Making a difference one tree at a time

It’s no secret that we’re at a crossroads when it comes to our environment. The headlines have been full of unprecedented heatwaves, cold snaps and weather changes from all four corners of the world for a while now. Our planet has taken a bit of a beating and needs our help before it’s too late.

When it comes to banks and financial institutions, they’re sometimes on the wrong side of these headlines, some profiting from the things that are damaging our ecosystem, whether that be deforestation, child labour, arms sales or trafficking. Which is why we think it’s so important to take a stand and make a positive difference.

Social responsibility

We’re in the process of building the greatest social bank and that, amongst other things, means being socially responsible. But it’s not just about us — we want to make sure our customers are able to contribute to making the world a better place.

This means digging deeper than just addressing social finances in a new way. We want to cultivate a strong social conscience that resonates within our business as well as in the lives and values of our customers.

We’re not defining the views of our customers. Quite the opposite — their views are what define our business. We want them to know we share their values. And part of this is demonstrating our shared ethical responsibility to help heal our environment through action.

Actions speak louder than words

It’s important to us that we’re active in our commitment to being socially responsible. By doing something with a tangible and ecologically-friendly effect, we’d be putting our money where our mouth was, so to speak.

Many options were discussed, but in the end, we chose to start with a tree planting referral system. We settled on this as a jumping-off point due to the huge positive environmental impact trees have on the world around us.

How trees help our world

When most people think of trees, they think of clean air — which is one of their main positive effects — but there’s so much more to it than just that. They also filter water, reduce flooding risks, help prevent landslides and support a huge portion of the world’s biodiversity in one way or another.

In terms of clean air, trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Considering the proven scientific effect carbon dioxide has, this gives the fight against climate change a big boon, removing a key player in the greenhouse gases team. Trees lock this carbon away in their wood, meaning it can’t affect the delicate balance of the atmosphere. But a lot of the benefits of trees happen under the surface.

The intricate lattice work of a tree’s roots helps to filter water around the tree while also drinking some of that water up. This helps reduce flooding by dispersing rain water during heavy downpours, while the roots anchor and strengthen the ground around the tree, helping to prevent landslides and keep everything in place.

And on top of this, a single tree can be home to hundreds of different kinds of insects, fungi, moss, mammals and other plants. They provide food and shelter for all different kinds of life, whether it’s wild, domesticated or someone taking a stroll on their lunch break.

Planting a Kroo Forest

Its obvious trees are a vital worldwide ecological asset. Which is why we partnered up with One Tree Planted. So, whenever a Kroo customer invites one of their friends to Kroo, and that referee successfully opens an account, we will plant 20 trees on their behalf, helping to reduce their carbon footprint and provide the world a long-term benefit.

Our goal is to plant over 1 million trees. So, the more people referred, the more trees we plant, the more we all help the planet. Later on this year we want to allow customers to be able to keep track of the size of their personal contribution to this Kroo forest. This may come in the form of tapping on their profile section to see how many trees they’ve played a part in planting.

And this is just the start

It would be lovely if something this simple was all that was needed to help heal the world around us, but we’re well aware more needs to be done. There are other impacts that need to be addressed.

That’s why our tree planting initiative is only the beginning — a first step of many on the journey to becoming a socially conscious bank and making our environment better.

We’re also working on a few other ways our Kroo customers will be able to help out, like having the option to offset the carbon produced by their purchases, teaming up with socially and ecologically like-minded companies and charities, to name a few. These are the kinds of programmes you can expect from Kroo, as we look for socially responsible ways to embed the values of our customers in our business.

Getting involved

If any of this sounds appealing and you’d like to join us on our journey, there are a number of ways you can play a part. The first is signing up, then inviting your friends and family.

We’re also a growing business, so check out our career vacancies and see if you have the skills and experience you can bring to the table. From developers to designers, and all that lies in between, we’d love to see you on our team.

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