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05/17/2011 09:32 AM     print story email story  

MasterCard Tells Cardholders Their Carbon Emissions

SustainableBusiness.com News

Wondering what your carbon emissions are?

If you have a credit card with MasterCard, you may be able to find out. The company is calculating its corporate cardholders' carbon emissions based on their travel-related transactions on credit cards.

MasterCard's new Carbon Emissions Reporting initiative, launched with consulting group Brighter Planet, is in response to nearly 80% of companies expressing an interest in green travel initiatives.

Credit card transactions related to flights, rental cars, hotels and other travel purchases will be automatically processed by Brighter Planet's CM1 calculation platform. The information will be integrated into MasterCard's web-based expense management and reporting system in the form of carbon scores.

The carbon scoring, which uses independently validated, standards-compliant calculation methodologies, will let companies benchmark, track, compare, and report various emissions metrics across organizational divisions.

"The MasterCard Carbon Emissions Reporting program is a remarkable step forward in accelerating the availability of information for companies on their carbon footprint," says Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a leading coalition of investors and environmental groups working on sustainability issues. "As we all know, in the business world, what gets measured gets managed."

According to the National Business Travel Association, U.S. business travel generates $240 billion in annual spending.

"Our work with MasterCard is about giving companies deeper insights on travel purchasing so they can make smarter decisions," says Patti Prairie, CEO of Brighter Planet. "Travel is a huge driver of costs and carbon emissions - as much as 30 or 40% of total operations for some companies."

The Carbon Emissions Reporting program will be launched in the US later this year.



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