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What Adyen's "Planet" reveals about sustainability in FinTech

Since the start of the pandemic. eCommerce has been skyrocketing, which is great news! The not-so-good news is that eCommerce carbon footprint emissions are skyrocketing too. But what if you could offset the carbon footprint involved in purchasing a new pair of sunglasses? Dutch payments provider Adyen, has just launched that feature, offering tens of thousands of merchants the opportunity to let their customers offset the CO2 emissions of their purchases for a low fee.

pandemic accelerates ecommerce in 2020
Pandemic accelerated eCommerce sales in 2020. Source: Statista
Given our appreciation of such initiatives, we thought to take a look into what has been going on in the FinTech space in terms of sustainability.

Sustainability trends in FinTech

We are witnessing a trend, where numerous FinTechs contribute towards helping consumers to become mindful of the environmental impact of their decisions. Specifically, carbon footprint calculation tools, which you probably heard about at least once this year!

Just to name a few examples, the Finnish FinTech company Enfuce launched its own carbon footprint monitoring tool back in 2019, where they provide consumer insight on the carbon footprint for each purchase and what alternative behaviour would mean. Mastercard also launched a tool earlier this month, and just a couple weeks ago Klarna rolled out its own solution to track the CO2 emissions of online purchases. 

This revolution has definitely taken off since the European Union announced the CO2 emissions reduction goals for 2030, which caused local governments to be on a mission to meet these goals. And to be honest, we think that the Netherlands is really up to speed in that regard. The Dutch government is constantly working on projects to make mobility sustainable. And In 2017, trains in the Netherlands became the first in the world to run 100% on wind energy.

Bitcoin and sustainability

In addition, there are major environmental concerns when it comes to the mining of cryptocurrencies. Although this is nothing new, it has caused a lot of media attention last week following Tesla’s decision to suspend vehicle purchasing using Bitcoin. CNBC recently also published an article addressing its concerns. In their article, it was revealed that mining of bitcoin consumes more electricity than the entire annual energy consumption of the Netherlands. And while there is a lot of debate on the negative impacts bitcoin presents, some consumers are placing their bets on Altcoins that are much more environmentally friendly. 

Demand for sustainable solutions is on the rise

From our perspective, demand for sustainable solutions is on the rise again. Smart companies are recognizing the market demand and are innovating to play their role of contributing to a greener future. This initiative is certainly a positive step showing Adyen’s thought leadership once again. Aside from that, we believe that more giant FinTech companies are in the process of rolling out their own sustainable initiative. 

Is the rising popularity of sustainable fintech initiatives is driven by consumer demand? Or are companies such as Adyen proactively pushing towards a green future?

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