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Mastercard unveils directory of sustainable card materials

Global payments and technology company Mastercard has launched what it describes as the world’s first directory of “rigorously assessed” sustainable alternatives to single use and virgin plastics in payment cards.

A new directory of sustainable materials and vendors for card products aims to make sustainable choice the preferred option for all financial institutions worldwide and drive enhanced innovation, Mastercard said in a statement.

The company’s sustainable card offerings are available to consumers in over a dozen countries globally and more than 60 financial institutions have issued cards with approved materials made from recyclable, bio-sourced, chlorine-free, degradable and ocean plastics. These institutions include Crédit Agricole and Mauritius Commercial Bank, as well as Santander, which will issue cards shortly.

With this resource, banks can learn more about these alternatives, connect to card manufacturers and ultimately augment their own sustainability initiatives with a systemic change to their supply chain.

This initiative is a new milestone in a multi-year effort that will lead to the launch of Mastercard’s (@Mastercard) global certification scheme for approved sustainable cards. It builds on the Greener Payments Partnership (GPP) formed by Mastercard and card manufacturers Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA in 2018 to establish environmental best practices and reduce first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing.

Six billion payments cards are produced each year, typically from PVC. These cards are replaced on average every three to four years, with discarded cards going to landfills across the world.

“Our goal is simple: we want to help banks offer more eco-friendly cards to consumers, and we are taking concrete steps to bring about that change. This way, everyone benefits – it’s better for the environment, it’s better for business and it meets evolving consumer needs,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of Cyber & Intelligence, Mastercard.

He added: “We’re excited to see our efforts gaining traction in so many parts of the world and hope more organisations will join us, as we collectively use our power for good to address these urgent environmental challenges.”

“We know our customers are looking for more sustainable products and looking for ways to effect positive change in the world. This approach has enabled us to not only deliver on a consumer need but also offer a product that’s in line with our corporate sustainability values,” said Marco Briata, Head of Digital & Payments – Crédit Agricole Italia.

“MCB is fully committed towards protecting the environment and our local heritage. We are converting our cards portfolio to Polylactic Acid (PLA), which reduces traditional PVC use by more than 80%. In addition, every time that a customer uses our Mastercard debit card, we make a contribution to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation to save threatened Mauritian species through the restoration of entire ecosystems,” added Stephanie Ng Tseung, Head of Cards at MCB.


If you were interested in this bioeconomy story, you may also be interested in the bioeconomy stories below.

Read: American Express takes a swipe at marine plastic pollution and teams up with Parley for the Oceans to launch new green card.

Read: Bio-based a possible solution to Mastercard’s search for more sustainable bank cards.

Read: Amalgamated Bank’s investment underline growing commitment to sustainable business from big finance.

Read: Banks are doing too little to communicate their sustainable investment products; report.

Read:  Adidas and NHL team up to unveil hockey jerseys made from Parley Ocean Plastic.

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