Sustainable Strategies: 5 Ways to Green Your Financial Marketing

We’ve all seen corporate presentations and websites which showcase slick environmental credentials, but are financial service brands truly ‘walking the talk’?

A 2023 global study by IBM highlighted that the gap between ambition and action remains significant; whilst a vast majority (95%) of companies have set ESG goals, only  a small fraction (10%) have made strides in achieving them.

It’s time to move from jargon to action. Here’s a checklist of 5 sustainable practices you can put in place to decrease the carbon footprint of your marketing efforts. Some are fairly basic whilst others may require collaboration with other departments. However, implementing even just one or two of these will go someways towards helping the environment and demonstrating your commitment to sustainability –  building trust, loyalty, and advocacy among customers.

What we cover

  1. Transitioning to digital-first marketing
  2. Changing ways of working
  3. Review your digital eco-system
  4. Promoting your brand’s ESG strategies
  5. Partnerships and external expertise
  6. Final thoughts


1. Transition to digital-first marketing & encourage  paperless options

With a significant proportion, (28%), of the UK population still receiving traditional paper-based financial communications, it is up to the marketing community to guide consumers toward greener choices and provide easy, accessible ways to opt into digital communications. Promote the use of websites, emails, apps and/or QR codes on your paper-based comms and make enrolment easy and quick with auto-filled information or as few steps as possible.

Include messaging that helps overcome some of the barriers to paperless adoption, e.g. reinforce the safety of paperless billing, highlight the convenience of email and text reminders and the flexibility of anytime, anywhere payments.

2. Embrace eco ways of working that benefit both the environment and your organisation

Remote working practices greatly reduces commuting-related emissions, increases productivity and provides cost savings (not to mention, happier employees!). Shifting to virtual events also offers greater accessibility and reach, enhancing engagement with wider audiences.

There’s also plenty of software tools that can eliminate your need for paper. For instance, using Docu-sign instead of printed contracts and AI bots like Fireflies to take paperless meeting notes.

3. Review your digital eco-system

Whilst digital marketing might be greener than paper, it still leaves a footprint – the global digital ecosystem is responsible for 4% of carbon dioxide emissions. Indeed, data centres (which store and host web pages) are the largest electricity consumers in the information technology world.

So, what can we marketers do to clean up our digital act?

  • Cleanse your database: Duplicate contacts, inactive customers, outdated records, or unnecessary customer information require considerable storage space, leading to higher energy consumption and more carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Avoid sending large attachments: Reduce the number of recipients who actually require the attachment, reduce the download weights by swapping attachments for links instead.
  • Ensure you have good SEO, which means the right people find your website at the right time, and the wrong people don’t visit and create wasted data transfers.
  • Review what you’re saving to your servers: are there large files and outdated content that no longer need to be stored? Cleaning up your database and eliminating waste will help to have a more energy efficient digital ecosystem.

4. Flaunt your green side

The potential for financial services companies to create and deliver specialised products and services that materially help address environmental issues is huge. What sustainable propositions are already available to your customers?

If you offer ‘green finance’ products –such as sustainable investment funds, green mortgages for energy efficient products, renewable energy investments or discounted auto insurance for hybrid vehicles – be sure these are promoted on your site and make your consumers aware of them.

Treecard is a great example of a Fintech that puts its principles at the fore of its communications. Its ethos is all about restoring green spaces to reduce the impact of climate change, by donating 80% of its profits to planting trees around the world. The organisation also offers a recyclable wooden debit card to customers, immediately differentiating it from firms that offer traditional plastic cards.

To normalise sustainable practices and put pressure on other organisations to do the same, publish reports on your sustainable activities and use your email newsletters and social media channels to keep your customers, partners and peers in the loop about all the good stuff you’re doing for the planet.

5. Foster strategic partnerships

Lastly, seek official stamps of approval from industry bodies to signal your commitment.  As a thought starter;

  • Organisations such as the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) can endorse your brand with their logo if you demonstrate their requirements.
  • When conducting a procurement process, align with suppliers who hold recognised environmental certifications such as ISO 14001 (the Environmental Management System).
  • Could you encourage your management team to apply for B-Corp status based on your company’s environmental performance, transparency and accountability? This is something we are considering here at Moreish ourselves.
  • Continue to educate your team and engage with organisations such as the WWF (World Wild Fund for Nature) who have dedicated programmes to help the finance sector reduce its impact on the natural world.

Final thoughts …

We know the importance of proving ROI on marketing campaigns, but in reporting back immediate returns you can often lose sight of the bigger picture; the impact on your brand in the long term. By taking a stance on a subject that is rapidly increasing in importance (particularly resonating amongst younger audiences who are at the start of their financial journeys), marketers can benefit from building emotional connections with their customers and increasing long term brand sentiment in doing so.

At Moreish Marketing, we know it’s all about having a positive impact. We’re dedicated to reducing our environmental footprint (you can see some of the ways in which we’re doing this here), and helping our clients do the same.  If you’re ready to ‘green’ light your eco-messaging, get in touch to discuss how we can integrate sustainability into your marketing campaigns.