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ESG And Green Banking: The Best Apps & Banks That Help The Planet

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ESG And Green Banking: The Best Apps & Banks That Help The Planet

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Where you choose to keep your money and how you spend it can impact the environment more than you think.

These ESG and green banking apps and banks in the UK help you invest, save and spend more sustainably.

Tenielle Jordison

Thu 31 Mar 2022

Finance is not everyone’s favourite topic, and it’s one many of us avoid thinking about for too long.

But making careful choices about your money can benefit more than just your personal finances. It can actually go further to help the planet and society.

Earth Hour 2022 is all about investing in the planet, but finding out how to do this properly takes some research.

Luckily pebble's experts have a list of ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment apps and green banking options to get you started.

Piles of coins with green shoots on them

Make your money help the planet and reap the rewards with ethical finance

What is sustainable investment?

Sustainable investment is exactly what it says. It’s putting your money where it will contribute to sustainable causes via ESG investments or your mainstream pensions and savings accounts being invested for the planet on your behalf.

Choose banks that work closely with investing in organisations making good social and environmental change. And also importantly, choose banks, pensions, investments and savings that do not invest in climate negative industries like fracking and oil.

It doesn’t always have to cost you extra either because it is often built into the infrastructure of sustainable banks and your financial activities automatically contribute towards the causes you care about.

Many sustainable investment firms, ethical finance companies and green money apps sometimes offer schemes that allow you to customise the amount of money you invest in each cause.

Solar panels in a field with blue sky behind
“Sustainable banking offers the ability to offset carbon emissions and track and change your carbon footprint”

What are the benefits of green banking?

There are a whole host of benefits that come with green banking.

For example, card transactions carry a small carbon footprint because it sends a digital sequence of economic activity that releases carbon emissions.

Green banking offers the ability to offset carbon emissions, track and change your carbon footprint, and invest in the companies that are working hard to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Ethical finance can also be beneficial when the investment firms are directly working with organisations that are creating tangible change, whether social or environmental.

Different ethical finance companies act differently to create positive change, but there’s no denying the overall importance of their work towards a greener future.

woman pointing to a debit card

ESG And Green Banking: The Best Apps & Banks That Help The Planet

1. Novus

The UK's first B Corp certified neobank.

Every purchase made through Novus contributes towards causes fighting climate change and social inequality at no extra cost for you. You can choose between a virtual or biodegradable debit card and the app has an in built carbon calculator and easy carbon offsetting programme to offset your daily carbon emissions.

Novus has created an app to connect social and environmental causes to users’ daily spending, you collect impact coins for making your everyday purchases, which channel a portion of Novus' profits into ten different environmental and social causes such as donating clean water, saving endangered sea turtles, planting trees, offsetting carbon emissions, funding solar light or donating period packs.

You can also choose to boost your impact to further help the issues that are really important to you.

The app is now available to download for free for Android or iOs.

Two people holding a bowl of toamtoes

Help people in need of food with Novus

2. Tulipshare

Invest in corporate company stocks with Tulipshare and join forces with other like-minded investors to bring about systematic change.

This activist investment site allows for ethical investors to gain shareholder rights in companies causing environmental harm so that change can be brought about.

Choose a campaign on the website and invest with as little as £1. Your investment will be unified with other individuals and create a larger shareholder status (capital at risk).

Tulipshare then leverages your shareholder rights and advocates for the investors to promote ethical change in the companies (like Apple and Coca-Cola).

Some of their campaigns aim to tackle issues of unfair workplace circumstances, reduce plastic use, and fight for racial equality in organisations. As with all investments your capital is at risk.

Join Tulipshare

Want to learn more about Tulipshare? Read Activist Investing: How To Buy Shares In A Company To Create Change

Screenshot of Tulipshare's homepage

Become an activist investor for as little as £1 with Tulipshare!

3. Clim8

One of the best ESG and ethical investing new brands, Clim8's app fights climate change from your pocket.

Clim8 offers a tax-free Stocks & Shares ISA that puts savings towards investment for a sustainable future.

Some of these investment areas include green energy, climate technology, clean mobility, water systems, sustainable food, and circular economy.

Clim8 enables your savings to go towards making tangible environmental impacts through supporting environmental innovation in these key areas.

The aim is to reach the climate goals of the UN Paris Climate Agreement, which is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius. As with all investments your capital is at risk.

Download/join Clim8.

Learn more about Clim8 with our interview: How To Invest More Sustainably

hand holding a phone with investment app open

Fight climate change with Clim8

4. Wealthify

With no minimum investment and the ability to choose to invest in line with your values, individual investment platform, Wealthify, makes your money work as hard as you for the planet.

Waelthify aims to make investing straightforward and affordable for everyone. You can start from just £1 and withdraw your money at any time with no penalty fees.

The Ethical Plans allow you to choose the social and environmental issues you want to help most.

Wealthify excludes organisations and activities that are harmful to the planet and human health, including tobacco, unfair labour practices, and deforestation.

Your investment will rather go towards organisations committed to serving those issues and creating a positive impact, making it one of the top ESG investment apps we recommend. As with all investments your capital is at risk.

View Wealthify

Woman holding money in her hands

Put your money with your ethics with Wealthify

5. Abundance

All about investing in green infrastructure, Abundance, helps you to invest in innovative companies and local councils building a greener future. Everything is managed online, including its tax-efficient Innovative Finance ISA.

Make direct investments in renewable energy infrastructure, innovative resource efficiency, fossil fuels alternatives and building greener homes with high energy efficiency.

Choose which social and green projects to invest your money in, whether it's a company investment or a municipal investment.

Your money goes straight to these organisations to enact tangible change that starts having an immediate positive impact.

So far, Abundance has invested £125m and successfully funded 50 projects. As with all investments your capital is at risk.

Join/download Abundance.

Solar panels in a row pointing to the sun

Support innovative renewable energy projects through Abundance

6. ekko

ekko is a transformative new bank and app that combines finance technology, ethical marketplace and open banking. Every transaction goes towards making tangible differences for climate change, but you don't need to change any of your habits.

Every five transactions you make on the debit card pays for one ocean-bound plastic bottle to be collected, and every 50 transactions will result in ekko planting a tree in partnership with Mastercard’s Priceless Planet coalition.

On the app, you can also watch your tree and bottle count grow, and check your carbon footprint from the things you’re buying.

You can choose from three membership deals, which increase your impact with how much you spend.

Start your ethical banking journey from £1.99 a month.

View/join Ekko

Discover how you can plant trees every day for free too: Treeapp: How To Plant Trees For Free Everyday

woman pointing to an ekko debit card

Ekko helps you remove ocean bound plastic

7. Helpful

Making finance work for your business and the planet, this new debit card powered by MasterCard, called Helpful, makes transactions green, secure, and fast.

Download the Helpful app and you get a digital debit card, e-wallet to track your spending, plus you can earn rewards and track your positive impact. Plus there is a sustainable directory of brands, retailers and services to use.

The debit card is free and for every transaction, a tree is planted in return.

You can track your tree count on the app to see the impact your sustainable shopping habits are having.

So far, Helpful has over 150 business partners such as Abel & Cole and Ocado, has handled over 1800 transactions, and avoided 1724kg of CO2.

Join Helpful.

woman pointing to green banking app on her phone

Helpful lets you plant trees when you spend

8. Cogo

Conscious consumerism and financial transparency has never been easier with Cogo. Consumers can see exactly which planet positive brands their money should be funding.

Cogo works with banks to enable consumers to understand the carbon footprint on their spending, through new open banking technology.

It uses emission data mapped to spend categories that show customers the real impact of their spending, helping them to make more ethical choices.

It encourages real action to be taken for a more sustainable future. Via open banking, Cogo views where you spend your money and suggests more ethical and socially conscious alternatives.

At a later stage, you will be able to tell Cogo more specifically the products you’re buying to gain a more accurate understanding of your spending carbon footprint.

Download Cogo

phone in hand using cogo in the supermarket

Understand you carbon footprint through your spending with Cogo

9. Cyan Finance

Fulfilling the social purpose of financial institutions, Cyan Finance is a green ISA that helps you to invest in ethical businesses.

By opening an Innovative Finance ISA with Cyan or transferring an existing ISA, individuals can now invest their money, earn interest tax-free (tax-free status is individual and subject to changes in legislation) and know their money is invested with a company that is accelerating the growth of the green economy.

Initiatives Cyan invest in are electric vehicles, agriculture, clean-tech, responsible consumer goods, sustainable fashion, green buildings and eco-friendly packaging.

They have already helped their clients put solar-powered buses on the streets of Brighton, produce biodegradable plastic-free packaging, control weeds without the need for herbicides and provide early warning for cities at risk of flooding, storm and heatwaves.

They also focus on providing organisations with intellectual capital and financial advice to create a greener future.

View Cyan Finance

Want to learn more about Cyan Finance? This New Green ISA Helps You Invest In Ethical Businesses

Electric car charging

Put your investments in projects that help the planet with Cyan Finance

10. Triodos

One of the UK's leading ethical and green banks, Triodos, aims to make your money work for positive change.

Triodos has been operating since 1980, providing sustainable financial products that enable users to use their money in beneficial social and environmental ways - making it one of the most socially conscious banks in the UK. They guarantee to only invest in businesses with sustainable goals and values.

Triodos offers current accounts, savings accounts, ethical ISAs and you can invest directly in climate positive businesses via Triodos.

This green bank has three focuses when it comes to positive impact: Environment, Culture, and Social. They prioritise transparency and offer specific details of where money is being invested.

Open an account at Triodos

Wind turbines in the sea. Projects you can support through ethical finance companies

Bank ethically with B Corp Triodos

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