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Spotlight on Customers: Mambo is about running a responsible business


Corporate sustainability is a discipline with a long history – it reminds us of our responsibility to maintain our social license to operate, and stimulates innovation and creativity in how we can turn business into a force for good to solve some of today’s sustainability challenges. It’s a great topic to get involved with as we do everything we can to contribute to the sustainability outcomes we all want to see for ourselves. Anna Kratova – Director of Sustainability at Mambu 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 companies holding hands have the power to effect positive change through what they do – and how they do it. At TravelPerk, we are fortunate to work with thousands of amazing 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 cloud banking SaaS provider that helps banks transition to a digital hub—to learn more about how they integrate sustainability into their business and why it works for them. Highlight Mambo Mambo was founded in 2011 by Fredrik Pfisterer, Eugene Danilkis and Sofia Nunes who initially developed the technology infrastructure for microfinance financiers in Africa. During a university assignment on microcredit and after contacting banks in emerging African countries, the founders realized that the operating systems the banks were using were outdated, nonexistent, or too complex for microcredit, weakening financial inclusion. They decided to bring banking services to places where they were not available by traditional means, and what started as a university project has grown into a corporate mission that lays the foundation for everything business does today. Fast forward to present day, and Mambu is a unicorn bringing better banking experiences to millions of people. By providing a platform for modern cloud banking services, Mambu enables banks and other financial institutions to build banking products and services that improve people’s financial lives. Mambu is also at the intersection of digital technology, innovation, and the financial sector. By building on the extensive partner ecosystem and technical capabilities within it, Mambu can help develop sustainable financing products dedicated to helping banks better understand what they are financing, take action, and parlay that into better projects. Sustainable finance services such as impact accounts, green mortgages, green loans, and green savings accounts have become such expectations among consumers that 75% of accounts will be owned by a generation that has a very different relationship to money in this decade. Addressing Climate Change in the Banking Industry When you think of industries that emit large amounts of carbon, banking in general is not one of them. This is because we often used to think of band 1 and band 2 emissions, and historically, banking has been left out of that conversation. A quick reminder: Scope 1: Direct emissions from resources the company controls – that is, emissions that are a direct result of a defined set of activities Scope 2: Indirect and proprietary emissions from purchased energy generation such as electricity, steam, heating and cooling Scope 3: Indirect, non-proprietary emissions linked to operations It’s true that the emissions from the banks seem fairly low if you think about it. The main volume of these emissions comes from the energy required to run an office or send professionals on business trips. But the real emissions within the banking sector come from exactly what it finances. What do they enable with the money they provide? Is this money flowing into activities that preserve or harm the environment? This is the crux of the conversation about emissions within banks, a topic that began to be discussed only 3-4 years ago. It ties directly into one of the major weaknesses in the sector – the lack of understanding and knowledge on how to start calculating the impact and footprint of their portfolios. Automation, lack of tools, inadequate methodologies, and big data are just a few of the challenges the sector faces in solving this problem. Insights on becoming a more sustainable company When companies are faced with the question “Why should we care about sustainability?” , the answer is simple. Because there is no business on a dead planet. This is why industry, and indeed all industries, need to move away from this question and turn questions of sustainability into a necessity. After decades of voluntary sustainability actions, we’ve run out of time to deliberate on a business case for sustainability. We are now in a period when it is necessary. Historically, there have been leaders in corporate sustainability—both sectors and individual companies—who developed and incorporated sustainability early on in their businesses either because of consumer or regulatory pressures or because of their own visionary leadership. However, the FinTech sector is relatively new to this topic and we are just beginning to see sustainability measures. Mambo is one example of a financial technology company that has been trying to integrate sustainability into its business from the start. What lessons can you apply to your work to follow Mambo’s (non-carbon) footprint? Maintaining the right balance It is also important to maintain balance here. You often find companies talking about positive impact while leaving their negative impact almost out of the picture. In fact, for many companies, it should be the other way around. You should start by looking at your negative impact and building a strategy around reducing it first. This is what Mambo did, which was the inspiration for their roadmap and strategy in the short, medium and long term. Valuing employee well-being Enabling employees to make a positive impact outside of their daily work is another pillar of their sustainable business that looks at enhancing positive impacts. Employees are given benefits such as a donation budget and time off to volunteer. For example, since the start of 2022, the company has donated nearly €200,000 to charities working on various social impact causes and has collectively spent more than 300 hours on volunteer activities in the community. Addressing sustainable finance and impact Another key area of ​​focus for Mambu lies within the context of the broader banking industry. They have a strong focus on sustainable finance and impact, with the goal of helping industry turn such solutions into a standard and making the sustainability transition faster and smoother. The Company has a strong focus on financial inclusion as a key driver of its impactful financial work and is looking at ways to support this more structurally through commitments from the full organization. This clearly ties into the value of their core business and their mission to make banking more accessible to those who have traditionally not been able to. Putting Mambo’s Sustainability Vision into Action What tactics has Mambo used to become a sustainable company? Completing a Comprehensive Sustainability Self-Assessment The team at Mambo took a long, hard look in the mirror and analyzed what they were doing well and, most importantly, where they could improve. They asked themselves “Where do we have the most significant negative impact? Where can we make the greatest positive contribution?” This laid the foundation for their entire strategy and subsequent actions – and should form the foundation for any company trying to understand how to become more sustainable. Without this, you’re just walking around in the dark or wasting company resources on incremental changes. Taking Sustainability to a Level C At Mambo, each of the C-level executives is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Committee. Raising sustainability as a key issue on the C-level agenda is what moves Mambo’s initiatives away from “gentle” recycling initiatives and toward projects that can really move the needle in terms of managing negative and positive impacts. Focus on Awareness and Learning Involving their community is a top priority for Mambo. How do they do it? Through a transparency-based sustainability program that takes employees on their own sustainable transformation path, capitalizes on shared values, and involves them in decision-making. What specific initiatives has Mambo implemented to get the ball moving? Launching the Sustainability Knowledge Center, Mambo launched a course on sustainability for 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, discuss decisions and initiatives, and even opened up an extensive library of knowledge. Developing the Green Travel Incentive Program Recognizing that there is still a strong need for colleagues to meet in person, Mambo decided to look at ways to incentivize greener choices in geographies where possible. With the help of TravelPerk’s GreenPerk API, Mambu is able to track how employees travel, draw informed conclusions about where they can reduce their travel-related carbon emissions, and take action. Mambo admits they are not on track to meet travel limit targets as people seek to make the most of their ability to meet in person again after a two-year hiatus from coronavirus. in train travel since the introduction of the travel policy in January 2022, and a 23-fold increase in the target destination between Amsterdam and London which makes up the majority of their travel in Europe. This is an illustration of how internal financial motivation and individual work come together in the middle to produce a positive outcome. Making coding more sustainable As a cloud-based business, coding is at the heart of Mambu’s operations. This is why the company places a lot of emphasis on developing a roadmap to ensure that the way coding is done does not waste energy and generate excessive emissions. Everything we do today has an impact on tomorrow. Deciding where we want to work, how we want to live and how we consume has a ripple effect on our common future: for better or for worse. As Mambo people, we are proud to be part of the solution which is why we are constantly shaping our mindset and practices around sustainability Eugene Danilkis – CEO and Co-Founder of Mambo

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