By the end of the year new and existing Halifax Websaver customers will see their accounts 'carbon labelled'. With green becoming the new black of financial services, providers are becoming increasingly innovative and creative in ways which they can wear the green badge.
Carbon Labelling is being used for the first time in the financial service sector, basically this means the account will wear a green logo and customers will be informed of the carbon emissions produced by opening and operating the account. To maintain this badge, Halifax has pledged to reduce the carbon emissions of this account within a two-year period.
In principle the idea should receive praise, any commitment to reduce carbon emissions is a step in the right direct. However, the account Halifax has focused on is web based and probably already one of their 'greenest' products and with a lack of commitment to an actual reduction required, the Halifax websaver is probably the palest shade of green possible.
Each year we all receive around 400 pieces of unsolicited junk mail - 100m trees are used each year to make junk mail and 44% of it goes straight into the rubbish bin unread. So perhaps banks should go back to basics, take simple steps to reduce the amount of unsolicited mail sent, or provide more options of internet based messaging or mailing - its likely to have a more significant impact on the environment than trying to use innovative labels and schemes which only provide confusion and contribute to green wash.
Being green is not about slapping a badge on the product; it's about the credentials of the whole organisation. The Halifax Websaver will not be getting the Moneyfacts.co.uk green seal of approval!
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