Sustainability is not important to our business in the sense that we do not solve for sustainability. But we ask ourselves if we are running our business responsibly. We are looking for ways to use this situation to advance the transition to sustainability and financial inclusion.
Anna Kratova – Director, Sustainability at Mambu
The world of work is changing in more ways than one. Sustainability is one of the greatest challenges and opportunities of our time, and companies hold in their hands the power to effect positive change through their actions – and what about they do.
At TravelPerk, we’re lucky to work with thousands of amazing companies around the world. Many of them are working to build the future through their business models, assets, jobs, and daily activities. We caught up with Mambu – a SaaS banking provider helping banks transform into a digital environment – to learn more about how to integrate sustainability into their business and why it works it is for them.
A candle in Mambu
Mambu was founded in 2011 by Frederik Pfisterer, Eugene Danilkis, and Sofia Nunes who created a technical platform for microfinanciers in Africa. During a university study on micro-lending and after contacting banks in emerging African countries, the founders realized that the operating systems used were outdated. now, it is not available, or it is difficult for small loans, which reduces investment. They decided to take banking to places where it was not available through traditional means, and what started as a university project grew into a business that laid the foundation for all that business today.
Fast forward to today, and Mambu is a unicorn company bringing great banking experiences to millions of people. By providing a new banking platform, Mambu empowers banks and other financial institutions to build products and services that improve people’s financial lives.
Mambu also sits at the center of the digital technology, innovation, and financial sector.
By building on its extensive partner ecosystem and technical capabilities within it, Mambu can help develop sustainable financial products that help banks better understand who they are lending to. Now, do the work and get involved in better projects. Sustainable financial services such as end-to-end, green mortgages, green loans, and green savings accounts are becoming popular among consumers, accounting for 75% of stories by a generation with a very different relationship to money in recent years.
Climate change mitigation in the banking industry
When you think of industries that emit a lot of carbon, banking is not one of them. Because we’re used to thinking about Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, and historically, the budget has been excluded from that conversation.
Part 1: direct emissions from resources controlled by the company – i.e. emissions as a direct result of a set of activities
Part 2: Emissions from the production of purchased energy such as electricity, steam, heat, and cooling
Part 3: unrelated, whose releases are not related to the operation of a company
It is true that the release from the banks is very low when you think about it. Most of these emissions come from the energy required to run an office or send employees on business trips. But the real release in the banking industry comes from the nature of their money. What can they do with the money they give? Is that money going towards activities that sustain the environment or harm it?
This is the reason for the discussion about the release in the budget, and it is a topic that started to be discussed in 3-4 years ago. It directly addresses one of the sector’s biggest pain points – the lack of knowledge and understanding of startups to calculate the impact and footprint of their portfolios. Automation, lack of tools, inefficient methods, and big data are just some of the challenges the sector faces in solving this problem.
Insights into becoming a sustainable business
Businesses are faced with the question “why should we bother with sustainability?”, the answer is simple. Because there is no business in the dead world. That’s why the company, and all companies, need to move on this question and change the elements of sustainability as important. After decades of voluntary sustainability work, we have run out of time to discuss the business case for sustainability. We now have a need.
Historically, there have been leaders in business sustainability – sectors and individual businesses – who have been successful in sustainability and integrated in starting their businesses based on customer demand. guidance or guidance. The fintech sector is relatively new to the topic and we are only beginning to see sustainable development.
Mambu is an example of a fintech company that tries to integrate sustainability into its business from the get-go. What lessons can you use in your business to follow the footprint of Mambu (non-carbon)?
Maintain proper balance
It is also important to maintain balance here. You often see companies talking about positive outcomes while leaving their negative outcomes out of the picture. In fact, for many businesses, it should be the other way around. You need to start by looking at your negative impact and develop a plan based on reducing it first. This is what Mambu has done, and this is what shows their roadmap and strategy for the short, medium, and long term.
Placing value on the welfare of the employee
Allowing employees to make a positive impact outside of their daily work is another pillar of their ongoing work and focus on increasing positive outcomes. Employees are given benefits such as stipends and time off to volunteer. For example, since the beginning of 2022, the company has donated close to EUR 200K to charities working for different causes and combined more than 300 hours in voluntary work in the community.
Sustainability and impact financing
Another important point of view for Mambu is that it sits within the context of the wider banking industry. They have a strong focus on sustainable finance and impact, aiming to help businesses turn solutions like this into the norm and make sustainable change faster and easier. The company places great emphasis on investment as a key driver of their financial results and is looking for ways to support the establishment through commitments from the full team. This is clearly linked to their core business values and mission to make banking easier for those who cannot afford it.
Enter Mambu’s sustainable identity
What measures has Mambu put in place to become a sustainable business?
- Complete a continuous self-assessment
The team at Mambu looked long and hard in the mirror and looked at what they were doing well, and more importantly, where they could improve. They asked themselves “where are we at the critical negative impact?” Where can we make the best offer?” This formed the basis for their entire strategy and subsequent actions – and should form the basis for any business trying to understand how to be sustainable. Without this, you are just cutting in the dark or wasting business resources on new changes.
- Continuity is taken to the C level
At Mambu, C-level executives are part of the social responsibility committee and the sustainability committee. Elevating sustainability as a C-level strategy that elevates Mambu’s efforts from new “good enough” projects can really move the needle on method of handling negative results.
- Focusing on knowledge and learning
Involvement in their community is important to Mambu. How do they do that? Through a sustainability program based on transparency that takes employees on their way to sustainable change, integrates common values, and involves them in decision-making.
What specific actions did Mambu perform to get the ball rolling?
- A sustainable information center is established
Mambu rolled out a sustainability board to its employees and leadership, created a dedicated Slack channel to act as a living group for everyone to share sustainability ideas and news and discuss decisions and actions, and he has opened up a vast knowledge base.
- A green travel promotion program is launched
To understand the importance of the need for partners to come together physically, Mambu decided to look at ways to promote environmental choices in countries where possible. With the help of TravelPerk’s GreenPerk API, Mambu can track how employees travel and draw insights about where they can reduce their carbon-related travel footprint, and work. Mambu admitted that they are not on track to implement their travel reduction plan as people are looking to make the best of being able to regroup after the two-year COVID break.
However, they are seeing a 1.22% increase in rail travel from the start of the travel policy in January 2022, and a 23-fold increase in the Amsterdam-London journey expected to most of their travels in Europe. This is an example of how local financial incentives and private sector work can be combined for good results.
- Keep recording
As a cloud-based company, coding is at the heart of Mambu’s operations. That’s why the company has put a lot of effort into developing a roadmap to make sure their code doesn’t waste energy and generate huge emissions.
Everything we do today has an impact on tomorrow. Deciding where we want to work, how we want to live and how we eat, has a significant impact on our society: for better or for worse. As Mambuvians, we are proud to be part of the solution which is why we are always working on developing our thinking and actions related to sustainability.
Eugene Danilkis – CEO and Co-founder at Mambu