Drake Partners With Sustainable Digital Banking Startup Aspiration

The global music star joins others like Leonardo DiCaprio in backing financial alternatives that help the world.


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In an effort to reduce his own massive carbon footprint, as well as help others take action to do the same, musical artist Drake has announced a new partnership with digital banking startup Aspiration

“It’s exciting to partner with a company that’s found an easy way to offer everyone the ability to reduce their carbon footprint,” Drake, one of the world’s best-selling singer-songwriters, said in a release. “Aspiration’s innovative approach to combating climate change is really inspiring and I hope together we can help to motivate and create awareness.”

While digital banking startups are seemingly everywhere these days, Aspiration stands out in a crowded field with its unique approach to combining both finances and sustainability into one attractive package. In addition to giving 10% of all earnings to charitable organizations, the FDIC-insured bank also rewards customers with cash-back (up to 10%) on purchases from its “Conscience Coalition” partners (TOM’s, Girlfriend Collective, Feed, etc.), the ability to plant a tree with roundups on purchases, and a “Personal Impact Score,” to help you shop to match your values.

Should you opt for the $5.99/mo. plan (the standard plan is “Pay What is Fair,” even if that means $0), the company will also provide carbon offsets for all of your gas purchases, as well as other perks. Over the last year alone, Aspiration customers have helped fund the planting of $15 million in new trees, keeping the company on pace to its goal of more than 100 million trees over the next decade and making it one of the largest corporate sponsors of reforestation in the U.S.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of using Aspiration over a traditional financial institution? A guarantee that your deposits will not be used for fossil fuel production or exploration.

“The reality is banks make money by taking your deposits and then lending them out,” co-founder Andrei Cherny, a former policymaker on climate and social issues, told the podcast MyClimateJourney. “And a major portion of that lending is around fossil fuel exploration, around oil and gas pipelines and drilling. And when you think about what is the actual fuel for climate change, it's money. That's what’s driving so much of the actions that are creating the kind of situation that we're facing in the world.”

It’s this kind of approach that has drawn investment support in the company from the likes of actor Robert Downey Jr., philanthropist Jeff Skoll, and actor/environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio.

“Each year, $100 billion worth of pipelines, drilling and other fossil fuel-extraction projects are funded with money deposited at traditional banks,” DiCaprio said in 2019 after signing on as an adviser and investor in the startup “to bring about long-term solutions for our planet, we need alternatives that empower everyday consumers to take action against climate change.”

A visionary with big ideas

This isn’t the first time Drake has embraced assistance to help reduce and offset his impact. In 2010, ahead of his first North American solo tour, the artist partnered with Reverb; a non-profit that works with festivals and musicians to weave sustainability into the live music experience. Since then, others such as Billie Eilish, The Dave Matthews Band, and The Lumineers have used the org to introduce similar greening efforts into their global tours. 

According to Aspiration, Drake’s schedule, events, and travel will undergo a full audit to “calculate his carbon footprint and use its reforestation program to offset the estimated climate impact.”

“Drake is a visionary with big ideas,” said Future, Drake’s manager, about his latest collaboration. “I was incredibly fortunate to find him a partner to not only help him realize his personal goals but to inspire others along the way. Drake, Dreamcrew, and I are all super excited about what Aspiration is doing and the possibilities and the road ahead.”