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Leading climate science experts join Advisory Committee; Coalition partners launch consumer activations across the globe to support planting 100 million trees

Johannesburg, South Africa – 20 October 2020: The current pandemic has underscored how interconnected our world has become – and that the health and well-being of our planet is deeply linked to that of our people.

With this in mind, Mastercard today announced the expansion of the Priceless Planet Coalition, welcoming new global coalition partners including Barclays, Expo 2020 Dubai, HSBC, Network International, among others – as well as eminent environmental experts as part of the new Advisory Committee that will support the Priceless Planet Coalition’s work.

The Advisory Committee welcomes Bo Lidegaard, Danish historian and diplomat, who has led international negotiations on climate change and is the former editor-in-chief of the Danish newspaper Politiken; Todd Stern, former Special Envoy for Climate Change and the US’s chief negotiator for the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement; and Izabella Teixeira, Former Minister of the Environment for Brazil and co-chair of the UN’s International Resource Panel (IRP).

Launched in January 2020, the Priceless Planet Coalition unites the efforts of consumers, financial institutions, merchants and cities to fight climate change through the restoration of 100 million trees over five years – together with climate science and forest restoration experts Conservation International (CI) and World Resources Institute (WRI). Coalition partners in multiple regions are launching campaigns to enlist consumers in environmental action and reforestation efforts with innovative donation technologies.

“We created the Priceless Planet Coalition to not only inspire change, but to also pursue innovation. Climate change impacts you regardless of who you are, but the effect on those who are at a social or economic disadvantage could be catastrophic. To rebuild a better world that’s more inclusive and more sustainable, we need the commitment from businesses, governments, and consumers to connect, collaborate and work towards a common goal,” said Kristina Kloberdanz, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mastercard.

Forestation locations

The Priceless Planet Coalition aims to reinforce a restoration model that’s not only focused on planting trees, but on re-growing forests in geographies with the greatest need and most potential for a positive climate, community and biodiversity impact. Guided by the expertise of our forest restoration partners, Conservation International and World Resources Institute, and our new Advisory Committee, the Coalition has employed rigorous science-based best practices to identify three restoration locations for the coming year in Kenya, Brazil and Australia. Beyond these initial projects, the project portfolio will be expanded to include other locations that meet established criteria.

“At Mastercard, it has become imperative for us to shift our focus to a more sustainable outlook when doing business that not only benefits our customers but more importantly, the environment. This means, our products and services need to speak to our sustainable goals as a business and along with our business partners and consumers we hope that through The Priceless Planet Coalition we establish firm roots in Africa to tackle the global climate crisis,” said Mark Elliott, Division President, Southern Africa, Mastercard.

Inspiring more sustainable lifestyle choices

Core to the Priceless Planet Coalition’s mission is empowering and inspiring consumers to take action against climate change. Mastercard continues to develop environmentally conscious solutions that enable more people to embrace a sustainable lifestyle through their spending choices.

  • Across Africa, Mastercard partnered with Angaza to rollout an efficient digital payment solution that increases access to affordable necessities, like solar home systems and water pumps, for people and businesses in emerging markets, enabling more than five million people to date.
  • The Mastercard Farmers Network (MFN) helps connect small-scale farmers with potential buyers, integrates their businesses with payment systems, and enables them to build a digital transaction record that can be used to access formal credit from banks and other financial institutions.
  • For people interested in contributing to forestation projects and other environmental causes, Mastercard donation platform and soon-to-be-available mobile app enable direct donations to the forestation partners of the Priceless Planet Coalition and round up everyday purchases. Mastercard also offers a widget, a web API that can facilitate banks and merchants to enable cardholder donations in diverse points of the consumer journey.
  • Mastercard is also embedding the coalition into loyalty programs run on behalf of issuers and merchants. For example, the company will enable cardholders to redeem reward points for trees through their gift catalogue and in real time through Mastercard Pay with Rewards.
  • To enable issuers to offer cards made from more sustainable materials, Mastercard recently launched the Sustainable Materials Directory, encouraging wider adoption of certified eco-friendly solutions. Mastercard has approved 34 different sustainable card products to date, which have been issued by more than 60 financial institutions. Mastercard continues to target the reduction of first-use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and to research alternative materials for cards, including recyclable, bio-sourced and biodegradable material in collaboration with leading vendors through its leadership of the Greener Payments Partnership (GPP).

Mastercard’s own environmental footprint

Earlier this year, Mastercard was the first in the payments industry to receive approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for an updated emissions target, which aligns to a 1.5-degree Celsius climate trajectory. The company also joined RE100, formalizing a commitment to continue using 100% renewable energy across all of its global operations.

South Africa’s Sustainability efforts

  • According to The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), which is the custodian of South Africa’s forest resources, an amount of R1.2 billion from the department’s budget has been allocated to forestry and natural resources management.
  • One of the 2020 environmental goals outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals Country Report 2019, is to protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.
  • Before COVID 19, the South African Government made progress by approving the long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019) in October 2019, a plan that marks a major shift in energy policy, meaning that South Africa will be moving away from coal towards renewable energy. This is great progress, as South Africa is a predominately coal using country.
  • South Africa is making inroads by moving towards a greener economy, and according to enviropaedia, ‘South Africa will implement nationally appropriate mitigation actions that will result in the reduction of emissions by 34% relative to our Business as Usual trajectory by 2020 and by 42% in 2025’.

To learn more about Priceless Planet Coalition, please visit PricelessPlanet.org and follow us on social media #pricelessplanet.

ENDS

About Mastercard, www.mastercard.com

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.