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The Carbon Tracker – helping you reduce your carbon footprint

Posted by Ste Bauman, about 2 years ago

4 min read

Most of us recognise that we need to do more to tackle the climate emergency. But with so many tools available, working out your own carbon footprint can be challenging. That’s why we’ve partnered with CoGo to introduce the Carbon Tracker to our mobile banking app.

The tracker allows customers to analyse their carbon emissions based on their spending habits, and provides tips and resources on how they can become greener. The tracker also aligns well with our own climate goals of becoming carbon positive by 2030. So to learn more about the Carbon Tracker, I spoke to some of the project team behind the collaboration.

Meeting a desire

Let’s start with the decision to introduce the Carbon Tracker. Miles Hillier is the Head of Digital Channels Development. Miles is part of the digital and technology leadership team and runs our proposition development. When carbon tracking came across his desk, helped drive forward strategy and funding for the tracker. ‘Climate change is an area which we have a specific commitment around here,’ he told me. ‘And we knew it was really important to engage our customers in this challenge.’

Customers can now track their carbon footprint with our app

Miles and his team wanted to understand what our customers’ thoughts were on climate change. And how we could support them on their own climate change paths? ‘What we found is that most customers are worried about climate change, but not everyone has gone on to take any action in and around it.’

We developed the Carbon Tracker to help address that mindset. It allows customers to understand the impact of their carbon footprint on an ongoing, monthly basis. And by becoming more attuned to the habits of each customer, we can take them on a journey of how to improve their carbon footprint. For Miles, ‘It's the ability to do small things, seeing what else we can do to break that down further, and find opportunities to improve’.

When I asked Miles what he enjoys about his role, he couldn’t hide his pride in what his team have achieved. ‘We start with a blank sheet of paper and a challenge the customer faces, then build that into a meaningful proposition. I get to drive those propositions end to end and that sense of ownerships is important to me – seeing the full end to end customer journey. We’re developing, launching, and running new technology as one team, which is different to most large companies and more like small FinTech businesses.’

Shaping the future

Having talked about the initial launch, I turned to Emma Burnett. Emma is our innovative Senior Product Owner looking after our climate proposition, and is responsible for the direction the Carbon Tracker will take from here on out. That includes what the tracker is going to look like, what the strategy is, and what direction the overall proposition is taking.

By getting input from our customers, we can work out how we can help them to make the changes they want. As Emma tells me, ‘We want as many people as possible to be aware of the Carbon Tracker and use it. A key strategy for the tracker is to help educate customers on what their impact is, and how they can affect that.’

And it's this continued engagement we use to decide and add new features and functionality to the tracker. Over the next few years, you can expect to see the tool integrated as a fundamental part of the mobile banking app.

We’ve had about 150,000 customers use the tracker since its launch, and around half of those are coming back in to check it and regularly. For Emma, one thing stands out. In everything we do with the tracker, we’ll make sure it's helping our customers, educating them, and encouraging them to understand what changes they can make.’

To run alongside the Carbon Tracker, the team are also currently working on a tool that will help customers decarbonise their home. Like the Carbon Tracker, the tool can suggest changes to customers which will make their homes greener.

What your work means to you

Both Vicky Glenn and Victoria Tolond are Digital Proposition Managers, working on a range of activity around the Carbon Tracker. They to analyse our business requirements – and those of our customers – working with different teams to translate them into the technical requirements.

Vicky joined her current team as a technology graduate, with no professional technology experience before joining the scheme. The breadth of projects she now works on is impressive, and she’s doing more than just looking at code. It’s the freedom and flexibility to shape what we deliver as a technology function that’s important for Vicky. ‘You have the opportunity to have an input at all levels of the technology we use, and influence what it will mean to our customers.’

When thinking about the Carbon Tracker, Vicky keen to point out the effect across our customer base as a whole. ‘It will be a really rewarding cumulative amount of reduced carbon emissions, which is a great thing to say.’

Victoria came into her role with limited knowledge of technology, but her collaboration on the Carbon Tracker has boosted her awareness and confidence when talking about tech. For her, it’s the relevance and importance of the work that excites. ‘Working on projects that are less about day-to-day banking, and more about going above and beyond for our customers is important to me.’

One coming into her new role, ‘One of the biggest things that surprised me was the pace of change. Things move fast. The Carbon Tracker was completed in around six months, from the budget being approved to going live.’

Projects like the Carbon Tracker call on lots of different people working together to make the successful. And with a diverse and talented team at the helm, we can’t wait to see what course they chart.

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