Canada is cold country full of warm people. We’re all ashamed of our banks, but what are the alternatives?
Hållbar Financial was started to answer the question that embarrasses so many of us:
To provide low-interest rate green mortgages to Canadians that don’t compromise on sustainability, so that everyone can own a home today without jeopardizing the homes of tomorrow.
The sustainability implications of Canada’s financial value chain are complex, external, and systemic. It is the interdependence of market systems which has implicated Canadian mortgage holders in the financing of fossil fuel development.
Systems thinking is “Seeing the whole beyond the parts, and seeing the parts in the context of the whole” (Schechter & Shaked, 2017). Mapping the complex, dynamic and interconnected interactions in systems is helpful to those seeking to effectively address climate change and other sustainability problems (Whitney et al., 2003). The literature concludes that interdependent systems are often best analysed through a systems thinking approach (Gladwin et al, 1995, Marcus et al., 2010).
A Systems Approach
We can use a systems map to show how using a Big Five bank to finance a green home might function from a sustainability systems perspective. With no alternatives to The Big Five easily available, the system may invest profits from mortgages on green homes into fossil fuel development, potentially offsetting the sustainability benefits of the green home and producing increased emissions.
Expand the system
Systems boundaries are an arbitrary construct and defining them is an essential step for any change endeavour (Midgley, 2012). When defining a system in a change context, the intentional expansion of a system’s boundaries may identify opportunities for change (Foster-Fishman & Behrens, 2007).
Fix the System
A clean source of mortgage funds that excludes the Big Five and redirects profits away from the fossil fuel cycle might produce a reinforcing causal loop (left side) that increases the amount of clean capital available, which therefore reduces the profits on green homes available to the Big Five (centre), which in-turn reduces profits available to invest in fossil fuel projects (right), potentially reducing emissions (dark green arrows).
We’re committed to doing our part to support the 2030 Agenda by helping Canadians build sustainable communities, with sustainable homes. If you are too, reach out to us and let’s find a way to work together.
C10 - 80 Birmingham Street, Toronto ON
Founded at Cambridge, Focused on Canada
Hållbar means sustainable in Swedish. Our organization is the evolution of graduate research done by a global team University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership