The Environment

We have a few offshoot topics that are relative to the environment, but nothing that covers the topic generally, so I thought we should have one.

It’s an important topic, I think, and something companies need to take be taking seriously, as they arguably have one of the larger roles to play to help heal the planet.

My wanting to discuss this stems from this very troubling piece of news I came across yesterday.

I hope to start an engaging discussion and debate on this topic at large here, but for now I’d just like to start by posing a question to help share knowledge: What do you do to lessen your impact on the health of our planet? What do you think we could do more, both as individuals and collectively?

And for Monzo, @Dan5 (I know this sort of thing is something you care about), @AlanDoe, what does Monzo do to lessen their impact on the environment? Do they plan to do more? How do they view their role in tackling this issue? Do the servers run on reneweable energy? Does the office? What’s the carbon impact of creating and shipping the cards, and have you taken steps to lessen it?
Something I’d love to hear thoughts on, and is maybe more suitable for an AMA, if it’s something that falls under anyone’s umbrella. Is it an issue Monzo care about as a company? I don’t think it’s something I’ve seen Monzo speak about, or at all, on their blog. Is there something Monzo could do to help their customers do more?

7 Likes

Wow, that is a complicated one!
I’m definitely looking forward to reading the responses.

3 Likes

If you look at the latest annual report, pages 61 - 64 is about the environment

3 Likes

All credit to Monzo for doing their bit, but this is really a much bigger issue.

2 Likes

Awesome! Thanks for highlighting that!

I’ll share the three key things they’ve committed to here for ease.

  1. Measure and report our emissions comprehensively and to a market leading standard
    We’ll always publish our full carbon footprint on our website, including scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Scope 1 covers things that we own, that directly emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Scope 2 covers the electricity that we buy,
    which generates greenhouse gases while being produced. Scope 3 refers to emissions incurred by suppliers of goods and services provided to us. Scope 3 emissions represent the majority of our carbon footprint, so it’s critical that we measure them comprehensively.
    We won’t attempt to limit our measurement to disguise the true impact of our emissions, for example by removing things like payment processing.
  2. Set climate targets that reflect our whole carbon footprint
    We’ll set targets that are clear and easy to understand and measure, and won’t disguise our progress by only using some aspects of our carbon footprint.
  3. Keep customers updated on how we invest deposits
    We believe the best way we can give you confidence in what we do with your money is by telling you exactly how we use your deposits. Anyone can find that information on the business practices section of our website.

I think partnering with Watershed Climate is very interesting. Look forward to seeing what comes of that. Nice to know they’ve started to measure their carbon emissions, and hopefully they’ll share that in a more accessible way than just the annual report going forward. I think it’s an issue large enough to warrant some dedicated space on the core website.

6 Likes

I am a member of extinction rebellion. I’ve been carted off to police stations and cautioned so there’s that.

This is the issue that keeps me up at night. While I think it’s lovely that people want to do a bit more recycling these days I still think there’s a collective blinkeredness to the extent of the problem and that’s clear if you listen to the overwhelming scientific opinion in the field.

I feel we need wholesale change across a broad range of industries and policies in the next fifteen years to even have a hope of staving off widespread famine and essential goods shortages, as well as to prevent a near total collapse of the natural environment. It will take significant political momentum, the sort none of the mainstream parties are likely to put in.

Honestly I do everything I can but I think we are likely fucked because most people just don’t care that much.

7 Likes

We’ve also got a dedicated section of the website about the environment: https://monzo.com/i/protecting-the-environment

I know the team working on this are 100% committed to reducing our environmental impact and you’ll see more in this space soon :blush:

6 Likes

That’s awesome Dan! Thanks for sharing that! Haven’t seen that page on the website before but will take a look!

Look forward to seeing more soon! :blush:

2 Likes

It’s slightly hidden under the social programme on the footer at the bottom. There’s a lot more detail about our carbon footprint and a dedicated email address for people who want more information :blush:

5 Likes

I’ve been having a read through this, and it talks a bit about carbon removals as opposed to carbon offsetting. It describes off setting as less effective, but the description given sounds a lot like offsetting!

Are you able to define the differences between the two, so it’s easier to understand?

1 Like

I understand what you are saying and, regrettably, I think you are right. Weather patterns and subsequent impact on flooding, droughts etc. are all well documented scientifically supported outcomes of what we are doing. There does seem to be a collective voice starting to make itself heard. I think the main driver to the apathy you describe is that the “what can I as a simple individual do about it” is too big for most of us to grasp. That part of it does not seem to have a collective voice. Love to hear more on this important topic. R-

2 Likes
  1. I’ve given up my car and will no longer drive (it was written off after an accident, no one was hurt - side impact and the airbags didn’t even go off).
  2. I will not fly again and have signed up for this. Was planning on a holiday in Tangiers via Paris, Barcelona all by train but the pandemic scuppered this.
  3. I’m on mainly a Huel diet so no meat, been vegetarian for a while if that counts?
5 Likes

There are lots of things we can all do (and will do!), but is it enough? I wonder if there is a country whose Government is brave enough address the elephant in the room - the fact that population growth is unsustainable and something needs to be done about it.

4 Likes

very impressive personal commitment! Good work.

Eating less meat and flying less are probably the two most important things individuals can do (I do both but not to the extent you do)

2 Likes

I don’t think that’s really on the list of what governments should be doing right now. It seems like a deflection to me. They need to rapidly reduce emissions not initiate birth control.

2 Likes

It does not have to be a binary choice. However, like I alluded to, no Government would be brave enough. Reducing emissions is kicking the can (a long way) down the road - and should be done of course.

I can’t remember where I read it, but I read that roughly 2,000 are born and 1,500 die a day in the UK. Is 500 a day growth particularly large?

Note: I have no information on population growth at all. Or knowledge. Or experience.

1 Like

When a potential extinction event or near extinction event is <50 years away kicking the can down the road seems desirable.

We already know that in general advanced nations generally have lower birth rates due to family planning, healthcare and cultural shifts. It’s very possible that population will curve naturally with development. There’s no immediate need for a wide scale government intervention and with planning there may never be one.

Assuming those figures are correct, that would be a growth of a little under two million a decade, in just one small country. Unless fewer people are born (and it could be a natural decline in reproduction through people choosing not to have children), and with people living longer through better healthcare, the number would creep up further.

We are in agreement then aren’t we.

1 Like