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FinTech at the forefront of ethical business says new report

In a new paper, The Payments Association, ‘Sustainability Superheroes: a how-to guide to ESG for FinTechs’ shows how fintechs are changing the business rules.

Rather than simply maximising shareholder returns, new paradigms such as ESG and stakeholder capitalism mean that a balance must be struck between profits and other concerns that fall under the rubric of ‘sustainability’.

The report offers advice, inspiration and real-world best practices from leading ‘sustainability superheroes’, including Charlie Bronks, SVP, Head of ESG at Crown Agents Bank, Irene Perez, Head Of Marketing at Gain The Lead and Jim Colvine, Senior Vice President, Priceless Planet at Mastercard.

The data shows that the industry is making significant progress towards embracing sustainable practices and ethical goals:

• Over 90% of companies measure progress towards gender equity

• 80% consider the social justice impacts of their products and services

• 60% seek to reduce waste from their supply chain

• 60% have identified their ESG stakeholders and prioritised them

The results show that the FinTech industry is making major strides toward integrating these ideas into its day-to-day operations.

Charles Radclyffe, managing partner at EthicsGrade, the ESG ratings and research agency was the author of the report “Sustainability has become a c-suite priority for any company. What we found in our research is that Fintechs are driving sustainability and change at every point of the financial services cycle and across all sectors. In this report we have looked at some of the leaders to develop the seven steps to building a sustainable fintech company."

Tony Craddock, Director General at The Payments Association, comments: “We are extremely proud to be releasing this report at a time when the industry at large is fully embracing ESG goals. Now more than ever before, people want to make more environmentally sustainable decisions and that extends to the brands they do business with. We’re pleased our report not only outlines the ways in which companies can become more ethical and sustainable, but also that it shows that the majority of companies have already started down that path.”

Jim Colvine, Senior Vice President, Priceless Planet at Mastercard, says: ‘Increasingly, people are recognising that the things we produce, buy, and consume matters to our planets’ environment. COVID-19 only heightened these concerns, and now more than ever people want to make a positive, sustainable impact on the world.”

He adds: “It’s extremely encouraging to see the fintech industry recognise this. With most companies already showing that they’re on a path towards being more environmentally and ethically focused, it’s clear that progress is being made. At Mastercard, we’re making headway by having a robust portfolio of environmentally friendly solutions, including our Carbon Calculator, developed with Swedish fintech Doconomy, which makes it easy for consumers to understand their carbon footprint, and our Sustainability Innovation Lab brings together innovators and customers to design climate-conscious digital solutions. It's our responsibility as an industry to meet the expectations of our consumers and ensure sustainable goals are being set and met, for the planet’s sake.”

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