MasterCard Contributes to a Greener Planet

Various credit card companies and banks are using different methods to market their product. Some are focused on credit cards to build credit and therefore offer 0 balance transfer.  Others, like MasterCard, launch new initiatives that help businesses better measure and manage their programs to benefit the planet.

MasterCard recently teamed up with Brighter Planet to add a Carbon Emissions Reporting feature to its corporate credit cards and enable companies to track and evaluate the carbon impact of their travel decisions. Based on card purchases, data will be collected by Brighter Planet related to employee cardholders’ travel usage, including flights, rental cars and hotels. This will be the first time that businesses will be able to achieve a real-time analysis of their carbon footprint and help them achieve their sustainability initiatives.

Growing Interest in Going Green
In June 2010, MasterCard conducted an online study which revealed nearly 80% of participating companies were interested in green travel initiatives. This led the credit card company to develop a tool which tracks carbon footprints in the corporate world. Brighter Planet also reported that 39% of Global 500 companies analyzed and reported the travel footprint of employees last year. This was apparently an increase of 34% from the previous year. Clearly, companies are interested in reducing their negative impact on the planet, and this tool will hopefully encourage them to take even more initiatives.

The Program
The MasterCard Carbon Emissions Reporting program will track each time an employee swipes their MasterCard for flight, rental car, hotel or other travel-related transactions. From this data, Brighter Planet will calculate a carbon score through cloud-based business intelligence software. In addition to companies tracking their overall carbon score, employees will also be able to track their individual travel information with the same software they already use to manage their account. The program is set to begin in the U.S. later this year.

Other Green Initiatives
MasterCard isn’t the only company in the green business. Hewlett-Packard also began its own green initiative in March. HP now offers services to monitor and report energy usage and carbon emissions in facilities and supply chains. Using tools from Hara, a software firm, the initiative is intended to help businesses better manage their energy usage and help reduce emissions.

Hopefully both companies’ green initiatives will help businesses more accurately monitor their impact on the environment and draw attention to areas where improvements could be made. In addition to helping the planet, these programs should help businesses streamline procedures and potentially save money.

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