Mastercard introduces calculator to help consumers track carbon impact

The tool allows users to gauge the amount of carbon emissions generated by their purchases

Around 96% of adults are willing to take personal action to combat environmental and sustainability issues, according to a survey by Mastercard. Courtesy Mastercard
Around 96% of adults are willing to take personal action to combat environmental and sustainability issues, according to a survey by Mastercard. Courtesy Mastercard

Payments company Mastercard and Swedish FinTech Doconomy launched a carbon calculator that allows consumers and banks in the UAE to understand the impact their purchases have on the environment.

The calculator allows users to gauge the amount of carbon emissions generated by their purchases across various categories, the payments company said in a statement on Thursday.

Banks and financial institutions can integrate the carbon calculator into their mobile apps through application programming interfaces available on Mastercard Developers.

"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," said Gaurang Shah, Mastercard’s senior vice president, product management, digital payments & labs for Middle East and Africa.

The calculator is powered by Doconomy Åland Index and can also be enhanced further with equivalents such as the number of trees required to absorb the carbon.

Mastercard's move comes as consumers become increasingly cautious about their carbon footprint following the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a record decline in emissions.

Around 96 per cent of adults in the UAE are willing to take personal action to combat environmental and sustainability issues, according to a survey by Mastercard. A quarter of those surveyed said they wouldn't buy from brands that have not undertaken pledges to help the environment or behave sustainably.

Increased awareness about sustainability among consumers has also driven businesses to pledge to become carbon neutral. Many companies, including tech titans such as Apple and Amazon, which are often criticised for their energy-intensive operations, have pledged to reach net-zero emissions in a few years.

Last year, Amazon's billionaire chief executive Jeff Bezos pledged $10 billion to fund scientists, activists, charities and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change.

The e-commerce company is also aiming to run on 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 and is investing in the deployment of 100,000 electric vehicles from US car maker Rivian, some of which will be operational by 2021.

Updated: June 3, 2021 04:45 PM

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