Currency bills

Saving (for) the Planet

One of our greatest opportunities to advance climate solutions – leveraging the influence of our banking – has been hiding in plain sight.

As our planet heats up, more and more people are working to reduce their personal climate impact. Few, however, are aware of one of the most impactful actions they can take: assessing and reducing the climate impact of the money they hold in their savings or checking accounts.

Through their lending and investing power, banks play a tremendous role in determining our climate future, including by financing infrastructure that locks in greenhouse gas emissions or climate solutions that yield reductions in emissions for decades to come. Because banks differ in the extent to which they invest consumers’ deposits in carbon-intensive or climate-friendly enterprises, where individuals choose to save can make a huge difference in whether their hard-earned money contributes to or helps mitigate climate change.

Saving (for) the Planet: The Climate Power of Personal Banking is a new, comprehensive guide to assessing and reducing the climate impact of consumer banking. Its eye-opening analyses and actionable advice will help you ensure that your dollars help build the future you want for yourself, your loved ones, and our planet: renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, green buildings, public transportation, healthy ecosystems, flourishing communities, and other climate-friendly enterprises.

Key Takeaways:

  • For the average person in the U.S., personal banking may constitute a large source of indirect greenhouse gas emissions
  • Every US$1,000 a person has in savings is roughly equivalent to the direct emissions generated by flying from New York to Seattle every year
  • Eleven of the largest U.S.-based banks lend around 19.4% on average – and as high as 30% – of their portfolios to carbon-intensive industries
  • Moving from a carbon-intensive bank to a climate-responsible bank could reduce the personal banking emissions of an average person in the U.S. by 76%
  • Switching banks can be a powerful, relatively easy, and affordable climate action

Download the guide by clicking the GET THE PUBLICATION button – located at the top of this page on mobile browsers – and follow Project Drawdown online for more climate solutions resources all year long.

Download the Saving (for) the Planet report.