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Insider’s experts choose the best products and services to help make smart decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases, we receive a commission from our our partners, however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

If you’re passionate about environmental justice or want to bank with a financial institution that closely aligns with your values, an environmentally friendly bank might be worth considering.

An eco-friendly bank with ethical banking practices clearly states its initiatives on its mission statement, policies, and culture. The best environmentally friendly banks also have strong bank accounts with low fees. Below, you’ll find our top picks for eco-friendly banks based on which accounts you’d like to open. 

Best environmentally friendly banks of October 2022

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Best for opening a checking account

Best for opening a checking and savings account

Best for opening a hybrid bank account

Best for opening a high-yield savings account

Best eco-friendly bank for a checking account: Amalgamated Bank

Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Checking Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.35% to 0.40% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$100

Amalgamated Bank Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Checking Account

Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Checking Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.35% to 0.40% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$100

On Amalgamated Bank’s website


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.35% to 0.40% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$100

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Best eco-friendly bank for a checking and savings account: Ando

Ando Ando Spending Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

None

Ando Ando Spending Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

None


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

None


Minimum Deposit Amount

None

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Ando Ando Savings Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.17% to 5.00% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

None

Ando Ando Savings Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.17% to 5.00% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

None


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.17% to 5.00% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

None

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Best eco-friendly bank for a hybrid bank account: Aspiration

Aspiration Aspiration Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3.00% APY on first $10,000 in savings bucket


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10

Aspiration Aspiration Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3.00% APY on first $10,000 in savings bucket


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3.00% APY on first $10,000 in savings bucket


Minimum Deposit Amount

$10

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Best eco-friendly bank for a high-yield savings account: Atmos Financial

Atmos Financial Atmos Financial Climate-Positive Savings Account

Atmos Financial Climate-Positive Savings Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.75% to 1.50% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

None

Atmos Financial Atmos Financial Climate-Positive Savings Account

Atmos Financial Climate-Positive Savings Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.75% to 1.50% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

None

On Atmos Financial’s website


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.75% to 1.50% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

None

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Best eco-friendly credit union: Clean Energy Credit Union

Clean Energy Credit Union Clean Energy Credit Union Savings Account

Clean Energy Credit Union Savings Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.15% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5

Clean Energy Credit Union Clean Energy Credit Union Savings Account

Clean Energy Credit Union Savings Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.15% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5

On Clean Energy Credit Union’s website


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.15% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$5

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Best eco-friendly local bank: Spring Bank

Spring Bank Spring Bank Savings Account

Spring Bank Savings Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

1.50% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25

Spring Bank Spring Bank Savings Account

Spring Bank Savings Account


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

1.50% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25


Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

1.50% APY


Minimum Deposit Amount

$25

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Comparing the best environmentally friendly banks of October 2022

Amalgamated Bank (jump to Amalgamated Bank account details »)

Why it stands out: The Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Checking Account  is a solid interest-earning checking account with zero monthly service fees. It stands out from other checking accounts because Amalgamated Bank matches the equivalent of half the interest you earn on the account and lets you donate that amount to a charity that’s partnered with the institution. 

Certification(s): Certified B Corp, GABV Member, Green America certified, Fossil Free certified

Green practices/policies: As a Fossil Free certified institution, Amalgamated Bank has pledged not to invest in fossil fuels projects. According to the bank’s website, 24% of its lending is solely focused on climate protection and property-assessed clean energy financing. 

Amalgamated Bank is also B Corp certified since 2017, which means that it has met the B Lab’s standards for social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Look out for: While the Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Checking Account doesn’t charge monthly service fees, you’ll want to be mindful of the bank account’s other fees. The account has a $34 overdraft fee. If you withdraw money from an out-of-network ATM, Amalgamated Bank will also charge you $2.50 per transaction. 

Your banking experience also may depend on where you live. Amalgamated Bank has branches in New York City and San Francisco, but if you don’t live in these cities you’ll have to be comfortable with an online-only banking experience.

Ando (jump to Ando account details »)

Why it stands out: Ando has solid bank accounts with zero monthly services fees and $0 minimum opening deposits. The Ando Spending Account stands out because you can earn 1.5% cash back on debit card purchases — a unique perk that isn’t offered for many checking accounts. 

The Ando Savings Account may be appealing if you’d like to earn a solid interest rate. The Ando Savings Account pays 0.17% APY when you first open an account. However, you may be eligible to earn up to 5% APY for balances up to $5,000 per month. Here are the requirements you’ll need to meet to earn a higher interest rate:

  • Earn 1% APY if you 1) make five or more debit card transactions per month, and 2) enroll in Early Pay through your Ando Spending Account. 
  • Earn 2% APY if you meet the requirements to earn 1% APY and invite two friends to open an Ando Spending Account and be active users for 60 days
  • Earn 3% APY if you meet the requirements to earn 1% APY and invite three friends to open an Ando Spending Account and be active users for 60 days
  • Earn 4% APY if you meet the requirements to earn 1% APY and invite four friends to open an Ando Spending Account and be active users for 60 days
  • Earn 5% APY if you meet the requirements to earn 1% APY and invite five friends to open an Ando Spending Account and be active users for 60 days

To maintain a premium interest rate, you must continue to make five or more debit card transactions per month and meet the requirements for Early Pay through your Ando Spending Account. If not, your interest rate will drop back down to 0.17% APY for that month.

Certification(s): Certified B Corp, Fossil Free Certified

Green practices/policies:  If you join Ando, you’ll have access to the platform’s Impact Center, which may be used as a tool to help you cut carbon dioxide emissions based on your banking activity. The Impact Center also shows you how your deposits are being used for investments.

As a Fossil Free certified financial institution, Ando has pledged to only invest in green initiatives. Ando is also B Corp certified since 2021, which means that it has met the B Lab’s standards for social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Look out for: Ando is an online-only banking platform, so it doesn’t have any physical branches. You also won’t be able to open a joint bank account.

Aspiration (jump to Aspiration account details »)

Why it stands out: The Aspiration Account has a unique approach to monthly services fees — you may pay what you think is fair each month, even if it’s $0. If you pay a monthly service fee, Aspiration will donate 10% to charity.

It also might be a compelling choice if you’re searching for an account that combines savings and checking features. The Aspiration Account has early direct deposit and pays a high interest rate on account balances under $10,000. To earn 3% APY on the first $10,000 in your savings bucket, you must spend $1,000 with your debit card each month.

Certification(s): Certified B Corp, 1% for the Planet, Green America certified

Green practices/policies: When you open the Aspiration Account, you’ll be able to see how your spending affects the environment through the platform’s mobile app. Aspiration has a feature called AIM (Aspiration Impact Measurement) which is a numeric score based on your debit card purchases. Aspiration also assigns ratings to companies, so you may see if a specific company has business practices and policies that align with your values.

Aspiration does not finance arctic drilling, coal mining, or oil pipeline projects. Aspiration is also B Corp certified since 2016, which means that it has met the B Lab’s standards for social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Look out for: With hybrid bank accounts, you’ll keep all your money in one place, with separate buckets for checking and savings. If you’d prefer to only open a checking account or only a savings account, you might consider other banking options.

Also, keep in mind that Aspiration is an online-only banking platform, not a bank. It doesn’t have any physical locations and doesn’t let you open joint bank accounts. That said, your money is still secure in an Aspiration Account because it’s FDIC insured through Aspiration’s eight partner banks. Each partner bank insures up to $250,000, so you can insure more money than you would with a traditional bank account.

Atmos Financial (jump to Atmos Financial account details »)

Why it stands out: The Atmos Financial Climate-Positive Savings Account is a great high-yield savings account because it doesn’t have minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees. You may also earn a competitive interest rate if you choose to make monthly donations of at least $1 to a non-profit organization that’s partnered with Atmos Financial. 

Certification(s): 1% for the Planet, Fossil Free certified (Pending B Corp certification)

Green practices/policies: As a Fossil Free certified financial institution, Atmos Financial has pledged it will not invest in projects that are harmful to the environment, such as fossil fuel projects or fast fashion companies.

When you open the Atmos Financial Climate-Positive Savings Account, Atmos calculates the carbon impact of your account balance, which you’ll be able to see on the platform’s mobile app.

Look out for: Atmos Financial is an online-banking platform, so it doesn’t have any physical branches. You also won’t be able to open a joint bank account.

Clean Energy Credit Union (jump to Clean Energy Credit Union account details »)

Why it stands out: Clean Energy Credit Union has low minimum opening deposits and doesn’t charge monthly service fees. While the Clean Energy Credit Union Savings Account pays a low interest rate, Clean Energy Credit Union has a high-yield checking account that might be ideal if you’re searching for a solid interest rate.

Certification(s): Fossil Free certified, Green America certified

Green practices/policies: As a Fossil Free certified financial institution, Clean Energy Credit Union has pledged it will not invest in fossil fuel projects.

Clean Energy Credit Union also offers a variety of loans that can be used for green energy projects. For example, you apply for a clean energy vehicle loan, green home improvement loan, or electric bike loan.

Look out for: Credit unions require you to be a member to open a bank account. To be eligible for membership at Clean Energy Credit Union, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be an employee or volunteer at Clean Energy Credit Union, Our Climate, or 350 Colorado
  • Join a non-profit organization or association from this list
  • Have an immediate family member or household member who meets one of the requirements listed above

To join Clean Energy Credit Union, you have to open up a savings account with at least $5. If you would prefer to only open a checking account, you might consider banking with a different institution.

Your banking experience may also depend on where you live. Clean Energy Credit Union doesn’t have any physical branches, but it is still part of the Co-op Shared Branch network. You’ll have to use this search tool to see if there are any locations in your area.

Spring Bank (jump to Spring Bank account details »)

Why it stands out: Spring Bank has low minimum opening deposits and monthly service fees. Even though it’s a local bank, you’ll have free access to Citibank ATMs and MoneyPass ATMs.

The Spring Bank Savings Account also pays a high interest rate as long as you have at least $100 in your account.

Certification(s): Certified B Corp, CDFI

Green practices/policies: According to the bank’s website, Spring Bank offset over 192,000 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019.

Spring Bank is also B Corp certified since 2016, which means that it has met the B Lab’s standards for social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Look out for: Spring Bank has two branches in the New York City area. If you don’t live near a branch, you may still open an account online, but you’ll still need to live in New York.

Other eco-friendly banks that didn’t make the cut and why

  • Androscoggin Bank: Androscoggin Bank is a local financial in Maine that’s B Corp certified. Most of its accounts have low minimum opening deposits, but also include monthly service fees unless you meet certain requirements.
  • Bank of the West: Bank of the West is based mostly on the West Coast, and has partnered with 1% for the Planet to offer a checking account. Through the checking account, the brick-and-mortar bank donates 1% of its net revenue earned from the account to environmental non-profit organizations part of the 1% for the Planet network. The main downside to this account is that you’ll need to meet certain requirements to waive a $10 monthly service fee. Read the full review of Bank of the West here.
  • Brattleboro Savings & Loan: Brattleboro Savings & Loan is B Corp certified and has branches in Vermont. Its checking account doesn’t charge monthly service fees, but you’ll need to meet specific requirements to waive monthly service fees on its savings account.
  • Beneficial State Bank: Beneficial State Bank is based on the West Coast and has numerous certifications. While its checking account doesn’t charge monthly service fees, its savings account does. Our top picks don’t charge monthly service fees on their accounts. Read the full review of Beneficial State Bank here.
  • City First Bank: City First Bank is a Black-owned bank with numerous certifications —it’s recognized as an MDI, CDFI, Certified B Corp, and GABV member — and it may be worth considering if you live in Los Angeles or Washington, DC, because it has branches in these cities. It didn’t become one of our top picks because it charges monthly service fees on its checking and savings accounts. Read the full review of City First Bank here.
  • Clearwater Credit Union: Clearwater Credit Union is a GABV member and CDFI. It has branches in Montana, but anyone in the US who is over the age of 18 and a US citizen can become a member. Clearwater Credit Union might be a good option if you’re looking for a free checking account, but its savings account has monthly service fees unless you qualify to waive the fee.
  • Climate First Bank: Climate First Bank has locations in Florida and is Fossil Free certified. When you open a Regeneration Checking Account, you’ll donate $100 to Project Regeneration, a non-profit organization focused on climate justice. Most of our top picks have lower initial deposits or more appealing perks, though.
  • Lead Bank Lead On Checking Account: Lead Bank is a Missouri-based brick-and-mortar financial institution that is also a GABV member. Its savings and checking accounts don’t charge monthly service fees but may not have unique perks like our top picks.
  • Mascoma Bank: Mascoma Bank is B Corp certified. It might be appealing if you’re a resident in Vermont and New Hampshire who prioritizes a traditional banking experience, but its checking accounts have monthly service fees unless you qualify to waive them.
  • National Cooperative Bank: National Cooperative Bank has one branch in Ohio, and it’s a GABV member. It might be ideal if you’re looking for an interest-earning checking account or money market account, but you’ll need to meet specific minimum balance requirements to waive monthly service fees on accounts.
  • Piscataqua Savings Bank: Piscataqua is a B Corp certified financial institution with one branch in New Hampshire. It wasn’t chosen as one of our top picks because its checking account has minimum balance requirements.
  • Self-Help Credit Union: Self-Help Credit Union is Fossil Free certified. It has branches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Virginia, as well as a sister credit union named Self-Help Federal Credit Union with branches in California, Illinois, and Washington. To become a member of either credit union, you’ll only need to donate $5 to the bank’s non-profit the Center for Community Self-Help. It didn’t become one of our top picks because the credit union’s checking account fees.
  • Sunrise Banks: Sunrise Bank is B Corp certified and a GABV member. It has branches in Minnesota and South Dakota and might be ideal if you’re a resident in one of these states searching for a solid free checking account. But its savings accounts have monthly service fees unless you meet specific requirements. 
  • Virginia Community Capital Checking Account: Virginia Community Capital has numerous certifications — it’s recognized as a CDFI, Certified B Corp, and fossil-free financial institution. While it has solid free checking and savings accounts, it lacks distinguishing features.
  • Verity Credit Union: Verity Credit Union is a GABV member with branches in Washington. It solid rewards checking account options, but to join Verity Credit Union, you must live in the state of Washington. 
  • Vermont State Employees Credit Union: Vermont State Employees Credit Union is a GABV member. To become a member, you’ll need to live or work in the state of Vermont join the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. While the bank has solid free checking and savings accounts, it lacks standout features.

Are these banks trustworthy?

We include ratings from the Better Business Bureau to evaluate how financial institutions address customer issues and handle transparency. Clean Energy Credit Union and Spring Bank haven’t been reviewed by the BBB, yet.

Keep in mind that a great BBB rating doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a smooth relationship with a bank. Reach out to current customers or read online customer reviews to get a well-rounded perspective of a bank.

Aspiration doesn’t have a rating for Aspiration right now because its profile is being updated. Meanwhile, Ando has an NR rating because the BBB is reviewing its profile.

On the bright side, none of these banks have been involved in any recent public settlements.

Why trust our recommendations?

At Personal Finance Insider, our goal is to create useful content that helps you make good decisions about your money. We recognize every person has distinct preferences, so we provide ample options to help you find the most suitable financial product or account.

We research extensively to make sure you know the standout features and limitations of a financial institution.

Methodology: How did we choose the best eco-friendly banks?

First, we researched to find financial institutions with green initiatives and green certifications. We looked at each bank’s mission statement, policies, and culture to see how the bank tackled sustainability and climate change. We also assessed the requirements that needed to be met to receive green certifications and designations.

Then, we reviewed each institution to find the most-well rounded banking options. We compared minimum opening deposits, monthly services, and interest rates (for savings accounts). We also took into consideration if a bank product had special features — like environmental impact scores or donation opportunities.

For our list, we chose institutions that had clearly outlined green initiatives and strong bank accounts with minimal bank fees. Most of our top picks are also available throughout the US.

Frequently asked questions

Many big banks invest billions in fossil fuel projects and companies. However, environmentally friendly banks, also commonly referred to as sustainable banks or green banks, are financial institutions or online banking platforms with policies and initiatives involving sustainability and environmental action. 

When sustainable banks make investments or provide loans for customers, many will prioritize green initiatives. Some sustainable banks will also deny financial products to companies that earn substantial revenue from environmentally harmful production.

Most green banks will partner with non-profit organizations focused on combatting climate change. Many will also seek a green certification or designation.

Certification and designations by third-party organizations ensure that institutions are meeting a set of standards over time. For example, a financial institution that has a B Corp Certification has been reviewed for its social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

If you’d like to know if a bank is committed to environmental justice, you can visit the non-profit organization’s website to see if the bank is listed as a sustainable bank. You can also review the requirements the institution needed to receive the certification.

Below, is an overview of all the certifications and designations mentioned in our guide:

  • B Corp CertificationB Lab is a global non-profit network that issues a B Corp Certification to companies that fulfill high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
  • Community development financial institution (CDFI): To become a CDFI, a financial institution must complete a certification process through the US Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. One of the primary requirements to become a CDFI is that a financial institution must have banking services and lending opportunities in predominantly low-income and underserved communities. 
  • Green America Certification: Green America is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental justice. The organization certifies businesses that advocate for social change and meet their Green Business Standards. 
  • Global Banking on Values (GABV)GABV is made up of an international network of mission-driven banks focused on social impact and environmental sustainability. Banks are evaluated to see if they meet certain standards to become a member.
  • Fossil Free Certification: To receive a Fossil Free Certification by the volunteer organization Bank. Green, financial institutions must commit to financing zero fossil fuel companies and projects now and in the future.
  • Minority depository institution (MDI): An MDI is a financial institution recognized under the FDIC’s Minority Depository Institution Program or the NCUA’s MDI Preservation Program. To become an MDI, banks or credit unions must be primarily owned or led by Black Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, or Asian Americans. Financial institutions may also be required to serve these respective groups in their communities.
  • 1% for the PlanetBusinesses that join 1% of the Planet have pledged to turn over 1% of annual gross sales to non-profit organizations listed on the global network’s website.

Beneficial State Bank, Amalgamated Bank, and City First Bank have the most certifications and designations for their social and environmental impact.

However, keep in mind that you may also want to look at the overall bank experience before choosing where to bank. You’ll need to consider what you prioritize in your account — minimum opening deposits, bank fees, access to cash — before making your decision.

The following US institutions have received a Fossil Free Certification, which means that these financial institutions will not lend to fossil fuel companies or projects.

  • Ando
  • Amalgamated Bank 
  • Atmos Financial
  • Beneficial State Bank 
  • Clean Energy Credit Union
  • Climate First Bank
  • Self-Help Credit Union
  • Virginia Community Capital 

Experts’ advice on choosing the best bank

To learn more about what makes a good bank or credit union and how to choose the best fit, four experts weighed in:

PFI Banking Expert Panel that includes Tania Brown, Roger Ma, Laura Grace Tarpley, and Mykail James

Insider



We’re focusing on what will make a bank most useful, including customer service, fees, rates, and more. Here’s what they had to say about finding a bank. (Some text may be lightly edited for clarity.)

How can someone determine whether a bank is the right fit for them?

Mykail James, CFEI:

“The No. 1 thing about a checking account is you should know what provider the debit card is coming from. And a lot of people don’t think about that, because there are places that don’t accept MasterCard or don’t accept an Amex.”

Laura Grace Tarpley, Personal Finance Insider:

“I would look for the bank that charges you the least in fees. This means either no monthly fees, or you qualify to waive the monthly fees. If you never overdraw from your account, then a bank’s overdraft fees won’t matter much to you. But if you occasionally overdraw, then I’d look at the fees or overdraft protection options.”

What should someone look for in a brick-and-mortar bank?

Tania Brown, CFP:

“How can that bank grow with you? If you are 25, single, or newly married, and all you need is a checking account, that’s going to look very different 15 years from now when you may have had a couple of jobs, you may have an IRA roll over, or you may want a financial adviser.”

Mykail James, CFEI:

“How accessible it is. So where are the branches? And if I am to go out of town or something, how accessible is my money to me?”

What should someone look for in an online bank?

Tania Brown, CFP:

“With an online bank, absolutely online customer service because you do not have the advantage of walking inside and talking to a human being. How often are you able to get them? What are their hours?”

Roger Ma, CFP:

“How onerous the transfer process is, transferring money in and transferring money out. Is it same day, next day? Is it pretty easy to sync a brick-and-mortar checking account to this particular high-yield savings account?”

Mykail James, CFEI:

“When it comes to online banks, you want to be a little bit more strict about what type of interest rates they’re providing. That’s the biggest thing, because online banks are supposed to have the higher interest rate because they don’t have the overhead of the brick-and-mortar. You want to make sure that it’s well above the national average. What type of securities do they provide? Do they have two-factor identification? If it’s an online bank, they should definitely have — at the bare minimum — two-factor authentication in how easy it is to change your passwords and things like that, because you want to be a little more hypersensitive about the cyber security for a strictly online bank.”



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