In a high profile article titled “Why your banking habits matter for the climate“, the British Broadcasting Corporation made the case that while it “may not be the most obvious way of reducing your carbon footprint, how you save, invest, and give away your money can make a difference to the climate”.

You as an individual customer can influence the investment behaviour of your chosen bank, says Louise Rouse, a capital markets campaigner and consultant to various non-profits.

“Banking institutions want to maintain retail bank divisions, that’s important to them,” she says. “It’s also how they build brand identity, it’s how they build social license, which gives them political power and so on. So, individuals indicating that a bank’s climate performance is an important factor for them in their choice of bank will have an impact.”

A good place to start is to research your bank’s policies.

Of course if your bank is any of the Big 5 Canadian banks, your research will show they are all among the top 22 worst banks for financing fossil fuels on Earth. Better look up your local credit union!

Read the full “Smart Guide” at the BBC website.