New Partnership Aims to Make Payments More Sustainable

Mastercard, Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA commit to develop environmentally friendly cards

For many years, the idea of going green in payments has been limited to linking purchases and accounts with donations to environmental causes and carbon offsets. These programs have had an impact in terms of awareness and raising much-needed funds. Now, there’s an opportunity to put these efforts into action across a broader part of the payments industry.

Mastercard and card manufacturers Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA launched the Greener Payments Partnership to establish environmental best practices and reduce first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing.

Roughly six billion plastic payment cards are made each year, according to The Nilson Report. While Mastercard analysis shows that this is less than 0.015 percent of the volume of plastic manufactured each year, there is room to improve that through the use of alternative materials.

“Consumers are increasingly moving from cash to card as they look for greater security and sustainability,” commented Ajay Bhalla, president, cyber and intelligence solutions, Mastercard. “This partnership will help us and our industry reduce first-use plastic in cards. Together, we can build on recent research and tests and drive adoption of environmentally friendly materials on a larger scale.”

Research and analysis into recyclable, bio-sourced and bio-degradable materials is already underway and now included in this remit. The partnership commits to accelerating that research with the goal of delivering globally available solutions to reduce first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing in a matter of years.

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