Climate Action

Mastercard and partners advance the future of sustainable commerce

As world leaders come together for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), Mastercard unveiled an acceleration of its net zero timeline by a decade, from 2050 to 2040.

  • 01 November 2021
  • Rachel Cooper

As world leaders come together for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), Mastercard unveiled an acceleration of its net zero timeline by a decade, from 2050 to 2040. It is also scaling its sustainable solutions to customers across Europe and Latin America, including Banco de Costa Rica, ekko, Gránit Bank, and Sberbank, which have all signed on to adopt the Mastercard Carbon Calculator.

As part of its net zero strategy, Mastercard had already committed to meet its existing science-based targets (SBTi) for greenhouse gas reduction, which are aligned to the United Nations Business Ambition for a 1.5°C future. The company transitioned to 100% renewable energy in 2018 for its operations, and its emission reduction strategy primarily centers on further decarbonization across its value chain, including Scopes 1, 2 & 3 emissions. 

Mastercard has received an “A” rating for Supplier Engagement since 2018 from CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) and joined the 1.5°C Supply Chain Leaders Initiative, supporting large and small suppliers with concrete resources and tools for measuring their emissions and developing climate strategies through the SME Climate Hub

Supported by its new global Sustainability Innovation Lab, the company aims to encourage tangible action by people who use its 2.9 billion cards across the globe. This includes helping banks offer their consumers digital tools, such as the Mastercard Carbon Calculator, that encourage climate-conscious choices, and cards made from more sustainable materials. 

“Tackling the global climate crisis will take all of us – and major businesses have a vital role to play. At Mastercard, we continue to raise the bar for ourselves, accelerating our commitment to reach net zero emissions,” said Michael Miebach, chief executive officer, Mastercard. “We will also use our technology and global network to inspire collective action that fosters a more sustainable digital economy.” 

Enabling sustainable consumer choice

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. 

  • Mastercard is helping inform consumers about the environmental impact of their spending through the Mastercard Carbon Calculator, created in collaboration with Swedish fintech Doconomy. Embedded across Mastercard’s global network earlier this year, the Carbon Calculator will now be adopted by leading banking partners – both traditional financial institutions and emerging fintechs – in markets around the world, including Banco de Costa Rica, ekko, Gránit Bank, and Sberbank. Together with Mastercard, each partner will co-create and define its customer experience, such as enhancing it with relatable and easy-to-understand equivalents (such as the number of trees required to compensate for the same amount of CO2), integrating donation functionality to support reforestation projects, and providing tips about sustainable living. 
  • Mastercard’s sustainable cards program shows strong momentum: 148 financial institutions in 46 countries have now issued cards made with more sustainable materials, including HSBC and Banco Santander, as we look to reduce the use of first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing. The company also recently unveiled a first-of-its kind badge to identify these cards made more sustainably from recyclable, recycled, bio-sourced, chlorine-free or ocean plastics.
  • Through the Priceless Planet Coalition, Mastercard and its partner network also continue to offer easy ways for consumers to contribute to forest restoration. Uniting more than 80 businesses globally in the restoration of 100 million trees, the Coalition now has multiple consumer engagement campaigns running across markets to generate donations to the environment. The Coalition’s restoration partners, Conservation International and World Resources Institute, have also broken ground in key project locations.

To help accelerate progress toward Mastercard’s sustainability goals, the company made changes to its executive compensation model, linking it to three global ESG priorities including operational carbon neutrality. Mastercard also showed progress in 2020 against its existing 1.5°C SBTi-approved targets, including a Scope 1 & 2 reduction of 44% and Scope 3 reduction of 57% against a 2016 baseline, and was recently awarded for Supply Chain Leadership from the Climate Leadership Conference.

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