Mastercard's new feature enables banks to equip people with carbon footprint data and insights to help inform consumer spending and offer ways to contribute to reforestation.
New research on sustainability, commissioned by Mastercard, reveals a marked increase in consumer passion for the environment as a result of COVID-19. More than half of those surveyed across the world (54%) see reducing their carbon footprint as more important now than pre-pandemic. This signals a growing trend toward eco-conscious spending and consumption among people who want to turn their purchases and rewards redemption into meaningful action for the planet.
To address this, Mastercard, in collaboration with Swedish fintech Doconomy, developed the Mastercard Carbon Calculator. Now integrated across Mastercard’s global network, this feature is easy for banks to adopt and customize for eco-conscious consumers who are looking for more ways to be informed about their spending. It provides access to insights and data about carbon impact and enables people to easily contribute to preserving the environment.
Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer, Mastercard
Companies, consumers and communities must work together to make the significant changes needed to effectively address climate change. The Mastercard Carbon Calculator informs consumers about the carbon footprint of their purchases, so that they can make more mindful spending decisions and contribute to forest restoration. By embedding sustainability into the very fabric of our business, we can unlock the power of our network, reaching billions of consumers and partners, to create positive change for the environment. This builds on the creation last year of the Priceless Planet Coalition, which unites businesses and consumers to restore 100 million trees.
The Carbon Calculator enables consumers to receive a snapshot of the carbon emissions generated by their purchases across spending categories. The calculations are powered by the independently verified Åland Index and can be further enhanced with relatable and easy-to-understand equivalents (such as the number of trees required to absorb the same amount of CO2), and tips about living more sustainably. Consumers also have the option to contribute to the forest restoration projects of the Priceless Planet Coalition – whether by donating or using banks’ loyalty rewards programs. Banks can seamlessly integrate the Carbon Calculator into their mobile apps through new APIs that are now available on Mastercard Developers.
Mathias Wikström, Chief Executive Officer, Doconomy
By engaging a whole industry in enabling individual insights as well as collective action, Mastercard has redefined the role the financial industry can play every day in tackling the climate crisis. When others are talking of the importance of ESG, Mastercard is putting it to work at the fingertips of the consumer.
Over half of those surveyed globally (54%) see reducing their carbon footprint as more important now, and almost three in five (58%) have become more conscious about how their actions can impact the environment than ever before, with Gen Z and Millennials (65%) leading this trend. However, as consumers become more aware of their own actions, more than three in five (62%) believe that companies should behave in more sustainable and eco-friendly ways since COVID-19, with Gen Z also leading this shift (65%).
The trend toward more conscious consumption has grown over the last decade. However, changes in attitudes and actions have increased rapidly as a result of COVID-19. As consumers across the globe call on companies and brands to behave in more sustainable and eco-friendly ways, global respondents also revealed that reducing waste (37%), reducing air and water pollution (35%), and tackling the issue of plastic pollution in packaging and products (35%) are the top three issues they want companies and brands to focus on, in addition to dealing with the pandemic. Being more aware of purchases is also one of the top changes that people will make as a result from COVID-19 (42%).
In addition to the Carbon Calculator, Mastercard offers other environmentally focused products and services, such as cards made from sustainable materials to reduce plastic waste. The company has also pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2050, building on existing commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions aligned with 1.5-degrees Celsius. Mastercard has also issued a $600 million sustainability bond and recently announced changes to its executive compensation model to help accelerate progress around three global ESG goals: carbon neutrality, financial inclusion and gender pay parity. This is all in support of the company’s goal of building a more sustainable and inclusive digital economy.
Plans for roll-out in the MENA and CEE regions are underway through a joint venture with global investment conglomerate Dubai Holding.
Strategic investment sets the stage for expanded future omnichannel merchant acquiring capabilities for European SMBs, value-added services and payments innovation.