Corporations should use their (green) sense

Does going green and getting more green in your wallet sound like a good thing to you? Citizens Bank certainly thinks so, and hopes that its customers will agree.

The bank’s new Green$ense program awards customers 10 cents for every paperless payment they make, whether it is by the use of their debit card, making a payment online, or setting up an automatic payment to be charged to their debit cards or checking accounts. By enrolling in the program, customers are also automatically enrolled in online banking, with free online bill pay and paperless statements, and they receive a new Green$ense debit card made from recycled plastic.

The program focuses on not only the monetary incentive of getting money back into your account, but also on the environmental impact of the program. Each month, customers will be sent an e-mail newsletter that contains the amount of money they got back that month, along with green living tips and information about how the Green$ense program has impacted the environment. Citizens Bank’s online information about the program also includes a section with tips on going green and information about how each person’s enrollment in the program will positively affect the environment.

We think Citizens Bank’s motivation in starting this program is not entirely environmental; when customers switch to paperless statements, not only do they help cut down on paper printing, but also on the amount of money that Citizens Bank must spend on the printing and mailing of paper statements. As of now, unfortuantely, if customers choose to enroll in Green$ense, they will no longer receive points redeemable for merchandise with the use of their debit card. It would also be nice to see Citizens Bank allow its customers to participate in both the Green$ense program and their standard points-for-merchandise program.

While it is clear that improvements could be made to the program, it is great to see such a large company creating a strong presence of environmentally friendly practices in Pittsburgh.