It’s time for a change
It’s ‘code red for humanity’. The latest IPCC report summed it up perfectly – there is no doubt that climate change is happening and is one of (if not the biggest) challenges we need to tackle as a society and across the world. Reducing our footprint, learning to live and consume better, with much less impact on our environment is fundamental to our future.
Businesses across the UK have a responsibility and duty to reduce their carbon footprint and conduct business responsibly with less impact on the planet. It’s also something our customers are passionate about – we recently ran a survey with our customer base and found that over 84% said that climate change was ‘Important’ or ‘Very important’ to them, as well as 76% who are actively trying to make their businesses more sustainable.
We are in a unique position to be able to give our customers the right tools and information to better understand that impact and make better choices.
Over the last three years, Mettle has had a relentless focus on our purpose of building world-class banking tech to give people the financial confidence to turn their passion into an opportunity. With this focus, we’ve developed a loved product (with a 4.8-star rating in the app stores today) with a rapidly growing and engaged customer base. It’s incredibly humbling to be able to enable and support so many people who are setting up something for themselves.
Although we are incredibly proud of the progress we have made to date, as an organisation, we have failed so far in our approach to climate and sustainability. It’s not been a core pillar of our organisation from inception and, until recently, we have not had the collective will to bake it into our go-forward strategy.
Mettle Climate Survey Results
What we’ve done so far
Earlier this year, we partnered with Climate Collage, a leading team workshop based on scientific evidence from IPCC. It had a profound impact on our organisation and employees which has enabled us to have a common scientific understanding of what the problem is and what actions need to be taken.
Climate Collage was a big wake up call for the organisation, and opened the eyes of many across the business at all levels, to the responsibility we have to tackle the very real and urgent issue of climate change.
Since this training, we have set up an internal Climate Committee, tasked with evolving Mettle to be more centred around climate and to pull together a coherent and ambitious strategy across all aspects of the business so we become a world leader in our approach to climate. We recently ran a Hackathon and there were many compelling initiatives centred around developing a green proposition and looking inward on how we can become more sustainable.
The organisation is now brimming with ideas and has a real desire to make meaningful change – it’s on us to turn that into real action. Like many start-ups, the biggest issue is the prioritisation of all the great ideas and being able to put the resources behind them to make them come to life. This is something we’ve got wrong in the past – many initiatives have been ‘side of desk’ or other OKRs have meant items haven’t been prioritised – that needs to change.
We are therefore today announcing Mettle’s Climate Commitment – to work towards becoming carbon negative and a BCorp accredited organisation within two years.
We also commit to putting the required resources behind what we need to achieve our goal. We will encourage our employees to get involved with our climate agenda. Akin to ‘Google time’, our employees can put aside a % of their working week to support our climate initiatives. This will be done gradually at first, as we expand our roadmap.
We are at the beginning of our journey and there’s a lot of work to do to really flesh out how we get there. We don’t have all the answers right now. We have designed a loose structure to help us focus our efforts and ensure we are driving forward meaningful action.
Walk – the now
We will use the coming months to set out our climate vision, roadmap and appropriate OKRs for 2022. A key part of this stage is to also focus internally – what’s clear is that we need to lead the way and set an example if we ever expect our customers to evolve with us or the wider population to listen. We, therefore, will be assessing our carbon impact across our entire business and will develop a clear roadmap on how we can achieve carbon negativity.
We’ll also start to provide our customers with meaningful guidance and advice on how they can become more climate-conscious, whilst being mindful that many customers have already embarked on very similar climate journeys. We also want to open a meaningful dialogue with our customers so we can learn from each other.
Run – the next
Once we have our own house in order, we can start taking positive action and begin focusing on product development to better support our customers in assessing and reducing their climate impact. There’s a huge opportunity in banking to support businesses through technology when looking at climate.
Our ultimate goal is to become a BCorp accredited organisation, much like our sister brand Coutts who went on this journey earlier this year. We have a lot we can learn from them and will be engaging with them as we move forward.
We also have a desire to fold our climate committee, as we believe that climate and sustainability shouldn’t require a centralised body within organisations, it should be core to everyone and everything we do across the business.
Our principles along the way
We have set a few principles to reinforce our commitment to our customers:
To be open and honest with how we are getting on, the good and the bad
Provide regular updates on our progress. Check out our blog to see how we’re getting on
Involve the entire organisation in our climate initiatives
Put the required resources behind our roadmap – whether that be financial, people, or time to be able to achieve what is necessary
We don't yet have all the answers – we’ll consult our customers and experts to support us along the way
As COP26 kicks off, the climate emergency has never been more urgent to address with real action. We must do our bit to secure the future of the world. We hope that talking openly and honestly about our journey will help inspire other organisations to take a comprehensive approach to climate change and make real change.