Women act more sustainably in the financial sector

D.he topic of sustainability is taken very seriously by the employees of the banks. This is shown by a current survey by the consulting company Zeb, which specializes in the financial sector. Accordingly, three quarters of the 470 respondents are interested in the topic. One fifth is assigned to the group of idealists. The refusal is comparatively low at 5 percent.

Of those surveyed, 25 percent came from top management, 22 percent from middle and 26 percent from lower management and 27 percent from the workforce. The proportion of women was 35 percent. One of the core messages is that they show more consistency in sustainability than men. But climate and environmental protection are also important for men, because they intend to change their behavior. The higher the professional position, the more women strive for sustainability. It is the other way round among men: the higher the rank, the more likely it is that they will slack off in their efforts.

In addition to gender, age also plays a major role among employees in banks. Men aged 45 and over are very willing to change their behavior around sustainability. Career starters are very sustainable in their attitude. They value sustainable nutrition, but at the same time they behave inconsistently because they use long-haul flights disproportionately often. The employees who live in big cities are also more open to long air travel.

The 41 percent parents among the respondents are also rather inconsistent when it comes to the subject of cars. Families are rather skeptical about car use, but they do not completely reject it. This is also likely to be related to the use of the car, which is greater for families than for some single people in large cities. So it is not surprising that families with children tend to travel by car.

Sustainable behavior is communicated socially

A central message of the survey is the importance of social incentives: Sustainable behavior is communicated socially, and not financially. Social incentives through the social environment and relevant role models had a more beneficial effect than material incentives through profit or savings opportunities. Material incentives are only beneficial in conjunction with social motives, otherwise they are more of a hindrance. The conclusion for the financial sector is not surprising: banks have to act.

This has been observed more and more in recent years. So far, regulation has been an important driving force behind this. The EU Commission wants to align the financial market with sustainability. But there are also earnings opportunities, which is why the Zeb consultants recommend banks to position themselves through employee and customer analysis. In addition, the advice should be tailored to the various types of behavior when it comes to sustainability. This also results in a targeted customer analysis.

In a study on the German private customer business, Zeb came to the conclusion that two thirds of income is affected by sustainability. There is additional potential of 1.6 billion euros.

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