Our planet is steadily warming, and there’s no time to waste when it comes to cutting our emissions and prioritizing the environment. Big change starts small and making the conscious decision to spend your money with companies and brands that have a sustainable approach matters now more than ever.
In our Sustainable Spotlight Series, we’re shining a light on brands and businesses that are making a stand to protect our planet and changing the way we do business. They’re ditching business as usual and stepping up to the plate to help forge a new, more sustainable path forward.
What industry are we looking at?
Why does sustainability matter in finance?
As our planet continues to heat up, you may be surprised to learn that the fossil fuel and coal industries (aka huge contributors to global warming) are getting a ton of money from the world’s major banks. This is pretty alarming when we know how destructive these non-renewable resources are. They must be replaced with renewable alternatives if we’ve any chance of saving our planet. But with investment funds commonly used to finance these harmful industries, we’re essentially investing in climate change. An ice-free Arctic in summer is just one of the realities that await us if we don’t start taking action.
So while walking to work instead of driving and cutting back on the amount of meat you eat are great moves for the planet, who you bank with matters and where you invest your money is one of the most powerful things you can do as an individual to fight climate change. Researching your bank’s policies and ensuring your money is being invested ethically is a critical step in creating a more sustainable future.
Generally, alternatives to traditional banking are much less likely to be funding fossil fuels, but a fintech company called Mogo is taking it a sustainable step further. They’re helping empower their members to help the planet by planting a tree every time they tap their MogoCard*. This initiative is revolutionary and the kind of bold action that’s needed to help combat a climate catastrophe.
Who’s making sustainable moves?
Mogo is a Vancouver-based financial tech company with over 1.6 million members across Canada. If you haven’t heard of them before, Mogo offers a range of products and services, from free credit score monitoring to the MogoCard, a prepaid spending card that can help users be more mindful of and control their spending.
While their mission is to help you develop positive financial habits and reach a debt-free future, they recognize there won’t be a future if we don’t address the very serious issue of climate change. Mogo’s focused on being a net-zero footprint company since 2019, and they’re no strangers to carbon offsets. They’ve already offset 35+ million pounds of CO2 to date through carbon offset credits and if you think that’s impressive, check out their newest initiative below.
What are they doing?
Mogo recently launched Code Red Mode, an initiative where every single time you use the MogoCard, Mogo will plant a tree for you — for free. Yup, you read that right.
They’ve done the math for you and Mogo estimates that by using the MogoCard just 10 times a month, you would plant 10 trees which could make you climate positive by removing more CO2 from the air than the average Canadian produces. For Code Red Mode, Mogo has partnered with veritree, and together they have already planted 100,000 new trees.
To give you a little background, this initiative was launched in response to the United Nations’ IPCC’s 2021 report on climate change, where the UN Secretary-General announced a “code red for humanity.” With no time to waste, Mogo wants to help Canada achieve net-zero carbon emissions before the country’s goal of 2050, and maybe even become a climate positive country.
What’s the impact?
Canada’s total emissions were recently estimated at approximately 1.6 trillion pounds per year or approximately 42,000 pounds per person based on the population of Canada in 2019. The estimated carbon-absorbing impact of each tree in this initiative is 500lbs according to research conducted by veritree and, by Mogo’s estimations, if 1 out of 5 Canadians used Mogo for their spending, Canada would be climate positive today.
Check out their site to learn more and see what other products are included in their tree planting initiatives.