The bank where we choose to keep our cash is often the largest single contributor to our carbon footprint when compared to any other metric, including our miles driven or flown, energy usage and diet. We have a big opportunity to lower our footprint by pressuring the dirty banks to stop financing fossil fuel expansion and by changing how and where we bank.

BankFWD, GreenPortfolio, and The Outdoor Policy Outfit have developed this new tool with the support of the Park Foundation to calculate the carbon pollution footprint generated by customers’ money in a specific bank and the carbon emissions they can reduce by changing to a greener bank.

With this calculator you can estimate the carbon pollution emissions from the cash in your own bank account and see why pressuring the big banks to stop financing fossil fuels and switching banks could be the most effective actions you can take to fight climate change.

To use the calculator: The calculator is the graphic below. Click on the arrow (>), select a primary bank from the drop-down menu at the top (the ones above the —), and use the slider and drop-down menu on the right side to choose an amount of money in your account. You will see a bar graph of emissions that a specific bank (like Chase) finances with your cash deposits compared to a much lower level of emissions if that cash were in a greener bank. Click > again, and on the next page your emissions “savings” or “avoided emissions” are calculated and compared to other metrics like miles driven or flown. To use it again, please refresh the whole webpage (the circle arrow by the main browser bar).

Consider this: On average, $24 of every $100 dollars Wall Street’s largest banks lend out are repurposed to finance fossil fuels. Most clients of big banks can reduce their individual carbon footprints by 60-70%, and some by 90% or more, by moving their money away from Wall Street banks to greener ones. 



Show your bank that climate leadership is good for business

Tell your bank that you want to align your money with your values and are thinking about moving your money because of their insufficient climate action.

You can take the Banking on our Future Pledge, write a letter to your bank, write an op-ed or letter to the editor, share this calculator tool on social media, and join in on the 3.21.23 National Day of Action to Stop Dirty Banks to hold the big banks accountable for all their climate (in)action and trigger change across the financial system.

In light of the recent upheavals in the banking sector and the concentration of deposits in the large Wall Street banks, more than ever we need to demand that these banks use their power and funds responsibly. The banks must manage both financial risks and climate risks; indeed climate risks are financial risks. We need safe and secure banking on a safe planet.


Please note: Third Act is a non-profit educational, organizing, and advocacy organization. We are not investment advisors and are legally prohibited from providing investment or financial advice. The information provided on this page, our website, in webinars, and in emails is for educational purposes only. Third Act does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors or customers to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments, or specific banking services.