Ethical Banking

Net Zero Banking Resource Center

Your path to net zero starts here.

What is Net Zero Banking?

Net zero banking is a practice where banks align lending and investment activities with the goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions. This effort is meant to reduce emissions and contribute to the mitigation of climate change through strategic financing and advocacy efforts by the bank and its partners.

Read our Net Zero Banking FAQs

Why Net Zero Banking Matters

According to Project Drawdown Off Site Link, big banks in the U.S. lend as much as 20-30% of their portfolio to carbon-intensive sectors driving climate change.  Most people don’t know what their bank account is funding or that it may be a significant source of carbon emissions.

Reaching net zero emissions by 2050 globally has been identified as the way to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and mitigate climate change’s worst impacts, according to The Paris Agreement Off Site Link.

How Sunrise Banks Implements its Commitment to Net Zero

Net Zero Banking Products

As part of our commitment to track and reduce carbon emissions, Sunrise Banks offers net zero deposit and financing options for business and personal banking accounts. With Net Zero Deposits, deposits are directed toward net zero loan projects that reduce or avoid carbon emissions.

Net zero banking is designed to support our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050 in alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement. We are working to eliminate the potential for hidden emissions behind an organization’s bank account and actively reducing reported emissions.

Sunrise Banks uses the Green Bond Principles and the Green Loan Principles as guidelines for its net zero banking products.

Social Impact Affiliations and Reporting

At Sunrise Banks, we don’t just talk the talk—we walk the walk, and our social impact affiliations and reporting demonstrate that.

In 2009, Sunrise Banks became the first Certified B Corporation in Minnesota. In 2023, during our most recent recertification, we received a B Corp Impact score of 148.6, well above average. B Corporations are graded on their social impact in five categories: governance, workers, community, environment, and customers.

Since 2013, Sunrise Banks has been a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) made up of 70+ mission-based banks worldwide. David Reiling, the bank’s CEO, chairs the GABV, which works to create sustainable economic, social and environmental development. It has launched initiatives like the Climate Change Commitment, which asks member banks to measure the carbon footprint of their financed emissions.

To align with our GABV Climate Change Commitment, Sunrise Banks has so far released two Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) reports. The report outlines the bank’s financed and operational emissions using the PCAF global standard, which provides its members with the industry-standard methodology to measure the greenhouse gas emissions related to their lending activities.

Read the bank’s latest PCAF report

In 2024, a group of seventeen leading banks from GABV, including Sunrise Banks, endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative. The campaign is a global effort to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement by fostering international cooperation to accelerate a transition to clean energy for everyone, end the expansion of fossil fuels, and phase out existing production.

Frameworks your organization can use to measure emissions

GHG Protocol supplies the world’s most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standards. More than 9 out of 10 Fortune 500 companies reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project Off Site Link (CDP) use GHG Protocol to measure and manage emissions.

Learn more

PCAF enables financial institutions to assess and disclose greenhouse gas emissions associated with financial activities.

Learn more

Articles and other media about net zero banking

Read up on the impact of sustainable banking and how your bank account can help finance the transition to a net zero economy.