Mastercard Announces New Carbon Calculator


Mastercard has announced that it has teamed up with Swedish fintech Doconomy and created a calculator that works out a customers’ carbon footprint based on their spending.

The new tool, which has been under development for a couple of years between the companies, is now available to banks as an API to add to their own applications, giving millions of customers the opportunity to track the impact their spending is having on the environment and find ways to reduce their footprint.

How Does The Calculator Work?

The calculator tool is powered by the Aland Index, which takes data from an ESG analysis company called Trucost and analyses or estimates the hidden costs of various businesses based on their use of unsustainable natural resources.

It doesn’t work on a purchase-by-purchase level but instead looks at categories of spending – so while you cannot get an exact idea of your individual impact it does give an indication based on how much and how often you spend at various types of business.

While it’s not perfect, it actually gives a very good indication about what your overall spend is for the month.

Jorn Lambert, chief digital officer, Mastercard

The app will not only calculate the carbon impact, but it will then inform customers of how many trees are required to absorb the impact of the carbon dioxide that’s released into the environment in the normal processes of shopping with these businesses. Tips on living more sustainably can also be given to customers to help them reduce their role in global emissions.

The Mastercard Carbon Calculator informs consumers about the carbon footprint of their purchases, so that they can make more mindful spending decisions and contribute to forest restoration.

    Why are you visiting today?

    By embedding sustainability into the very fabric of our business, we can unlock the power of our network, reaching billions of consumers and partners, to create positive change for the environment.

    Jorn Lambert, chief digital officer, Mastercard

    Mastercard And Sustainability

    The new API tool for banking apps is not the first foray into sustainability by Mastercard, a company that is clearly attempting to become a forward-thinking financial institution. It has already started working to reduce the amount of first-use plastic in creating payment cards, and in January 2021 it made a pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Mastercard is also this week launching a social media campaign in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands to encourage people to plant a tree for a friend. When customers then use their own Mastercard, the company will match donations. At the same time, they are running a number of global events including an auction on ‘Priceless’ experiences in the US, with proceeds benefitting forest restoration projects.

    It comes after a Mastercard-commissioned survey of over 25,000 people across 24 countries that showed that around 54% of people now prioritise reducing their carbon footprint more than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, with 58% of respondents saying that they are more aware of the impact of their actions now than they were previously.