Mastercard: driving sustainability in the payment industry
“More than three quarters of people say they are about the environment and feel companies should be doing more to address their impact on the . As consumers look for ways to help tackle climate change through their own positive actions, many are limiting their use of ,” commented Mastercard in a company statement.
In its efforts to address this, Mastercard has been working with global organisations to develop a ‘sustainable card program’ for its card users around the world. With its new directory of sustainable materials and vendors for card products, Mastercard aims to make sustainable choices and drive enhanced innovation.
In its announcement, Mastercard’s new sustainable card offerings are available in multiple countries around the world in over 60 financial institutions who have issued cards with approved materials made from recyclable, bio-sourced, chlorine-free, degradable and ocean plastics. Such institutions include Crédit Agricole and Mauritius Commercial Bank and Santander.
“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,” added Mastercard.
With six billion payment cards produced each year - typically from PVC which are then replaced on average every three to four years, with discarded cards going to landfills - the announcement is the latest milestone for Mastercard in its effort to launch its global certification scheme for approved sustainable cards.
The launch builds on its Greener Payments Partnership (GPP), the partnership was formed by Mastercard, Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA in 2018, to establish environmental best practices and reduce first use of PVC plastics when manufacturing cards.
“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,” commented Ajay Bhalla, president of Cyber & Intelligence, Mastercard. “We’re excited to see our efforts gaining traction in so many parts of the world and hope more organizations will join us, as we collectively use our power for good to address these urgent environmental challenges.”
Continuously within its operations, Mastercard invests in new technology and resources to drive learning and insight within the global market to support sustainable choice across the payment industry.
“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,” added 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,” says Stephanie Ng Tseung, Head of Cards at MCB.
Making Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) central to its business model, Mastercard applies the full scale and scope of its technology, partnerships and people to drive inclusive and sustainable growth for all.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.