US payments industry association NACHA has formed a 'green coalition' with a number of leading US banks to 'educate consumers' about the environmental benefits of electronic bills and statements over paper-based equivalents.
I should have thought that connection would be rather obvious. Less paper = less dead trees = less CO2 in atmosphere etc. But education is almost always a good thing.
Craig Vaream, vice president, JPMorgan Chase and co-chair of the coalition, said: "The financial industry has always encouraged consumers to receive payments and pay bills electronically because electronic payments are secure, can simplify management of
household finances, and provides a layer of privacy that reduces risk of fraud and identity theft."
He forgot to mention that the financial industry also loves electronic formats over paper because they cost less.
It's interesting to see how times change. I dug up
this 2,500 word article on electronic billing and statements from 2003. Its only use of the word 'enviroment' refers to the economic environment and the fact that paper and postage costs are very visible to financial services firms and telcos, and are ripe
targets for cost reduction.
Cynicism aside, the stats about the environmental benefits that could be achieved if all US households ditched the paper are quite impressive --16.5 million trees is quite a lot by any reckoning.