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The world of work is changing in more ways than one. Sustainability represents one of the most significant challenges and opportunities of our time, and businesses hold in their hands the power to affect positive change through what they do - and how they do it.

At TravelPerk, we’re lucky to work with thousands of incredible companies around the world. Many of them are making strides towards building a sustainable future through their business models, values, practices, and daily activities. We caught up with Mambu - a SaaS cloud banking provider helping banks transition to a digital core - to learn more about how they are integrating sustainability into their business and why that works for them.

Insights on becoming a more sustainable business

When businesses are faced with the question “why should we bother with sustainability?”, the answer is simple. Because there is no business on a dead planet. That’s why the industry, and indeed all industries, need to move away from this question and turn matters of sustainability into an imperative. After decades of voluntary sustainability action, we've run out of time to afford to deliberate about the business case for sustainability. We are now in a period where it’s a matter of necessity.

Historically, there have been leaders in corporate sustainability - both sectors and individual companies - who have advanced sustainability and integrated it early in their business either because of consumer or regulatory pressure or because of their visionary leadership. The fintech sector, however, is relatively new to the topic and we're just starting to see sustainability action.

Mambu is one example of a fintech company that is trying to integrate sustainability into its business from the get-go. What lessons can you apply to your business to follow in Mambu’s (non-carbon) footprint?

Maintaining the right balance

It’s also important to maintain the balance here. You often find companies talking about the positive impact while leaving their negative impact virtually out of the picture. In actuality, for many businesses, it should be the other way around. You should start by looking at your negative impact and build a strategy around reducing that first. This is what Mambu did, and that informed their roadmap and strategy for the short, medium, and long term.

Placing value on employee well-being

Enabling employees to make a positive impact outside their daily work is another pillar of their sustainability work and one that looks at enhancing positive impacts. Employees are given benefits like a donation budget and time off to volunteer. For example, since the start of 2022, the company has donated nearly EUR 200K to charities working on various social impact causes and collectively spent more than 300 hours on volunteering activities in the community.

Tackling sustainable and impact finance

Another key area of focus for Mambu sits within the context of the broader banking industry. They have a strong focus on sustainable and impact finance, aiming to help the industry turn solutions like these into the norm and make the sustainability transition faster and smoother. The company places a lot of focus on financial inclusion as a key driver of their impact finance work and is looking into ways to support that more structurally through commitments from the full organisation.

Sustainability isn’t core to our business in the sense that we’re not solving for sustainability. But we are asking ourselves if we’re running our business responsibly. We’re finding ways to use this position to advance the transition to sustainability and financial inclusion.
Anna Krotova
Director, Sustainability at Mambu

Putting Mambu’s sustainability vision into practice

What tactics did Mambu deploy to become a sustainable business?

  • Completed a thorough sustainability self-assessment
  • Brought sustainability up to the C-level
  • Focusing on awareness & learning

What specific initiatives did Mambu implement to get the ball rolling?

  1. Introduced a sustainability policy for the company: This policy clearly stipulates the company’s commitment to sustainability and the responsibility that each new teammate will also need to live by during their tenure at Mambu. 
  2. Launched a sustainability knowledge center: Mambu has rolled out a  sustainability course to all its employees including executive leadership, created a dedicated Slack channel that acts as a lively forum for anyone to share sustainability ideas and news and discuss decisions and initiatives, and has even opened up an extensive knowledge library.
  3. Developed a green travel incentivization program: Recognising that there is still a strong need for colleagues to meet in person, Mambu decided to look into ways to incentivize environmentally friendly options in geographies where it is feasible. With the help of TravelPerk’s GreenPerk API, Mambu is able to track how employees travel and draw informed conclusions about where they can reduce their travel-related carbon footprint, and take action. Mambu admits that they are not on track to meet their travel reduction targets as folks seek to make the most out of being able to meet in person again after a two-year COVID break. However, they are seeing a relative 1,22% increase in train travel since the introduction of the Travel Policy in January 2022, and a 23-fold increase in the targeted Amsterdam-London destination which comprises the majority of their travel in Europe. This is an illustration of how an internal fiscal incentive and individual action meet in the middle for a positive outcome.
  4. Making coding more sustainable: As a cloud-based business, coding is at the heart of Mambu’s operations. That’s why the company places so much emphasis on developing a roadmap to make sure that the way they code does not guzzle energy and generate excessive emissions. 

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