Making the shift into a green banking world - Brillio
                           Mathan Pallikkarakaran June 20, 2023

Financial services executives, especially in banking, are increasingly concerned about incorporating sustainability into their operations, products and services. As global consensus evolves on the climate crisis and the imperative to take swift action to mitigate its impacts, numerous banks are adopting measures to integrate sustainability into their business strategies.

In banking, sustainability is the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into financial decision-making. This involves not only minimizing the bank’s own environmental footprint in its operations, products and services, but also providing financing to support environmentally and socially responsible projects and businesses. This is often referred to as green banking.

An array of green banking use cases

There are several use cases for green banking that banks can leverage to promote environmental sustainability and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Here are some examples:

  • Offering green loans and mortgages that incentivize customers to invest in energy-efficient homes, renewable energy systems and electric vehicles. Green loans generally offer lower interest rates and longer repayment periods, making them more attractive to environmentally conscious customers.
  • Investing in green Infrastructure projects, like renewable energy plants, to promote sustainable development and support the transition to a low-carbon economy. These investments can generate attractive returns while also contributing to environmental sustainability.
  • Implementing sustainable business practices, such as using renewable energy sources to power operations, reducing paper usage and implementing waste reduction initiatives.
  • Offering environmental risk management services that help clients identify and manage environmental risks, such as climate change and environmental liability.

The technology key to green banking

The impact of green banking on banks can be significant. It can bring about new opportunities and revenue streams as more customers seek out environmentally responsible financial services. By offering products and services that promote sustainability, banks can attract new customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Green banking also poses certain challenges. Banks may need to make significant investments in infrastructure and technology to support environmentally sustainable practices. Additionally, they may need to rethink their risk management strategies to accommodate environmental risk.

The fact is, technology is a key enabler for green banking initiatives. The following technologies and technology-driven services can provide banks with the tools and solutions they need to integrate sustainability into their operations and support the transition to a low-carbon economy:

  • Sustainable IT solutions: Sustainable IT solutions can help banks reduce their carbon footprint and improve their energy efficiency. Using cloud-based solutions, banks can reduce their energy usage by optimizing their data centers and reducing the need for on-premises IT infrastructure.
  • Data management and analysis: Data management and analysis tools can help banks track and analyze their sustainability metrics. This can include developing dashboards and reports that provide real-time insights into energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and other sustainability indicators from structured and unstructured data from data centers across the globe. This can also help in standardizing the data across geographies and languages and metrics used at an organizational level.
  • Environmental risk management: Tools and services are available that help banks manage environmental risks like climate change and environmental liability. These tools include risk assessment frameworks and modeling tools that enable banks to assess the potential impact of environmental risks on their operations and financial performance. For example, banks can use satellite imagery and data analytics to identify areas that are at risk of flooding or drought.
  • Sustainable financial products: Banks can use innovative platforms to track and report on the environmental impact of their financial products, which can increase customer trust and satisfaction.
  • Corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting: Such tools can help banks develop sustainability reports that meet regulatory requirements and industry standards, leveraging deep domain and technology expertise.

The impact of green banking will depend on how successfully banks are able to integrate environmental sustainability into their core business strategies. While there may be challenges, the opportunities associated with green banking are significant, and banks that embrace sustainability are better positioned to meet the evolving needs of their customers, markets, and broader society.

About the Author


Mathan Pallikkarakaran

Mathan is an experienced banking consultant with 8+ years of experience working in the financial industry across business functions from project implementation to product strategy and management consulting. Mathan leads the BFSI CoE at Brillio and drives the go to market strategy for the vertical.

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