A dollar charged on your credit card is a point earned for gift cards or airline miles, right? Not so fast. This tried-and-true promotional model is now being applied for greater good with a new card ditching points in order to help the environment.
This week, Sustain:Green launched a new MasterCard that helps consumers reduce their carbon footprints with every purchase. Each transaction on the card activates carbon offsets to benefit Nike's Mata no Peito rainforest preservation project in Brazil. Sustain:Green clearly connects each action to the environmental impact. The first time the card is used, 5,000 pounds of CO2 is eliminated, and each subsequent dollar spent will reduce the user's carbon footprint by two pounds. Individuals can then track their collective impact and calculate their personal carbon footprint on the American Carbon Registry.
The card does more than offer a new type of promotion to encourage spending. Not only does it offset consumers' own footprints, but each carbon credit retired helps fund seed projects such as reforestation and the establishment of sustainable land use practices in Brazil, an area that loses the equivalent of more than nine million soccer fields to deforestation every year. Mindful of walking the talk, the card is also made out of biodegradable materials, helping to decrease the 1 – 1.5 billion plastic credit cards that end up in landfills yearly.
Over the past few months we've seen more and more companies unobtrusively integrate CSR efforts into consumers' everyday lives, whether it's a washing machine that triggers a donation to Habitat to Humanity or an app that fights AIDS with every mile individuals run. Sustain:Green's card makes it even easier for consumers to seamlessly incorporate environmental consciousness into their everyday lives. And while it won't require any major effort on behalf of card users, they'll soon see how their routine purchases can ladder up to greater personal impact.