguished by the fact that it minimizes or eliminates the environmental expenses associated with regular plastic cards, such as the cost of producing, transporting, using, and recycling plastic cards.
Importantly, issuers may also offer financial incentives to consumers seeking environmentally friendly consumption alternatives, such as decreased yearly fees and bonus reward points on particular purchases. Offering this sort of green credit card to consumers makes sense for a variety of reasons. These cards add value by safeguarding or reinforcing a financial institution’s reputation through low-risk transactions (low risk items merchants).
What’s more, if you use public transportation frequently – such as buses, trains, and subways – you can earn bonus points (transit rewards). Many of these cards also give bank clients a chance to donate money towards causes they care about through percentage giveaway programs and partnerships with groups like the World Wildlife Fund.
Socially Conscious Credit
The fundamental measure of an economy’s performance is not merely employment and income. A functioning and equitable economy provides an opportunity for all members to save for the future and acquire assets with long-term and possibly expanding worth, such as a home, a small company, or a well-funded retirement account.
Many Western countries, however, do not make credit readily or easily available to those who most need it. Asset poverty is a real thing and is responsible for much of the racial wealth gap seen in countries like the United States. Having no savings or assets means generational poverty as well, which continues the cycle of poverty and underperformance.
Hundreds of millions of people in developed countries–to say nothing of developing ones–do not have access to mainstream credit or low-interest small-dollar loans. Why? They have limited credit history, no credit score at all, are unbanked or underbanked, or have impaired credit.
Divesting From Harmful Industries
As more individuals and organizations take action to ensure that their money is not being used to finance projects and businesses that they have an ethical disagreement with, divestment has grown in importance as a worldwide movement.
Divestment is a significant step in severing ties with climate-wrecking fossil fuels and, as a result, lowering our collective carbon footprint. It is one of the most effective strategies to minimize a carbon footprint at the individual level, along with switching to a renewable energy source and reducing gas consumption.
The solution to the world’s many pressing social and environmental problems will not and cannot come from the governments and intergovernmental agencies alone. Global finance is what underpins our economy and without a response from major financial institutions, these problems will continue to remain intractable.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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