Rabobank now links your spending to carbon emissions
Since Friday, Rabobank customers can see how much CO2 they emit based on their spending in the bank’s app. For example, the Dutch bank wants to raise awareness of climate change. But it’s quite complicated to measure something like that very precisely and the question is whether it will really make a difference.
Rabobank has already stated this in its press release: it is impossible to know exactly what someone is buying at the supermarket. The bank cannot see whether you have purchased climate-damaging bananas or CO2-neutral apples. This is why the bank provides an estimate of your emissions based on the amount of revenue. People can indicate in the app if they buy meat often, for example, but this is still an estimate.
Such an estimate is already a little easier to do with a plane ticket, but there are also major differences. “You can buy a 10 euro ticket to Barcelona, but also a 100 euro ticket. Translating prices into emissions is therefore complicated,” says climate expert Sible Schöne of the HERE climate foundation. And you certainly can’t tell by price how far someone is flying.
“Go in the right direction”
However, Schöne is not against the bank’s initiative. “Friendly,” he calls her. “It’s another step in the right direction. I don’t think it’s going to necessarily change consumer behavior immediately, but I hope it signals once again to the government that there is a need for good data. on the climate impact of food,” he says.
Food accounts for a third of man’s climate impact, but the figures available on this subject are very general. “And you can do a lot in eating habits,” says Schöne. Buying Dutch apples instead of Brazilian bananas immediately reduces your footprint significantly. “But that person needs to know how much CO2 emissions are associated with the product they’re buying.”
This is why the climate expert is calling on the firm to better map the products that cause the most emissions, so that consumers can make better choices and the data collected by Rabobank is more reliable.
“I think Rabobank means it”
Schöne doesn’t want to talk about greenwashing, a term used for companies that only care about the climate for public relations purposes. “Of course there is an advertising component, but I don’t mind that. I think they really mean it. Rabobank is also mapping its investment footprint and clearly trying to do better.”
If he could give consumers one more piece of advice to emit less CO2? Schöne: “Buy services and products that last a long time. It’s better to buy more expensive socks that last a long time than to buy new cheap socks every month that break immediately.”