The average Australian pays $350,000 in total interest on a new home loan.^ Would you want to pay that sort of money to a bank that will use it to fund projects that harm the environment?
Most banks will tell you that they’re serious about sustainability, but there’s one question that can tell you which ones really mean it – are they funding projects that damage the environment?
What is your bank funding?
Here are three publicly reported examples of how the actions of banks can result in environmental damage:
- Deforestation: the ABC has drawn links between Royal Group, ANZ’s joint venture partner in Cambodia, and illegal logging in that country.
- Fossil Fuels: Australia’s big 4 banks are reported to have more than $70 billion invested in fossil fuels, with a further 6 banks having some form of investment in fossil fuels.
- Land grabs: Oxfam has suggested that 4 Australian banks were involved in financing companies conducting unfair land deals in developing countries.
There are green banks out there
For every bank that invests in projects that cause environmental harm, there are many more that don’t. Some banks even have policies that bar themselves from making these investments, or that force them to get rid of any existing such investments.
How do you find a “green” bank?
It’s hard to find information on which banks are really green and which aren’t.
That’s why we’ve partnered with ethical home loan experts abfinance.* They use independent research on the environmental and social governance of businesses to find you banks that value the things that matter to you the most. Abfinance looks at both positive and negative behaviours that banks exhibit in their approach to the environment, social issues and corporate governance.
Behaviours that abfinance examines
You could save money too
It doesn’t have to cost you more to get a sustainable home loan option – in a lot of cases it could even save you money. abfinance gives you access to home loans from more than 30 banks, so they’ll do a comprehensive scan of the market to find you the best deals.
*Money Grows on Trees has partnership agreements with businesses that share our values, including abfinance. As part of our agreement, abfinance pays us a referral fee for each person who completes our Ethical Home Loans Contact Form. We use this money to keep our site running and to keep the information we produce free of charge.