Michael Gastauer: As Europe Burns, CEOs Must Take Note of Corporation Commitment to Fighting Climate Change

As southern Europe experiences a heat dome and the US faces its heatwave, many reflect on their personal habits that could exacerbate climate change. But while individuals remain guilty of their lifestyles, businesses, especially large corporations, are the ones with the most to apologize for. According to the University of Manchester, since 1988, only 100 companies have been responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, we spoke to digital bank CEO and German billionaire Michael Gastauer to hear his thoughts on the recent headlines and what his own company, Black Banx, implements to reduce the effects of climate change.

What exactly is going on in Europe?

Record temperatures and wildfires have made some parts of Europe unbearable for tourists and residents. On July 19, Malaga airport, Spain, recorded its highest temperature of 44.2C, and Durres, Albania, recorded 40.4C. According to the latest reports, Spain and Italy will see cooler temperatures in the coming days, but for Italy and the Balkans, it will only get worse. Wildfires have struck Rhodes, Greece, with tourism flights into the country suspended by some UK airlines, and evacuation orders have been issued for Corfu, Greece, with one British tourist telling Sky News that escaping wildfires felt like “the end of the world.”

With this heatwave being called the ‘worst ever’ by some outlets and scientists offering several causation factors, it’s important to remember that climate change is a contributing factor that we should get under control. The EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service attributed these unusually high temperatures to climate change and suggested events like these are to become more frequent and last longer in the near future.

Corporations and the climate

Although companies are heading along a greener path, the worry is that corporations aren’t doing enough to fight the acceleration of climate change. Notable companies such as Apple, Ikea, and Google committed to 100% renewable power under the RE100 initiative in recent years, and it’s time for other businesses to follow suit.

Digital Banks and sustainability

Commitment to sustainability has also been adopted by digital banks, who believe tackling climate change is a no-brainer. Black Banx founder Michael Gastauer said, “Only because we exist digitally, it doesn’t mean we have the right to take a step back when it comes to looking after the environment. At Black Banx, I continue to consider all aspects, whether it be where employees work and the sustainability and need of setting up a global office.”

Black Banx, a Toronto-headquartered fintech service that serves over 28 million people in 180 countries, offers a borderless banking solution with features ranging from regular digital banking to crypto services and business accounts. Gastauer added: “At Black Banx, we try our best to increase the positive impact of our business decisions and to support a sustainable future for society and the environment. We monitor and manage the possible negative impacts, and we apply reasonable processes to balance and solve emerging conflicts.”

A few years ago, Black Banx laid out a new climate approach. Gastauer commented, “We’ve set the goal to become net zero by 2030 and committed to aligning business practices with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement. My aim with this is to make sure Black Banx as a whole remains accountable for our progress.”

Black Banx’s three main strategies to encourage sustainability are: Stay at home, Go digital, and Work from anywhere. By implementing a stay-at-home policy, Black Banx has reduced employee commutes to work by 99%. Go digital has eliminated the need for physical meetings, with alternatives such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams used instead. Finally, working from anywhere has eliminated the need for employees to relocate and has reduced office space globally by 95%. In effect, energy consumption and employee carbon emissions production have decreased significantly.

Gastauer’s company is also working to achieve net zero operations and reduce supply chain emissions, investing in the continued de-carbonization of operations and developing a net zero pathway for supply chain emissions.

Overall, as the world’s temperatures continue to rise, it’s obvious more corporate commitment should be increased along with it. Gastauer’s approach to making Black Banx a sustainable company regarding profit and the environment ensures his name as one of the world’s top CEOs.