Global payments technology firm Mastercard has released its Carbon Calculator, a feature that provides access to insights and data about environmental impact in South Africa and the wider region.
According to a statement, the Mastercard Carbon Calculator enables consumers to receive a snapshot of the carbon emissions generated by their purchases across spending categories.
Banks and financial institutions can easily adopt and customize the feature for eco-conscious consumers, by seamlessly integrating the Carbon Calculator into their mobile apps through new APIs that are now available on Mastercard Developers.
Gaurang Shah, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs for Middle East and Africa, Mastercard said, “The New Mastercard feature enables banks to equip people with carbon footprint data and insights to help inform consumer spending and offer ways to contribute to reforestation. With growing consumer passion for the environment and sustainable lifestyle choices, we hope that this feature will inspire more people to support brands that are contributing to environmental welfare.”
Mastercard says the calculations are powered by the independently verified Doconomy Åland Index and can be further enhanced with relatable and easy-to-understand equivalents (such as the number of trees required to absorb the same amount of CO2), and tips about living more sustainably.
Also commenting, Mathias Wikström, Chief Executive Officer, Doconomy said, Mastercard has redefined the role the financial industry can play every day in tackling the climate crisis. When others are talking of the importance of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), Mastercard is putting it to work at the fingertips of the consumer.”
According to Mastercard research results released on Earth Day in May 2021, about 98% of adults in South Africa stated they are willing to take personal action to combat environmental and sustainability issue. This reflects a strong consumer demand for payment solutions that address sustainability.
Respondents in South Africa highlighted the top three issues they want companies and brands to focus on, besides dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, they want brands to focus on the health and wellbeing of their employees (39%), reduce waste (34%), and reduce air and water pollution (34%).
In 2020, Mastercard formed the Priceless Planet Coalition, which unites businesses and consumers to restore 100 million trees by 2025.