We buy organic veggies and green energy. In the meanwhile, the money in our savings account might be financing a new coal power plant. Sad, but true.
Just our efforts to buy green energy, recycle our waste and be climate neutral don’t make us a sustainable bank. We’re sustainable because we are working on a future in which money always has a positive effect. Because, ultimately, money is just the means to an end. In sustainable banking that end always needs to be good.
If we redirect enough money into sustainable projects, there is less money left over for conventional banks to channel into destructive industries. That’s why we invest your money in projects that secure our future in the long run.
We use our customer deposits exclusively to finance sustainable projects. You’re probably wondering what customer deposits are, right? That’s the total amount of money our Tomorrow customers have in their accounts. We like to call it the “Tomorrow capital”.
Our promise to you: not a single penny goes into destructive sectors like weapons, coal power or factory farming – as is often the case with conventional banks. Such a “divestment” already does a lot, but it’s only the beginning. Part of the Tomorrow capital is used to support future-proof projects.
Sustainable businesses need financing. Think about the organic farmer who needs new seeds. The start-up that needs funds to launch their social business idea. Or a wind farm trying to expand its capacity. We don’t base our decision on which projects are sustainable enough on our gut feelings. It comes together after a clear process.
Step 1 – Before anything else we check whether the project or investment is included on our “No Go” list. We decided to exclude some industries and business areas from the start because they are by definition damaging to us humans and our planet. For example, weapons, factory farming or fossil fuel. We also exclude investments in areas that inhibit fairness, such as tax evasion, corruption and human rights offences.
Step 2 – Next we evaluate whether the project makes a contribution to the “Sustainable Development Goals” of the United Nations. We summarized these 17 goals into five main categories: protecting natural resources, ensuring basic needs, protecting the climate, empowering disadvantaged groups, and promoting fairness. Only projects that contribute to at least one of these five challenges are potential candidates for funding.
Step 3 – The final evaluation is done by our external Impact Council consisting of Madeleine Alizadeh, Markus Beckmann, Susanna Krüger, Kristina Lunz and Andreas Neukirch. Only if they agree with our evaluation that the investment meets our standard is it added to our investment portfolio.
Step 4 – As the final step, we check the financial prospects of the project. The risk management department of our partner Solarisbank supports us in this step.
We don’t base sustainability on gut feeling. Instead, we have a strict list of criteria for managing where your money goes – and where absolutely not.
115 million euro of 55.000+ users redirected from Bad Banks
31,500,000 euro invested in sustainable projects
0 euro invested in destructive industries
Learn more about our impact projects.
What do we really need to survive? Air, water and warmth. By funding renewable energies and protecting our waters we protect the base of life. One of the core tasks of sustainable banking is, in our opinion, the financing of future-proof projects. That’s why we invest in Green Bonds. Approximately, €10,000,000 went into a green bond issued by Förderbank NRW and €4,100,000 have been invested in the Environmental Bond by Nordic Investment Bank. Additionally, we have invested €5,000,000 in the federal green bond of Germany, €5,400,000 in a green bond of KommuneKredit and €1,000,000 in the infrastructure bond of Hochbahn AG.
Banks need capital to be able to give loans. They borrow that money from private investors (like you) or institutional investors (like Tomorrow or our partner Solarisbank) by selling bonds at the stock exchange. That’s called refinancing a loan. After an agreed period they need to pay back the capital plus interest to the creditor (in this case Tomorrow/Solarisbank). At Tomorrow we use your money exclusively to buy bonds which strictly finance sustainable projects. Green bonds focus on refinancing environmentally friendly initiatives. We invest part of our Tomorrow capital in green bonds issued by Förderbank NRW, Nordic Investment Bank, the state of Germany, KommuneKredit and Hochbahn AG.
These green bonds are issued by Förderbank NRW to exclusively refinance environmentally friendly projects that explicitly address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The bonds were issued for the seventh time in 2019 and have financed numerous green initiatives in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany in recent years. Their main goal is to expand renewable energy and safeguard clean drinking water. In the past, for instance, proceeds from the bond have been used to restore the river Emscher, which has ecologically benefitted the region enormously.
The green bonds portfolio of Förderbank NRW is divided into four different areas. The largest part (roughly two thirds) of the total of €500 million goes towards expanding renewable energies (SDG 7 & 13) in North Rhine-Westphalia. Here, the main focus is on constructing wind power plants, but photovoltaic systems are also part of the portfolio. Another focus area of the green bonds is the modernization of public facilities (SDG 3, 11 & 13), for instance by establishing heat recovery systems in hospitals to make them more energy-efficient. The green bonds also finance loans to private home owners who want to optimize the energy efficiency of their houses.
The fourth core area is the support of “Clean transport” projects, such as electric buses or e-charging stations (SGD 13 & 11).
The Environmental Bond is a green bond issued by the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), with the aim of expanding renewable energies and promoting energy efficiency in buildings. These investments will help to create new energy plants but also to reinforce existing infrastructure. The investments mainly focus on Sweden, Norway and Finland. An exciting pilot project are electric ferries which are already in use in Norway.
All supported projects explicitly address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). NIB’s Environmental Bond is divided into six areas. The largest of these – accounting for 27 percent of the total bond – is invested in expanding renewable energies, especially wind, solar, tidal and wave power plants (SDG 7). In addition, part of the funds is also invested, for example, in developing, designing and producing new technologies for renewable energies (SDG 13).
25 percent of funds are invested in measures to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. This is done by renovating existing buildings, including making improvements to heating systems, insulation, lighting or electrical devices. Another 25 percent is invested in water conservation and protection, which includes wastewater treatment and flood protection (SDG 6). Above that, different projects focus on the expansion of nature reserves and the preservation of biodiversity to protect and restore freshwater and marine ecosystems (SDG 13; SDG 14). Clean transport solutions (SDG 11) are another area supported by the bonds, accounting for 12 percent of invested funds. The efforts mainly focus on the further development of electricity and sustainable biofuels including the necessary infrastructure (e.g. rails, charging stations, fuel distribution systems, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure).
This green bond is issued by the state of Germany to finance the German policies for sustainable development. Core of the strategy is the realization of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. To achieve these goals the state of Germany issued federal green bonds for the first time in 2020. Tomorrow has invested 5 million euros in these bonds. With your money we finance the transition to a German and worldwide economy that emits less carbon, is more sustainable and uses fewer resources.
58 percent of investments goes into renewable energies and mobility, for example by improving necessary infrastructure, building biking paths and financing public transport and electric mobility. In addition, three percent is invested in ecological farming and forestry and ten percent in thermal insulation and energy efficient heating and building (SDG11). five percent funds research and education (SDG4).
Additionally, the funds from the federal green bond are used for international collaborations in climate projects, nature preservation and environmental protection. To us at Tomorrow the aspect of climate justice is very important. Generally speaking, those who suffer the most from the climate crisis are the least responsible for it. The funds from the federal green bond partly support the giz (German Corporation for International Cooperation), which is active in over 120 countries to sustainably improve the quality of life of the local population.
KommuneKredit is a federal credit institution in Denmark. They issued their first green bond in 2017 to raise funding for the sustainable transition of Danish communities. Loans are given to Danish municipalities and cities, which can then use the money specifically for sustainable and social projects. The “green committee” of KommuneKredit has been lending more than 3 million euros for 410 projects. All projects explicitly need to address the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs).
52 percent of investments support local climate protection measures as well as the transformation to energy and heat supply that is resource-saving and efficient, e.g. by modernizing outdated waterworks. An additional seven percent of funds is used to improve public transport, both on and off land. Denmark has more than 7,300km of coast and more than 80 inhabited islands. Therefore, a big emphasis is put on coastal protection. Ferries are converted to hybrid to reduce carbon emissions on waterways and protect Danish coastlines and its flora and fauna. Next to that, communities can receive funding for social infrastructure projects, for example energy-efficient construction and renovations of schools, community buildings, sport facilities and elderly housing. Tomorrow has invested a total of €3,700,000 in the green bond of KommuneKredit.
The infrastructure bond of Hochbahn AG aims to support the transition to environmentally friendly transport in Hamburg. All funded projects are selected based on whether they contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs). At Tomorrow, we have invested more than 1 million euros in the first infrastructure bond of this kind in our hometown. The bond provides 500 million euros for transport projects in Hamburg, e.g. to buy 50 new trains and 160 electric buses and to maintain Hamburg's subway lines.
The metropolitan region of this Northern German city counts 5.3 million inhabitants, of which more than 1 million commute daily. As 65% of these people go by car, they cause the majority of carbon emissions of all traffic in the city. In its climate strategy Hamburg has set the goal to become a climate neutral city. For this purpose the traffic sector needs to save 1.4 million tonnes CO2. The projects receiving funding from the infrastructure bond are part of the city's efforts to make public transport more attractive than taking the car. Hochbahn itself wants to be climate neutral by 2030.
The transition to environmentally friendly transport in cities does not only reduce carbon emissions, but as well other pollution and noise. Additionally, obsolete parking spaces can be transformed into sidewalks, biking paths, parks and playgrounds. All this improves the quality of life in urban areas.
Every human being deserves an affordable home. To make this vision come true we invest a part of your money in social bonds. €6,000,000 went into the SDG Housing Bond issued by Nederlandse Waterschapsbank N.V. Why? Because we believe that supporting social initiatives is a key part of sustainable banking.
Banks need capital to be able to give loans. They borrow that money from private investors (like you) or institutional investors (like Tomorrow or our partner Solarisbank) by selling bonds at the stock exchange. That’s called refinancing a loan. After an agreed period they need to pay back the capital plus interest to the creditor (in this case Tomorrow/Solarisbank). At Tomorrow we use your money exclusively to buy bonds which strictly finance sustainable projects. Social bonds focus on refinancing social initiatives. We invest part of our Tomorrow capital in a social bond issued by Nederlandse Waterschapsbank N.V.
The SDG Housing Bond is a social bond issued by Nederlandse Waterschapsbank N.V. that focuses on creating social housing in the Netherlands. The apartments and rents are adapted to income levels and are capped with a maximum rent of €710.68 per month (up to this amount renters can get subsidies from the government). 80 percent of new housing is reserved exclusively for households and families with a maximum income of €36,798 per year (2018). 10 percent is reserved for people with special needs (e.g. health-related conditions).
Furthermore, the investments also go into other areas such as sustainable communities, diversity, integration, energy efficiency, quality of life and resident satisfaction. All projects explicitly address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More than 50 percent of funds is used to modernise existing houses, particularly to improve energy efficiency. This includes equipping houses with solar panels and replacing old heating systems with more efficient ones. In addition, windows, roofs and walls were insulated more effectively (SDG 7; SDG 11). 56 percent of the apartments are social housing and 11 percent of the apartments are available for single parents, predominantly women (SDG 1; SDG 5; SDG 10).
A further part of the funds is invested in improving the district and providing facilities for the community. For this purpose, individual neighbourhoods are assigned a “Social Management Label” which is based both on quantitative survey findings and on qualitative insights from interviews with residents. Depending on the needs of the community suitable measures are taken accordingly.
Tomorrow Zero is the first climate-neutral bank account. Our sustainable premium account offers great banking features such as unlimited Pockets and worldwide free cash withdrawals. And we invest a major part of your monthly fee in projects that demonstrably reduce carbon dioxide.
We use the fees to support projects such as microcredits in Peru and biogas units in Vietnam. People in these regions are hit the hardest by climate change – although they are the least responsible for it. We believe that the best way to help these people is to support them to help themselves by making sustainable banking available to everyone.
Track your positive impact in the app – and the impact of the entire community.
The financial institutions issuing the bonds have defined strict guidelines on how and for which purpose their funds can be used. In the case of Förderbank NRW that’s even defined by law. The bonds are supervised by external institutions.
For the selection of our climate projects (more about those here) we teamed up with the company ClimatePartner. They are committed to climate protection and offer a number of wonderful projects to offset CO₂ emissions. It was very important to us that the selected projects have a social component in addition to climate protection. All three projects are certified according to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) or the Gold Standard (GS VER) developed by the WWF.
Tomorrow was founded with the clear intention of becoming a social business. Therefore, the purpose of Tomorrow - to make a positive impact - is specified in our partner's agreement. That’s a rather generic approach. To take it a step further, we summarized the SDGs into five main categories: protecting natural resources, ensuring basic needs, protecting the climate, empowering disadvantaged groups, and promoting fairness.
To avoid losing sight of what’s important we set up an external board of advisors: our Impact Council. Their task is to ensure that we don’t forget our mission and vision when things get hectic. Once a quarter we discuss what we do with five experts from different fields of sustainability: Which projects do we currently have? And how do these projects contribute to our mission to make the banking industry more sustainable?
Additionally, the members of the Impact Council check whether our investments are in line with our values. They help us to set and follow up on our sustainability goals and build our investment portfolio.
Current members are: Madeleine Alizadeh, Markus Beckmann, Susanna Krüger, Kristina Lunz, Andreas Neukirch