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Going green: the bunq community plants one million trees in Madagascar

Bunq founder Ali Niknam. Photo: Bunq

Bunq founder Ali Niknam

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to enjoy the moments spent with our loved ones, to prepare for unforeseen circumstances and to take care of our planet.

It’s a lesson which resonates with Amsterdam-based digital bank bunq, which is known for its rainbow coloured cards, but which has put going green at the core of the company ethos.

bunq has always invested ethically and was the first bank in the world to offer ‘freedom of choice’, letting its users choose what their money is invested in so they can make sure the funds aren’t used to benefit the tobacco industry, weaponry or any other kind of nasty business.

In 2020, bunq, which now operates in 30 countries throughout Europe, took its efforts one step further.


‘Conversations with users showed that many of our customers want to contribute to a better world. We want that too,’ says Ali Niknam, who founded bunq in 2015.

The company has now partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects to plant a tree in Madagascar for every €100 spent with bunq’s SuperGreen account. The reforestation efforts are also aimed at providing jobs and security to locals.

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world with over 75% of its inhabitants living on less than $1.90 a day and only 13% having access to electricity, according to the World Bank.

Today, the bunq community has already planted one million trees, a threshold hit six months before expectations. That’s enough to offset more than 325,000 flights from New York to Paris.

After all, if you spent €100 a month on groceries using bunq, you’ve planted a tree.

There are also other ways to contribute through the app. You can create a Common Goal for any cause that matters to you, no matter how small or big. Renovating the sports court? Great. Saving the ocean from nasty plastic? Also great.

If you don’t have your own idea yet, you’ll find plenty of goals already created by the bunq community, and it only takes one tap to add your contribution, making it easy to make changes together.

And if you are not sure how much money you have to spend on good causes, with bunq, you get 25 sub-accounts so you have a clear overview of all your spending. Your salary can be automatically split into these sub-accounts according to your preferences, so no need to worry about making sure you have enough for your bills.


If you are dreaming of your next holiday, house or just a good dinner, set up a savings goal. Dreaming together? You can share your savings goal and put money aside with your loved ones.

As a European digital-only bank, bunq spares you the time wasted at branches or dealing with bureaucracy. All you need for a bunq account is your phone, an ID and an address. It takes less than one minute to be a bunq user, and under five to have a fully functional bank account, and to start contributing to those green goals.

Looking for the app that makes life easy and the world a greener place? You can find out more about bunq here. And if you really want to ditch the plastic, the company offers a beautifully crafted Metal Card instead.

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