GreenPrint, a global environmental technology company, released the results of its 2022 Business of Sustainability Index on Tuesday. The study found that 64% of Americans are looking for a credit card that automatically offsets some of the environmental impact of their purchase. Additionally, 60% of Americans are more likely to buy stock in an environmentally conscious company than in one that is not.
The 2022 Business of Sustainability Index (which you can Download here — GreenPrint will plant a tree for every download) launched in March 2022 to 1,062 US adults ages 18 and older.
The index also found that 66% of Americans – and 80% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 – are willing to pay more for sustainable products, but 78% of American consumers don’t know how to identify whether a product is or not durable.
For consumers wondering if their credit card is sustainable, there are a handful of things to look out for.
According Experian, the first thing is the material. Some cards (including some Mastercards) are made with recycled plastics, metals or even wood. Other things to look for are if you can make charitable donations to eco-friendly charities or if you can offset your carbon footprint with every purchase. Consumers should also know the issuing bank and whether it is doing anything to protect the environment.
Additionally, according to GreenPrint’s index, only 38% of Americans believe a company says it’s environmentally friendly, up from 47% in last year’s index. Among the least reliable industries are airlines, fleet services, and gas and energy providers.
Also: Financially healthy consumers fell to 43%. Here’s how banks need to step up
“Over the past year, public confidence in the authenticity and effectiveness of corporate sustainability efforts has been significantly eroded,” said Pete Davis, CEO and co-founder of GreenPrint, in the press release.
“This puts companies that are making real progress in a bind because their actions are less likely to be recognized,” Davis added. “To regain trust, the data clearly shows that Americans want companies to validate their sustainability claims through independent sources, both at the company level and for their products.”
For brands looking to bridge the trust gap between consumers and their business, GreenPrint said it’s about transparency in messaging, meeting audiences where they are – for example, on social networks. for young consumers – and to make it clear that the company is working to reduce its carbon impact.
The study also found that, despite record gas prices, 64% of Americans would pay more for gas as long as the gas supplier offsets its carbon footprint from emissions through sustainability efforts. This percentage climbs to 75% for Americans aged 18 to 34.
As gas prices continue to climb, many consumers are looking for a way to put money back in their pockets after filling up at the pump. Reward credit cards could be the solution.
However, despite promises of net zero, large banks (like Bank of America and Wells Fargo) continue to invest in environmentally harmful industries, including fossil fuels. According the Banking on Climate Chaos 2022 report — which monitors how much big banks invest in fossil fuels — the banking industry invested a total of $741.83 billion in fossil fuels in 2021.
JP Morgan Chase leads the list with $61.73 billion, followed by Citi with $41.35 billion and Wells Fargo with $46.22 billion. And despite Wells Fargo’s net zero promise, its investment in fossil fuels nearly doubled to $26.64 billion in 2020. Bank of America also invested $31.98 billion in fossil fuels in 2021 It should be noted, however, that the number of Bank of America has increased from $42.15 billion in 2020.
So are there any truly sustainable credit card options for consumers in 2022? There are a few to consider, but unfortunately they aren’t as rewarding as standard credit cards, especially for gas expenses.
That said, here are two sustainable credit cards that make money for gas while doing something for the environment:
- Visa FutureCard: Earn 5% cash back for eco-friendly spending and 1% for everything else. It doesn’t require any fees or even a credit check, just a valid bank account. Purchases eligible for 5% include electric vehicle charging, public transport, thrift stores, new proteins, bicycles/scooters and plant-based food products. Consumers can even track their carbon footprint using the Future app. You can subscribe to the card here.
- Zero Aspiration Credit Card: Earn unlimited 0.5% cash back for everything you buy. And for every purchase made with the card, Aspiration will plant a tree. You can track your carbon footprint in the Aspiration app; each month you achieve a zero carbon footprint, Aspiration will double the cash back you earn for purchases made during that billing cycle. There’s even a $300 welcome bonus for spending $3,000 in the first three months with the card. However, this requires good credit and there is an annual fee of $60. you can check it here.