Tomorrow offsets its CO2 footprint with new “Zero” current account
A few days ago, the mobile banking provider Tomorrow introduced the first current account that offsets the CO2 footprint of users* and thus breaks new ground in climate protection. This is a novelty in the field of sustainable banks and current accounts. They call it “Tomorrow Zero'”. In order to create this balance and offset the CO2 footprint of an average German, the company invests in selected climate protection projects in developing countries.
According to the company, each new account opening of the new “zero” product should avoid 11.3 tons of CO2 per year. Not bad, if you have such a figure in mind and all that for a measly 15 euros a month.
Tomorrow is working with ClimatePartner to select the climate protection projects for Zero. Specifically, three projects are involved. In Peru, the rainforest is protected by supporting small farmers*. Biogas plants are being installed in Vietnam.
In Uganda, boreholes are being drilled to give people access to clean drinking water – and thus make the climate-damaging boiling of water over an open fire unnecessary. All projects benefit not only the climate but also the local people.
We asked Lilli Staack from Tomorrow why the company is consistently going one step further with the introduction of this account, why climate protection has or should have such a major impact in our industry and how they intend to convince their existing and new customers of this?
Why should I open a CO2-neutral account, which can do less and is more expensive? Speaking into the bag, could the customer donate the extra amount and open a larger account?
Of course, a customer can donate monthly for climate protection and use another account. If someone is inspired by us to do so, we are very happy. The subscription principle relieves customers of the regular discussion of this topic and ensures that money actually flows into climate protection every month.
In addition to the fact that the money only finances positive projects and not, as conventional providers do, destructive industries, Tomorrow Zero naturally offers other advantages: Users* can withdraw at home and abroad as often as they like and do not have to worry about foreign charges or the choice of the machine. And they can create as many sub-accounts as they wish. In this respect, the account can very well do what others can do. And even much more than classic accounts. We are already working on a lot more exciting features, which will of course extend the functionality of Tomorrow Accounts.
Who is the new account for compared to existing Tomorrow offers?
Tomorrow is for all those who care about the footprint of their money. Because we donate the amount of the interchange fee of all Tomorrow transactions and invest the deposits in 100% sustainable and tested projects. Tomorrow Zero is the account for all ambitious climate protectors*. By offsetting the C02 footprint compared to the basic account, we are adding one more and increasing the impact of the community.
Evil spoken one could call the new account an indulgence trade. I continue to do business as usual and donate a little money for my good conscience. How do you respond to this argument?
The very best thing is to reduce your own footprint, for example by avoiding air and car travel. But sometimes this is simply not possible. Offsetting emissions is then the second best solution. It leads them to save CO2 elsewhere. The Federal Environment Agency therefore also recommends a triad of avoidance, reduction and compensation. In the future, Tomorrow Zero should also help you to reduce your CO2 emissions; we are working on a corresponding feature.
Scientists at the Universities of Kassel and Hamburg have disproved the fear that compensation could lead to the emergence of an indulgence trade mentality, which is misused as a justification for more climate-damaging consumption. People who have already compensated for CO2 emissions tend to adopt climate-friendly consumer behaviour in other areas as well. “Compensation payments effectively contribute to climate protection,” says Andreas Ziegler from the University of Kassel. “The frequently expressed reservation that this is an indulgence trade to justify additional CO2 emissions is not true.
Why should sustainability also become increasingly important in the financial industry and why should climate protection have such a major impact in our industry as well?
A short and simple answer: Because climate change and its consequences do not threaten individual people, parties or industries, but ALL. And that is why (in our opinion) everyone is called upon to make a contribution to change and to create offers in the respective area that make it easy for people to participate. In the past, the financial sector has simply not lived up to its responsibility. The sums of money that are moved in the financial sector could make a huge contribution to positive change, if the respective companies wanted to.
“In the past, the financial industry has failed to live up to its responsibilities. The sums being moved in the financial sector could make a huge contribution to positive change.”
To what extent must innovation and climate protection go hand in hand?
As far as we are concerned, no innovation topic should really be thought of without the climate dimension. Not every sector can make a huge contribution right away, but if our environment and the planet are consistently taken into account, the (financial) economy can help us to meet the challenges of our time.
Innovation is also an instrument for reducing thresholds and enabling people to protect the climate who would otherwise not be involved in it. Only in this way can a broader, larger target group be reached and ultimately a noticeable impact achieved.
Can the financial industry, which is climate-intensive, really become CO2-neutral? What is your assessment?
Yes, it can definitely reduce significantly. And we think she should. Firstly, of course, by no longer supporting climate-damaging projects and industries. The leverage of the financial sector is huge at this point and can indirectly contribute enormously to a more climate-friendly economy. And on the other hand, by each individual organisation first of all reducing emissions significantly and compensating for the remaining emissions.
The interview partner
Lilli Staack is part of the team of Tomorrow, the first consistently mobile and sustainable banking provider of the present age. Since 2018 it has been helping to shape all the forms and colours of Fintech’s communication. Before that she studied communication and management in Kiel and Leipzig.