29 Oct 2020

New Zealand bank customers can now use the ethical spending app CoGo to track their carbon footprint using transaction data from their bank accounts.

Powered by Westpac NZ, CoGo’s new Carbon Footprint Tracker feature uses open banking technology to analyse spending habits, show users their carbon footprint based on their spending and what steps they can take to reduce their emissions.

From today, Westpac NZ customers can use the app, which will also be available to all major bank customers in the near future.

CoGo founder and New Zealander Ben Gleisner says the new functionality is a game changer for anyone interested in living more lightly.

“There are other apps that track carbon footprints but they involve a lot of manual entry. Users of our app can now choose to use their bank spending data for analysis, which removes a lot of the guess work and effort.”

Free to download, the app is already well-established in the UK, with 50,000 users, and CoGo has justsigned a major partnership with NatWest Group to scale.

“The feedback we’re getting from users is that they seriously love it. They tell us it is easy-to-use, super informative and very inspiring,” Mr Gleisner says.

“It’s great to have Westpac NZ coming on board to power the app here in New Zealand, firstly for its own customers, but even more so because it will be offered for free to all major banks’ customers in the very near future.”

Once a customer has downloaded the app and consented to share their banking data with CoGo, Westpac NZ’s API platform will provide the customer data to CoGo for analysis. Westpac NZ does not store or use the data in any way.

Westpac NZ Customer Experience Hub General Manager Karen Silk says the bank is pleased to be able to give Kiwis simple tools to track their carbon footprint and make good spending decisions.

“This year we became New Zealand’s first Toitū carbonzero certified bank, meaning we’ve been assessed as carbon neutral by a third party verification process.

“It’s exciting we’re now able to partner with CoGo to help our customers apply that same sort of thinking, and explore their own carbon footprint.

“It’s clear from talking to people all around the country that they want us to help them take action on environmental and social issues, and our partnership with CoGo puts that power right in their pocket.

“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face. By supporting businesses that share our environmental values, we can all do our part to transition to a cleaner and more sustainable economy.”

CoGo also shows users which retailers share their ethical values – for example whether they’re carbon neutral or Living Wage accredited - and helps them make their spending decisions accordingly.

In New Zealand it so far boasts more than 2,500 accredited business listings and has had more than 40,000 downloads. Users can check out the environmental and social credentials of a range of retail, restaurant and hospitality businesses, among others.