Meet Switch It
The tool and campaign helping move your money out of fossil fuel funders’ pockets.
Did you know your money could be supporting dirty industries behind your back thanks to your bank?
Switch It (switchit.green) helps people get their money out of dirty industries.
We empower people to take simple and impactful climate action by presenting accessible information on the links between money and climate breakdown, and facilitating the solution: switching.
By moving money out of dirty industries (with the help of our carefully curated switching journey) we are also sending the message to investors to do the same.
Less money in fossil fuels, more money for the planet. Result!
Turning an individual action into positive change on a mass scale
Switch It are launching a new university program this academic year to improve students’ financial empowerment and help address growing climate anxiety amongst young people.
Young people should feel empowered over their financial decisions, and realise their potential for contributing to impactful climate action.
But, at Switch It, we noticed a problem:
- 74% of young people don’t know how to contribute to positive climate action.
- 82% of students worry about making ends meet, with 15% never having budgeted.
- 74% of students are asking for better financial education.
- Young peoples are calling for more tangible climate and financial education amid the ongoing cost of living and climate crises.
We also noticed an opportunity:
- Educating students on the financial options available to them will help them gain a better understanding of which money management and financial service features could help them in the cost of living crisis, while empowering them to align their money with their values.
- Providing a setting of nuanced and intersectional climate education with a clear and tangible focus (green finance) to refer back to will help students contextualise information in a way which promotes action rather than disconnect or overwhelm.
- Providing a simple, yet super impactful, climate action which everyone can partake in (switching to a green bank) will help address feelings of paralysis in the face of climate anxiety or perceived helplessness.
- Demonstrating the impact of individual actions, taken on a mass (institutional) scale, to contribute to market and systemic shifts, will help students realise their potential to contribute to positive change.
So, we decided to focus our efforts on creating partnerships with universities across the UK to engage students in a mass switching event at their institutions, on a national scale.
We want to do this right.
We know that around 80% of the population are unaware of the links between banks, fossil fuels, and climate change.
So, we faced a challenge: how to educate students on this issue, while making our offering appealing to both students and universities, and instigating further positive action?
Switch It University Engagement Programs
A formal offering – of bespoke digital assets, resource packs, trainings, and events which deliver accessible information on the impact and process of switching to a green bank, a tailored switching journey, and tangible climate education, and feature expert guest speakers and engaging workshops on topics from financial empowerment to intersectional environmentalism – running in tandem with an on-campus campaign and drop-in sessions facilitated by a trained student ambassador (Switch It Steward).
Our programs have the potential to help switch £billions of students’ lifetime deposits out of fossil fuel funders’ pockets, sending a strong message to banks that the next generation are against the continued financing of climate breakdown.
We are strong believers that the rapid climate action needed is not the responsibility of the individual – but isn’t it pretty cool that there is something we, as individuals, can do to withdraw our support (and money) from fossil fuel financiers and big oil in a way that gets those who are really to blame to listen up? We certainly think so!
Amber Hayward is the Programs Manager at Switch It and a Co-founder of the global Ecosia on Campus university movement. She has experience building on-campus campaigns on a mass scale and has seen first hand how taking part in one simple switch can be the catalyst for involvement in positive climate action, both on individual and institutional levels.
“My involvement with the Ecosia on Campus campaign demonstrated the significance of working directly with universities to drastically increase the reach and impact of a campaign. I wanted to design something which could contribute to universities’ green credentials, whilst truly delivering value to students, and harnessing the power of collective action.
From my time at university, I know our programs will be welcomed by students involved in existing green groups on campuses but we really want to help expand these communities with a super engaging program which will appeal to a diverse range of students.”
How can students form part of the solution to the climate crisis?
Our switchers’ actions, at scale, will shape markets. We believe that students are the answer to harnessing the power of mass switching. Here’s why:
- 55% of university students have a specific student bank account, so their bank account type and/or provider will change when they complete their course, regardless of our input.
- The university context will allow accessible climate and finance education and events to be delivered on a mass scale, free-of-charge to students.
- We can leverage students’ responses to our programs to incentivise dirty banks to clean up their practices, as well as to incentivise green banks to tailor their services to align with students’ (i.e. the next generations’) preferences.
The potential of mass switching
Moving your money out of fossil fuel funding banks and into green banks is the most impactful individual action you can take for the climate. En masse, the impact is even bigger; especially with the support of a carefully crafted switching journey to further maximise the potential.
Switching your bank account:
- On average, £1 million of lifetime deposits no longer tied to fossil fuel extraction.
Switching 1,000 bank accounts:
- On average, £1 billion of lifetime deposits no longer tied to fossil fuel extraction; a clear message to banks on customer values; significantly more money being invested into positive social and environmental initiatives (depending on new providers).
Switching 100,000 bank accounts:
- On average, £100 billion of lifetime deposits no longer tied to fossil fuel extraction; banks feeling pressure to make/improve divestment strategies to retain customer numbers; banks cleaning up their investment portfolios due to increasing risk of stranded assets; increased ‘risk’ of fossil fuel projects failing to secure adequate funding; pressure to big oil companies to shift to cleaner practices.
There are currently 2.75 million students enrolled in UK higher education.
A quick note on divestment vs. customer engagement/pressure:
One of our FAQs at Switch It is about the impact of divesting money from dirty providers versus utilising peoples’ positions as engaged customers to put pressure on financial institutions to switch up their practices. These two actions are not exclusive and our switching journey supports people to personally get involved with both methods, as well as informing our own messaging towards providers – e.g. through the use of switching pledges to indicate the number of potential switchers prior to switching away.
The goal of our programs is to help students withdraw their support from fossil fuel funding banks and our program delivery is designed to engage students beyond the simple action of switching.
How can you get a slice of the action?
This term we are forming partnerships with a limited number of UK universities and recruiting student ambassadors (Switch It Stewards) to help out with our on-campus campaigns.
If you are interested in our program coming to your university, or if you would like the fab opportunity to be one of our Switch It Stewards, ping us an email to email@example.com for more information.
Help us out by answering this short survey: https://forms.gle/LSbFGm8aDwFLsGes9