Climate Action

Jorn Lambert on how Mastercard is engaging its customers and clients in sustainability

Ahead of the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2021, Climate Action caught up with Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer at Mastercard, to discuss how the company is engaging its customers and clients in sustainability.

  • 04 November 2021
  • Rachel Cooper

Ahead of the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2021, Climate Action caught up with Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer at Mastercard, to discuss how the company is engaging its customers and clients in sustainability.

Can you tell us a bit about Mastercard’s approach to sustainability? What goals have you set, and how are you progressing towards them?

At Mastercard, we are working every day to build a more inclusive and sustainable digital economy. We see a future where people can reach their potential, growth is inclusive, and the planet thrives.

We are applying the full breadth of our technology, insights, partnerships, and our people, to address pressing social, economic and environmental challenges, on a commercially sustainable basis. We have been leaders on financial inclusion for more than a decade and have taken that impact-driven approach to innovation and are applying it to environmental challenges, embedding sustainability into heart of our business.

Sustainability at Mastercard includes reducing our own carbon footprint and offering consumers the opportunity to do so, too. We were the first in the payments industry to commit to net zero emissions and have just announced we’re accelerating our timeline by a decade, from 2050 to 2040. And through our digital solutions, such as our Carbon Calculator, we can enable more sustainable commerce and consumer choice – in collaboration with our global network of customers.

Mastercard is part of the Priceless Planet Coalition, aiming to restore 100 million trees by 2025.  Can you tell us more about this project?

The Priceless Planet Coalition unites cities, banks, merchants and consumers in the restoration of 100 million trees, together with climate science and forest restoration experts Conservation International (CI) and World Resources Institute (WRI).

The coalition now includes over 80 partners globally, including big global banks, green fintechs and sustainably minded merchants.

All of these partners have all committed to running campaigns and enlisting their consumers in climate action – whether that’s encouraging people to go paperless, travel by bike or public transit, or use their loyalty point redemption to restore trees. And they’re doing it in ways that are authentic to their business – none of this is pure philanthropy, it’s about creating innovative models and solutions that are commercially sustainable. 

Our forestry partners, CI and WRI, have now broken ground in key project locations in Kenya, Brazil and Australia, with several additional restoration projects under consideration for 2022. 

What other innovative methods are Mastercard employing to increase its sustainability? (opportunity to bring in case studies of other sustainable projects/technologies)

Consumers are demanding more sustainable choices. According to a recent Mastercard survey,  85% of respondents globally said they’re willing to take personal action to combat environmental and sustainability challenges in 2021. New research from Mastercard also shows our society is now at an inflection point in both the supply and demand for sustainable options.

While consumers demand more from businesses and governments, we also see an increase in investments in sustainability from legacy brands, new players and the public sector, thus leading to more options for consumers.

With this growing segment of climate-conscious consumers, we’ve created a digital tool called the Mastercard Carbon Calculator to help them understand the environmental impact of their purchases and make informed decisions. This can inspire a variety of actions to support the environment, including donations to forest restoration projects.

How is Mastercard engaging its customers and clients in sustainability?

As a digital network, our carbon footprint is relatively small compared to some, but we can make commitments for outsized progress and apply our network in ways that involve our network of over 20,000 customers, with a collective reach to nearly 3-billion cardholder.

But we are not only talking to our customers about how important it is to address climate change, we’re collaborating with them to have a greater collective impact and to offer their consumers the chance to do the same. Our solutions include cards made from sustainable materials, our carbon calculator feature that any bank can easily integrate into their consumer mobile apps, or joining the Priceless Planet Coalition, focused on forest restoration.

We also recently launched our global Sustainability Innovation Lab to help us work with other partners to co-create payments tech that will support the climate into the future.

Mastercard are speaking at the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2021, to join them register here now.