Methodology – Finder’s green bank ratings

You’ll find our green bank ratings on some our banking pages. Here's how we came up with them.

You’ll find our green bank ratings on some our banking pages. We assess the banks behind these products using a system of one to five stars.

★★★★★ – Excellent

★★★★★ – Good

★★★★★ – Average

★★★★★ – Subpar

★★★★★ – Poor

How it works

To create our green bank ratings, we scored each bank on 3 key areas:

  • Position on fossil fuel financing (70% of overall score). We think the most important thing to consider when assessing the sustainability credentials of a bank is where your money could end up. It’s a little known fact that many of the world’s best known banks provide financing to significant contributors to the climate crisis like the fossil fuel industry. We assessed each bank’s position on financing fossil fuels and how well they report on financed emissions more broadly.
  • Position on fossil fuel financing
    PositionScore
    No financing activities in fossil fuels sector with financed emissions fully disclosed10
    No financing activities in fossil fuels sector with financed emissions not/partially disclosed9
    Some financing activities in fossil fuel sector and financed emissions fully disclosed6
    Possible financing activities in fossil fuel sector with financed emissions not/partially disclosed5
    Significant financing activities in fossil fuel sector and financed emissions fully disclosed4
    Significant financing activities in fossil fuel sector with financed emissions not/partially disclosed3

  • Operational emissions (15% of overall score). Greenhouse gas emissions are the best overall indicator of a company’s environmental impact and operational emissions are related to the day-to-day operations of the business. Think electricity used in the branches or the cars driven by the executives. For the sustainability experts among you, we assessed each bank based on absolute location-based Scope 1 & 2 emissions using revenue as a denominator to help us compare big and small banks fairly.
  • Operational emissions
    Emissions revenue intensityScore
    Less than 1.5 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue10
    Between 1.5 and 2.25 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue9
    Between 2.25 and 3.0 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue8
    Between 3.0 and 3.75 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue7
    Between 3.72 and 4.25 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue6
    Between 4.25 and 5.0 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue5
    Between 5.0 and 5.75 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue4
    Between 6.25 and 7.0 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue 3
    More than 7.0 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue2
  • Net zero targets (15% of overall score). We also assessed the future ambition of each bank when it comes to sustainability by looking at their net zero targets. The UN defines “net zero” to mean “cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, with any remaining emissions re-absorbed from the atmosphere, by oceans and forests”. The earlier the bank is aiming to achieve net zero emissions the better it scored.
  • Net zero targets
    TargetScore
    Net zero by 2040 or earlier, SBTI approved near term target10
    Net zero by 2040 or earlier9
    Net zero by 2050, Net zero operations by 2030, SBTI approved near term target8
    Net zero by 2050, Net zero operations by 2030, Near term financed emissions target7
    Between 3.72 and 4.25 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue6
    Between 4.25 and 5.0 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue5
    Between 5.0 and 5.75 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue4
    Between 6.25 and 7.0 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue 3
    More than 7.0 tonnes scope 1 & 2 CO2e emissions per £1m of revenue2

Written by

Kate Steere

Kate Steere is an editor at Finder, specialising in fintech, banking and cryptocurrency. She has previously written for The Motley Fool UK and Fitch Solutions, where she covered a wide range of personal finance topics and kept a close eye on market trends. Kate has a Bachelor of Arts in Modern History from the University of East Anglia. When not working, she can usually be found curled up with a good book or heading out for a run. See full profile

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