The Penta Green Team: Teamwork Makes the Change Work

Philip
Philip July 2022 Content Marketing Editor 6 min

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Environmental commitment and climate protection are everyone’s concerns. While it’s great that many people are already living more ecologically conscious lives, businesses need to rethink and adapt their operating processes in the face of climate change – not tomorrow, but today.

At Penta we’ve retroactively offset emissions since 2020 and thus achieved climate neutrality at the end of 2021 through internal reduction measures and the support of certified climate protection projects. Since then, we’ve been pursuing our next goal. Penta aims to reduce its annual emissions by at least 10%, thereby achieving a 50% reduction by 2025.

The ones driving the change? The Penta Green Team. In this article, we would like to introduce the team and its members and give you a closer look at their work.

What’s the Penta Green Team?

The Green Team began in October 2021 as an internal sustainability taskforce. Its members meet once a month to exchange ideas on emissions reduction, figuring out ways to implement their solutions into cross-departmental projects. The Green Team is led by our Climate Officer Jan-Luca.

What are the Green Team’s tasks?

The team is responsible for ensuring that Penta achieves the sustainability goals it has set itself step by step. These are primarily:

  • Reduction of annual emissions by at least 10%.
  • Reduction of total emissions by 50% by 2025 (relative to company growth)

It is their mission to make Penta a more climate-friendly company in the long term and to show how other fintechs can harmonise their processes with the environment.

In addition, the Green Team ensures that all Pentonians are kept up to date with the latest developments on Penta’s journey to becoming a climate-friendly company. This is how we as a company work together.

Klaudia, AML & Fraud Prevention:

“At Penta, we always want to make best efforts to integrate sustainability considerations and objectives into our business strategy and actively manage ESG risks associated with our business engagements. ESG and protecting the environment is much more than a temporary topic of the day.”

Which departments are involved?

In order to cover all relevant areas of the company and to develop and implement effective measures with the necessary expertise, the Penta Green Team consists of nine members from different departments. These members deal with the topic of climate protection both in their daily work at Penta and in their private lives.

Workspace Management & HR

As a digital banking provider, almost all of our processes are based online. One of the few physical things we need to be aware of in terms of emissions savings is our offices in Berlin and Belgrade and our employees who drive innovative business banking here.

Fabian and Senka, who are responsible for Workspace & HR, have already launched a number of initiatives to make our office spaces more ecological and to help Pentonians reduce emissions in their daily lives – for example, through carbon neutral electricity, hybrid working models, and free public transport.

Fabian, HR & Workspace Management

“Everyone should strive to provide a safe and clean environment for the future generations. It makes me very sad when I think of the consequences that all our negligence will have in the future if we don’t act now.”

Product

A company is nothing without its product – and this is often where companies find the majority of their scope 3 emissions. Although Penta offers a digital account and online services, we are constantly working to ensure that our product is as climate-friendly as possible.

In April for example, Katrina, as Product representative within the Green Team, was able to work with her colleagues to ensure that our Penta Debit Cards and their packaging are now made from 100% recycled materials.

Finance

Behind the scenes – and just as important – Daria takes care of climate-friendly finance at Penta. A big focus of hers is on responsible travel.

With this in mind, Penta already covers the cost of a public transport ticket in Berlin and there are also strict guidelines for other business travel to be covered financially by Penta. For example, a “train over car” policy applies to domestic travel and if a car journey is unavoidable, we advise car sharing.

The same applies to air travel: If another form of travel is not possible, only an economy class flight ticket will be covered by Penta.

Daria, Finance:

“Consistent and thoughtful adaptation of the best sustainable practices will eventually turn it into a habit. Then it becomes as natural and familiar to businesses as a profit maximisation function. Spreading across every single business area, it will then blend individual efforts together resulting in an impactful change.”

In order to integrate sustainable and climate-friendly principles company-wide, existing processes and regulations must be officially changed or even completely redrafted. This is not always an easy task when a company has been on the market for years.

This is where Klaudia and Patrick come in. These two law and AML experts have already been able to incorporate sustainable provisions into our Code of Conduct, thereby anchoring climate-friendly action right at the heart of Penta.

Brand & Marketing

This area takes care of communicating the Green Team’s initiatives and thus Penta’s successes to the outside world – both to our employees and to customers and partners. This communication always follows the principles of the Green Team: transparency, openness, and ambition for a more sustainable future.

Philip, Brand & Marketing

“It’s great when individuals live more sustainably, of course, but the lion’s share of emissions is still generated in the corporate sector. Here, businesses have the responsibility to rethink and act in a future-oriented way.”

What are the achievements so far?

Since launching the Green Team, we have already been able to implement a number of internal reduction measures and to promote social projects at Penta.

Initiatives for climate protection and emission reduction

On the way to climate neutrality, but also beyond, the Green Team has prioritised a variety of climate-related measures.

  • Switch to 100% recycled Penta Debit Cards
  • Green electricity for our Berlin office
  • Free use of public transport for Pentonians in Berlin
  • Hybrid working model for less commuting
  • Quarterly report to measure savings from remote work
  • Guidelines for business travel
  • Climate-neutral web hosting and cloud provider
  • Green Channel for internal awareness and transparency
  • Official embedding of sustainability in the Penta Code of Conduct

Since we are not yet able to save 100% of our emissions through our own efforts, Penta supports three additional funding projects to make up the difference.

The selection of the funding projects was discussed jointly within the Green Team. Our portfolio consists of three projects, each of which fulfils the principle of additionality and contributes positively to all 17 UN SDGs.

Social initiative for startups in Africa

In addition to reducing emissions and promoting climate protection, social commitment also plays an important role in the topic of sustainability.

In February, for example, Penta entered into a long-term partnership with Impacc – a non-profit organisation that uses donations to support sustainable start-ups in Africa. These donations are converted into equity investments and can create jobs and instigate change in areas of extreme poverty.

Looking ahead: What plans does the Penta Green Team have?

Although we are proud of the progress made at Penta so far and every measure towards a net-zero economy counts, this is just the beginning.

For example, we are currently working on ensuring responsible deposits and reinvestment. Through this, Penta wants to ensure that a portion of our clients’ deposits are invested in climate-friendly projects and that not a single cent goes to controversial industries or climate-damaging practices through our new loan offerings.

Jan-Luca, Climate Officer:

“Penta is in the privileged position to leverage the existing customer base to help more than 50k to manage their finances sustainable. Hence, Penta can have a tremendous impact in shaping the future of business founders from the start.”

The list of our ideas and projects is long – too long for one article. Although the Green Team has already been able to bring about some good changes, we still have a long way to go. Even though we would love to be, the goal isn’t to start out as a net-zero company.  Instead, it’s about approaching the goal step by step, critically questioning the current status quo, and establishing new ways of thinking.

As soon as the Penta Green Team reaches new milestones, you’ll be the first to know – so stay tuned!

sustainability penta
sustainability penta

Did you know…

Penta aims to make its processes more climate-friendly step by step through internal reduction measures.

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