Mastercard leads on climate action in payment industry
Mastercard has announced it is upping its commitment to create a more sustainable and inclusive digital economy, with a pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
This comes hot on the heels of announcements by hundreds of huge global corporations pledging the same, to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero as part of efforts to keep global warning below 1.5C.
In fact, the number of net-zero commitments has doubled in less than a year, according to the UNFCCC, with huge corporations including Nestle, Amazon, KPMG, Ford, Microsoft and PepsiCo announcing net zero promises, and BlackRock and Mastercard the latest to commit.
Long-term commitment to reduce emissions
However, for Mastercard – the first company in the payments industry to gain Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) approval for its GHG goals - this latest pledge builds upon its existing GHG promises, with the company currently working towards its SBTi-approved goal to reduce total Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 38% and Scope 3 emissions by 20% by 2025 from a 2016 baseline.
These targets reflect a long-term commitment by Mastercard to reduce emissions across the business, drive operational energy efficiency, and even engage suppliers in value chain decarbonisation.
And progress has already been made with the company having achieved its goal of 100% renewable electricity in 2020.
Not one to rest on its laurels, and with 2021 set to be a crucial year for climate action, the company is doubling down on its climate control efforts.
As well as improving its own environmental footprint, Mastercard has committed to drive “systemic change through powerful coalitions and empower our network of nearly 3-billion consumers to take collective action to preserve the environment,” says Mastercard’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kristina Kloberdanz.
Decarbonising operations and supplier sustainability
To improve its own environmental footprint, and reach its net zero goals, Mastercard points to two priority areas – decarbonising its own operations (180 facilities worldwide) and leading on supplier sustainability.
The company is prioritising renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes, including increased use of solar panels in data centres, which totals 50% of energy usage company-wide.
Mastercard, whose innovative approach to supplier sustainability has made it a leader, will offer its suppliers continued support with setting and achieving GHG goals.
Leveraging expertise for Collective Climate Action
Mastercard is leveraging its experience in financial inclusion to build sustainable, scalable solutions and drive collective action for climate impact, working with banks, merchants and other industry partners, for example, to empower consumers with environmental choices.
Innovative initiatives include the Greener Payments Partnership and the Priceless Planet Coalition, the latter a commitment by Mastercard to work with 40+ partners to regrow 100 million trees over five years.
DS Smith: Sustainable Packaging Hits Targets
DS Smith has met its targets on its way to 100% recycled papers and ensured that the majority of its sites are ISO 50001-certified. The company is a global provider of fibre-based packaging and has set a mission of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’. Its leaders are committed to further sustainability, with each of its sites engaging 50+ employees in community-based outreach.
‘As we continue to tackle the challenges facing our communities and the environment, we’ve achieved a number of our key targets, including forest management, community engagement, and designing for a circular economy’, said Keith Ledbetter, DS Smith’s North America Packaging and Paper Managing Director.
What’s the State of Its 2021 Sustainability Report?
- Launched 57 biodiversity projects in local communities
- Reduced carbon emissions by 23% per ton of production compared to 2015
- Installed 36,672 LED lamps at 92 global sites
- Saved 15,400+ tons of CO2
- Achieved an AA ESG score—the highest grade in the industry—from MSCI
- Committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050
What Are Its Key Sustainability Targets?
- Close the Loop Through Better Design. Manufacturing 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2023.
- Reduce Waste and Pollution. Replace problem plastics and cut consumer carbon.
- Protect Natural Resources. Optimise fibre use in all of its supply chains by 2030.
- Drive Carbon Reduction. Reduce CO2 by 30% against its 2015 baseline.
- Equip People for a Circular Economy. Engage 5 million young people in circular lifestyles.
Overall, DS Smith has made excellent progress towards its goals—far before 2030. Will it push those targets to be more ambitious? We’ll have to see. For now, as Ledbetter puts it: ‘We’ll focus on innovative solutions that meet our customers’ needs’.