A climate credit card records the cardholder’s carbon footprint to help them visualize total emissions regarding their actions and choice of purchase. Major credit card companies, such as Mastercard and Visa have already adopted the practice.
What if I told you that you will be able to record your carbon footprint on a card? You carry your carbon budget on a card wherever you go— this means, when you go shopping, you buy everything you want, come to the check-out, pay with your credit card and automatically get the record of how much carbon emission you have contributed from your purchasing.
Yes! It’s possible.
Climate change is everywhere— whether we are buying our favorite cars, clothes, or eating our favorite fast food. Our action determines the impact, which later comes back to us in costly consequences.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) have declared that climate change is the greatest threat to humanity in the 21st century. Last month, the world’s population is believed to have surpassed eight billion, just 11 years after it reached the seven billion mark.
Population growth means environmental degradation. With time, the responsibility of a person towards reducing climate change has only increased.
Climate Credit Card
Climate credit cards are a relatively new type of financial product, aiming to help consumers reduce their carbon footprint and support environmentally-friendly initiatives.
These cards work similar to regular credit cards— a credit card is linked to a climate calculator to track the climate impact of the users based on their purchasing decisions via the credit card. The cardholder receives detailed feedback on their carbon footprint, related to products or services.
The carbon impact metrics displayed alongside the transaction are critical for fully informing the consumer of a conscious decision. Based on that, the user can learn about the extent of emissions associated with diesel vehicles or with the beef they consume.
Climate credit cards often offer rewards or cashback for purchases made at businesses that promote sustainability or have a proven track record of reducing their carbon emissions. In addition to supporting environmental initiatives, climate credit cards can also help consumers reduce their carbon footprint.
Some climate credit cards offer tools and resources that help users track and reduce their carbon emissions, such as carbon footprint calculators and suggestions for ways to reduce energy consumption.
Climate credit card is believed to help citizens become more responsible toward their spending. It is tailored and programmed to limit individual emissions, aligned with national emissions set by world leaders in the Paris Agreement to limit the average global temperature rise to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Current usage of Climate Credit Card
Sweden’s Doconomy took on a challenge in 2018 by launching DO, a mobile banking service for everyday climate action. Since launching, it has demonstrated an excellent blend of citizen engagement, collective ambition, and heightened awareness of climate change challenges. Doconomy’s digital banking service aims to inspire personal behavior change, reduced consumption, and compensation. The free DO app is linked to a credit card, allowing the cardholder to track and measure their carbon footprint with each purchase. Customers can also apply for an eco-friendly DO Mastercard card in addition to the mobile app.
Japan launched a new credit card as recently as this year, by adopting DO’s data and impact assessment methodology. Japanese consumers will be able to track and reduce the carbon emissions generated by their spending. In September this year, Japan Exchange Group Inc (8697.T) was commissioned to conduct the pilot project to set up the first exchange-based market for trading carbon credits to help participants offset their emissions. The scheme is designed to certify and credit the holder’s emissions reductions through energy-saving devices, forest management, and other methods. This will assist users in understanding the composition of their carbon footprint, reducing emissions, and offsetting.
Canada’s Vancity is the first financial institution in Canada to provide its individual and business members with a method to estimate the CO2 emissions caused by their purchases. The Mastercard option was rolled out in collaboration with Sweden’s DO. Every Vancity Visa credit card holder will be able to track the estimated carbon emissions of their credit card purchases by mid-2023. Members will be able to see how their monthly expenditure compares to the national average, as well as understand their purchases that have the highest environmental impact.
The United States is not far behind in terms of accepting climate credit card innovations. Aspiration is a carbon-neutral company, which means it invests in clean energy projects to offset its carbon footprint. Apparently, every time the card is swiped, the company plant trees to reduce its carbon footprint. The Aspiration Redwood Mastercard is also a carbon-neutral credit card. This card enables cardholders to offset their carbon footprint through everyday spending. The Aspiration zero credit card offers 1% cash back on all purchases if users achieve a zero carbon footprint with their purchases.
Switzerland’s Cornèrcard includes a climate calculator that automatically captures all emissions associated with credit card purchases and reports the climate impact of those purchases to the card user. The climate credit card has the potential to direct capital flows toward global emission reduction strategies. This card automates the process of tracking the environmental impact of purchasing decisions.
How valuable are Climate Credit Cards?
Climate credit cards are a valuable tool for consumers who want to support environmentally-friendly initiatives and reduce their own carbon footprint.
By offering rewards for sustainable spending and partnering with organizations that work on environmental issues, climate credit cards can help make a positive impact on the planet while also providing valuable benefits to consumers.
Climate change is one of the greatest threats, but we have the power to reduce and, eventually, defeat the threat itself. We can stay here forever, blaming one another for the massive destruction of the planet, and watch it become too late to do something.
Otherwise, we can be open to new technologies, such as climate credit cards, if used diligently, can help us change our daily habits by acting small but effectively at a time.
Climate credit card records our emissions based on our daily habits and purchase
The card helps citizen understand their consumption and their impact
Customers are rewarded for reducing their carbon footprint
Canada, Japan, Switzerland, the United States, and Sweden have already adopted the climate credit card