Our approach to the environment
We are in a climate crisis. Everyone has a responsibility to act, and to take decisions that will support a sustainable, low carbon future. Scientists say that we need to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and get to net zero by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts on the environment.
At Monzo we’ve built a branchless, digital bank with a relatively low carbon footprint. However, our operations still contribute to global climate change, and we know that as we grow as a business, our environmental impact will grow too. Our mission is to make money work for everyone, and it’s our responsibility to ensure that at the very least we do no damage to the environment, by reaching net zero emissions as a business. We also know that fighting the climate crisis really matters to our customers and our team, and we want to hold ourselves to a standard that we can all be proud of.
Our environmental commitments
We don’t invest in fossil fuel-based energy companies (or arms or tobacco companies). More information on how we invest customer deposits.
Our goal is to reach net zero emissions as a business by the year 2030, and if we can get there sooner, we will. Net zero emissions means measuring the footprint of our entire value chain, reducing emissions as much as possible, and removing (not offsetting) the rest. Net zero companies aim to achieve for their own business what the world must accomplish to beat the climate crisis.
We measure and report on our carbon footprint in full, every year, and share the results publicly.
We have strong governance for our environmental work, with regular reporting to our executives and our board, both of which have representatives responsible for our climate policy.
Being transparent, and not cutting corners
We know that the terminology around the climate crisis and environmental policies can be complicated and difficult to understand. We also know that complexity can be used by companies to hide the extent of their environmental impact, or to make commitments sound stronger than they are. So like everything else we do at Monzo, we want our approach to be simple and transparent, so that everyone can understand it and engage with it.
With that in mind, we will
Measure our carbon footprint 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 purchase, which generates greenhouse gases while being produced. Scope 3 refers to emissions incurred by suppliers of goods and services provided to Monzo (another way of putting is emissions from things that we purchase). Scope 3 emissions represent the majority of our carbon footprint, so it’s critical that we measure them comprehensively.
Ensure our net zero emissions commitment and other targets reflect our whole carbon footprint. We won’t disguise our progress by using terms like carbon neutral, or by limiting the measurements to only part of our overall emissions.
Make sure everyone can understand our environment work, by being fully transparent, and making information clear and accessible. We’ll avoid technical language whenever possible, and always explain it where it appears. If you have a question about our environmental work, you can ask us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re using experts to help us ensure our work is the best it can be
To help us build our environmental programme, we have partnered with our friends at Watershed, a software company that powers environmental programmes for leading businesses, to measure our carbon footprint in line with industry-leading protocols, identify opportunities to reduce emissions, and recommend carbon removal projects for any remaining emissions to achieve net zero. Watershed has helped us measure our carbon footprint in a way that’s consistent with the Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) Protocol promulgated by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
We chose to work with Watershed because of their industry-leading analytics software, carbon measurement capabilities, and track record helping fast growing technology and financial services businesses develop net zero plans. Most importantly, they share our values and are passionate about helping the world tackle the climate crisis.
Our Carbon Footprint
This year we measured our carbon footprint for the first time. Like many businesses, the pandemic has meant that our emissions have been unusual this year - we switched to full remote working and have had more limited employee travel. To help give better context around our footprint and to take a more informed approach to our emissions goals, we’ve also measured our 2019 carbon footprint.
We’ll use our 2019 footprint as our base year for changes in 2021, as it will give us a better idea of our largest areas of impact under more ‘normal’ circumstances, when many employees are back in the office and not working from home. We’ve measured our footprint using the calendar year, rather than our financial year.
Our 2020 Carbon footprint
Our carbon footprint in 2020 was 10,473 tCO2e. tCO2e stands for tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, and is a measure of all the harmful emissions we produce. These aren’t limited to carbon (hence the addition of the term ‘equivalent’) and include other harmful gases such as nitrous oxide and methane. By comparison, our carbon footprint in 2019 was 12,970 tonnes of tCO2e.
The graph opposite shows a high level breakdown of our 2020 carbon footprint. We know some of the category names are a little vague, so we’ve included the top emissions for each category in the table below. If you’d like more detail on specific emissions figures, please get in touch with us at email@example.com
|Emissions category||Amount of emissions in tCO2e||Percentage of total emissions||Examples of emission types within category|
|Goods and services||5775||55.1%||IT equipment, Customer onboarding, Professional and legal services|
|Products||1161||11.1%||Card manufacture and distribution|
|Employees||674||6.4%||Home offices, Commute|
|Buildings||510||4.9%||Electricity & natural gas, Facilities management|
|Other||1558||14.9%||Cloud computing, Travel spend, Payment processing|
Our emissions by scope
Under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which we’ve used to measure our emissions, it’s common to break emissions down into three types or ‘scopes’.
Scope 1 emissions are ‘direct emissions’ - a result of activities owned or controlled by Monzo that release emissions into the atmosphere. For example this could be emissions from vehicles owned by a company, or a factory.
Scope 2 emissions are those associated with Monzo’s consumption of purchased electricity, heat, steam and cooling (in our case for our offices in London, Cardiff and San Francisco). These are indirect emissions that are a consequence of Monzo’s activities, but which occur at sources Monzo does not own or control.
Scope 3 emissions are a consequence of Monzo’s actions, which occur at sources which Monzo does not own or control and which are not classed as Scope 2 emissions. They are typically from our supply chain, and the easiest way to think about them is that they are emissions from things that we purchase.
The vast majority of our emissions (95.97%) fall under scope 3. 3.67% of our emissions are scope 2, and 0.36% are scope 1. This reflects the nature of our business model, as an app-only, digital service based firm with no branches.
Our goal to reach net zero emissions by 2030
Our goal is to reach net zero emissions as a business by the year 2030, and if we can get there sooner, we will. Reaching net zero emissions means measuring the footprint of our entire value chain, reducing carbon emissions as much as possible, and removing (not offsetting) the remaining emissions from the atmosphere. Net zero companies aim to achieve for their own business what the world must accomplish to beat climate change.
How we plan to get to net zero emissions
We’re a fast growing business, which inevitably means our emissions will continue to grow at first, but with ambitious action, we can gradually reduce our carbon footprint, and remove emissions over time as we work towards our 2030 goal.
To reach net zero, we need to take a combination of actions. The first is to reduce our own direct emissions (those that are not scope 3 emissions). These are a small proportion of our overall emissions, but there are some simple steps we are working on, like sourcing clean power for our offices.
The second is to reduce the emissions in our supply chain. This will take longer to achieve, but as a start we have already begun to ask new and prospective suppliers about their own climate goals, and will factor them into our procurement process moving forward.
Finally, for those emissions we can’t eliminate ourselves, we need to purchase carbon removals to remove the equivalent amount of carbon from the atmosphere. We are working with Watershed on some options, and will build up our purchases over time, avoiding carbon offsets (which are not as effective) and ensuring that the removals we purchase are of a high quality.
We’re a member of the Tech Zero Taskforce
We’re proud to have joined forces with other leading UK tech companies by becoming a member of the Tech Zero Taskforce. The Taskforce is an official UN race to zero partner organisation. It has brought together tech companies through shared commitments for environmental goals, including net zero, with the aim of getting 1,000 UK companies to agree to them before the UN’s 26th Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate conference in Glasgow in November 2021.
Actions we’ve already taken to reduce our emissions
We’ve made some small but important steps on the journey to reduce our emissions:
The packaging for our cards is fully recyclable.
We promote recycling in our offices. Our offices also use Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (“EPP”), so our washrooms are stocked with animal friendly and organic products, and we’ve removed most single-use toiletries.
All UK monzonauts can be part of the Cycle to Work scheme, so it’s more convenient to use environmentally friendly transport for their commute. Our Cardiff office has also committed to the Business Healthy Travel Charter Wales.
Now that we have an office in the US and in multiple locations in the UK, and team travel is common, we encourage colleagues to buy offset credits for their work travel flights, which they can expense as part of their trip.
What’s next and how we’ll keep you updated
We’re proud of the commitments we’ve made, but we are only at the beginning of our journey to becoming a net zero company. Now that we have a clear view of our carbon footprint, we’ll be focusing on emissions reductions measures, and we’ll keep you posted on our progress on this page.