How green is your bank?

How Green is Your Bank?

At Investing Hero, we aim to provide the best investing basics. To support this, some of the products featured in articles will generate an affiliate commission which helps pay to run this website. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. The information provided on Investing Hero is for informational purposes only. Please read our disclaimer for more. The information on Zak is intended exclusively for persons domiciled in Switzerland. A Zak account can only be opened with domicile in Switzerland.

For regular readers of this blog you’ll know I’ve already reviewed (and personally use) a number of different banks for my day to day needs.

All of my reviews go deep. Working through the customer onboarding, reviewing the technology and checking out usability are things I love digging into and sharing with you all.

But there are certain limits to these reviews, and I can’t always cover everything about the platform or service in one hit.

Which is why I’ve decided to expand on the original reviews, and provide some additional articles on various key topics which are impacting the industry more broadly, and how the platforms I’ve reviewed are addressing these issues.

Today, that topic is climate change.

🎁 Reader Bonus: I’ve partnered with Zak to bring Investing Hero readers (that’s you!) a 50CHF welcome bonus when you open a free account. No strings attached and no BS. Just use the code HEROCH to claim your 50 bucks.

When I say the words ‘climate change’ I’m sure there are plenty of things you could list to reduce your impact on the planet. Like cycling to work a few times a week. Recycling the empty bottles and cans. Maybe even switching up what you eat.

And who doesn’t want to own a Tesla?

But did ‘switch your bank account’ make the list?

Probably not.

But here’s the thing – where you bank can have an impact on the environment. And some banks are doing that better than others.

Let’s dig into it.

I was an early adopter of the Zak bank account, and have been using it regularly for a number of years now. I still rate it very highly – from ease of use to slick customer onboarding, I’ve never had any trouble.

But when it comes to the topic of climate change, how do they stack up?

Let’s start by going to the homepage of Zak at cler.ch, and scrolling down the page:

You’ll see the link for ‘Zak Green Impact’ which will take you to a dedicated page:

So straight away (even with my limited German) it’s clear Zak is making some effort in this space from the big headline and banner.

In short: Since January 2021, 0.2% of every Swiss franc spent with your Zak Plus account is used to support climate change related projects.

They even have a hashtag, #youbuywecare.

More specifically, the money goes towards an organisation (‘OAK Schwyz’) supporting forest protection programmes in canton Schwyz. It’s cool to know the money is supporting the great outdoors in our own backyard – where we hike, bike, ski and enjoy so many hours.

And OAK Schwyz are no newcomer – they’ve been involved in Swiss forestry since the 12th century…! And no, that’s not a typo.

Zak forecasts for 2021, based on its current customer base, it will be able to maintain over 86 hectares of forest, which is a compensation of over 300 tonnes of CO2.

And that’s a significant impact for such a simple thing as picking one bank account over another.

Switching, or even testing a new bank account is easy. With the likes of Zak, we know the customer onboarding and account opening process is simple and fast – so you can be up and running in no time.

To learn more about the project visit Zak Green Impact. To learn more about Zak Plus, visit the website.

Check the small print + save the planet = win

But don’t get me wrong – this isn’t an article to try and push you over to go and open a new account with Zak.

But it is a nudge for you to check the small print at your current bank.

What are they doing for the environment? Are they doing anything locally in Switzerland? Are they making active efforts towards sustainability and social issues? …Or worse, are they doing the opposite and silently funding the fossil fuel industry?

If the answer is ‘hmm… I’m not sure’ or there is limited visibility on their efforts – you might want to consider trying out a platform that more aligns to your values.

Climate change is a huge issue. And of course, a few of us picking one bank account over another will have a very limited impact. But collectively, the more consumers demand certain levels of environmental and social standards – the more the service providers will have to listen, and the greater the positive change will be.

So check the small print, and let’s save the planet 😊

Thanks for reading!

Mr. IH

🎁 Reader Bonus: I’ve partnered with Zak to bring Investing Hero readers (that’s you!) a 50CHF welcome bonus when you open a free account. No strings attached and no BS. Just use the code HEROCH to claim your 50 bucks.

*Update July 2021

You can still use the zak promo code HEROCH to claim your welcome bonus.

1 – Wait for your account to be activated after registering. Takes 2-3 days.
2 – Go to your ‘Profile’ and tap ‘Code eingeben’ and enter the Zak code HEROCH
3 – That’s it! Enjoy 🙂

About me

I’m a British expat who’s been living in Switzerland for the last 10 years. I’m a digital marketing professional by day, and anonymous investing blogger by night. I cover investing basics, robo advisor reviews and epic how to guides. You can call me ‘Mr. IH’ for short, and read more about me here.

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