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Green Marketing in Finance - US - April 2011

While green marketing has been around at least since the advent of Earth Day in 1970, it has picked up steam in recent years. Spearheading the movement in recent years was the impact of the release of Al Gore’s 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. While much attention has been paid to the challenges posed and green solutions employed by manufacturing and utility companies, there are a number of similar opportunities for a green focus in the financial services industry. Green “basics” now include paperless statements, electronic banking, green mortgages, green credit cards and other eco-friendly products and services which have all, to one degree or another, been embraced by the industry. New initiatives may not be an easy sell, however. There is evidence of “green fatigue” —consumers tuning out green messages either because they don’t believe them, don’t care about them, or they are just plain tired of hearing about the issue.

There is good news for green marketers, though, and it comes in the form of the younger generation. This is the group that is most attuned to the environmental issues of the day. To the extent that financial services companies can support green efforts, both by internal initiatives to meet their own green goals and by investing in companies and other efforts that are focused on green solutions, they will be the companies of choice for an increasing number of consumers—and especially those who have just entered or who will soon be coming into the investing ranks.

The following are topics covered in this report:

  • Existing green marketing initiatives in the industry
  • Marketing challenges posed by the overabundance of green messages and the “greenwashing” that has been made public over the past several years
  • Growth and opportunities in the socially responsible investing (SRI) arena
  • Customer segments that are more receptive to green messages and those that are more likely to change their behavior in response to these messages
  • How technology is affecting green marketing and increasing the ease and popularity of performing e-transactions

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Data sources
        • Consumer survey data
          • VMS
            • Abbreviations and terms
              • Abbreviations
                • Companies mentioned in this report:
                • Executive Summary

                  • Industry overview
                    • Green investing is becoming more mainstream
                      • “Green” is especially important to certain consumer segments
                        • Too much “green” talk can turn consumers away
                          • Financial services companies are getting more involved with eco-activities
                            • Customers still haven’t fully converted
                            • Insights and Opportunities

                                • Key points
                                  • Firms’ activities can appeal to the environmentally conscious
                                    • Elimination of Saturday mail deliveries
                                      • Green marketing more mainstream, less effective
                                        • Figure 1: Preference for working with financial services companies that lend to eco-friendly firms, by income, December 2010
                                      • Moving customers to electronic transactions and paperless statements
                                        • CSR is important, but the financial services industry is behind
                                          • Women and Hispanics are especially influenced by green initiatives
                                            • Figure 2: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                            • Figure 3: Attitudes about investing green, by gender, December 2010
                                            • Figure 4: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                            • Figure 5: Attitudes toward investing green, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                        • Inspire Insights

                                          • Trend: Green Skepticism
                                            • Implications
                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                              • Key points
                                                • Slight trend toward increased commitment to eco-friendly companies
                                                  • Figure 6: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by gender, January 2009 vs. December 2010
                                                • Socially responsible investing (SRI) assets continue to grow
                                                  • Figure 7: SRI assets under professional management, 1995-2010
                                                • More SRI investments are available
                                                  • Younger investors should stay environmentally conscious as they age
                                                  • Competitive Context

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Financial services green ads are not as common lately
                                                        • Figure 8: number and percentage of green banking ads, 2004-10
                                                      • Financial services companies are greener than we think
                                                        • Figure 9: Climate Counts sustainability scores, banking sector, 2010
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Young people care about the environment
                                                          • Figure 10: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by age, December 2010
                                                        • Institutional investors increasingly look toward green investments
                                                          • Sustainability is here to stay
                                                            • Figure 11: Attitudes about working with a financial company that invests green, by age, December 2010
                                                          • More sophisticated technology
                                                              • Figure 12: Percentage of consumers preferring to use online bank, 2010
                                                            • Government policies favor green initiatives
                                                              • Environmental initiatives are increasingly important
                                                              • Leading Companies

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Financial services companies adopting more eco-friendly policies
                                                                    • Citigroup
                                                                      • Bank of America
                                                                        • Wells Fargo
                                                                          • TD Bank
                                                                            • HSBC – No Small Change
                                                                              • More credit cards than ever promote green causes
                                                                              • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Pax World Management
                                                                                    • Credit card companies offering more green rewards
                                                                                    • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Figure 13: Number of banking direct mail, email, print or online ad campaigns referencing “green”, 2004-10
                                                                                      • Overview
                                                                                        • Print advertising
                                                                                          • Figure 14: Chase print ad, 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 15: Charter One print ad, 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 16: PNC print ad, September 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 17: TD Bank print ad, October 2010
                                                                                        • Direct mail advertising
                                                                                          • Figure 18: Citizens RBS, direct mail ad, 2011
                                                                                          • Figure 19: Chase direct mail ad, 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 20: PNC Bank direct mail ad, 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Bank of Castile mail insert, 2010
                                                                                        • Online and email advertising
                                                                                          • Figure 22: PNC online ad, 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 23: Bank of America customer email, 2011
                                                                                          • Figure 24: Chase email customer email, 2011
                                                                                          • Figure 25: First Commonwealth Bank email, 2011
                                                                                        • Television advertising
                                                                                          • Figure 26: Bank of America, San Diego is America’s Finest, 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 27: Bank of America, they live and work in New York City, 2010
                                                                                      • The Consumer

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • How company eco-friendly practices influence consumers
                                                                                            • Figure 28: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 29: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by age, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by income, December 2010
                                                                                          • What people believe about green claims
                                                                                            • Figure 31: Attitudes about what it means when a financial services company says it is green, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 32: What it means when a financial services company says it is green, by age, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 33: What it means when a financial services company says it is green, by income, December 2010
                                                                                          • Attitudes toward investing green
                                                                                            • Figure 34: Attitudes about green investing, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 35: Attitudes toward investing green, by age, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Attitudes toward investing green, by income, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 37: Attitudes toward investing green, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                          • What financial services companies can do
                                                                                            • Figure 38: Most important activities to be more environmentally friendly, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 39: Most important activities to be more environmentally friendly, by age, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 40: Most important activities to be more environmentally friendly, by income, December 2010
                                                                                          • What would influence investment
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Green initiatives that would influence investment, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 42: Green initiatives that would influence investment, by age, December 2010
                                                                                            • Figure 43: Initiatives that would influence investment, by income, December 2010
                                                                                        • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                            • Cluster 1: Green Cynics
                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                    • Cluster 2: True Believers
                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                            • Cluster 3: Lean Greens
                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                      • Figure 44: Green marketing in finance clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Attitudes about green policies of financial institutions, by green marketing in finance clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 46: Attitudes about green policies of financial institutions, by green marketing in finance clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 47: Attitudes about green policies of financial institutions, by green marketing in finance clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Attitudes about green policies of financial institutions, by green marketing in finance clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Attitudes about green policies and investing, by green marketing in finance clusters, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Green marketing in finance clusters by gender, Month 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Green marketing in finance clusters, by age, Month 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Green marketing in finance clusters by household income, Month 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Green marketing in finance clusters by race, Month 2009
                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Green marketing in finance clusters by Hispanic origin, Month 2009
                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                    • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • How company eco-friendly policies influence consumers
                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by gender and presence of children in household, December 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by gender and age, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • What people believe about green claims
                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: What it means when a financial services company says it is green, by gender and presence of children in household, December 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: What it means when a financial services company says it is green, by gender and age, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Attitudes toward investing green
                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Attitudes about investing green, by gender and presence of children in household, December 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Influence of environmental issues on choice of financial services company, by gender and age, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • What financial services companies can do
                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Most important activities to be more environmentally friendly, by gender and presence of children in household, December 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Most important activities to be more environmentally friendly, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • What would influence investment
                                                                                                                            • Figure 63: Initiatives that would influence investment, by gender and presence of children in household, December 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 64: Initiatives that would influence investment, by gender and age, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Appendix—Simmons Cohort Analysis

                                                                                                                            • Figure 65: Attitudes toward eco-friendly corporate behavior, by gender, July 2009-Sept 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 66: Attitudes toward eco-friendly behavior, by age, July 2009-Sept 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Attitudes toward eco-friendly behavior, by race, July 2009-Sept 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Attitudes toward eco-friendly behavior, by income, July 2009-Sept 2010
                                                                                                                        • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                          • American Express Company (The)
                                                                                                                          • Bank of America Corporation
                                                                                                                          • BITS
                                                                                                                          • Citibank
                                                                                                                          • Consumer Bankers Association
                                                                                                                          • Credit Suisse Group
                                                                                                                          • Credit Union National Association
                                                                                                                          • Deutsche Bank AG
                                                                                                                          • HSBC USA Inc.
                                                                                                                          • Independent Community Bankers of America
                                                                                                                          • JPMorgan Chase & Co
                                                                                                                          • MasterCard Incorporated
                                                                                                                          • Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc
                                                                                                                          • SunTrust Banks Inc.
                                                                                                                          • The American Bankers Association
                                                                                                                          • The American Financial Services Association
                                                                                                                          • U.S. Bancorp
                                                                                                                          • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                                                                                                                          • Wells Fargo & Company
                                                                                                                          • World Wildlife Fund

                                                                                                                          Green Marketing in Finance - US - April 2011

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