In its latest attempt to join international efforts to combat global warming, Mastercard has its eyes set on a new innovation that could change spending habits.
Mastercard launched a calculator that measures the carbon footprints of consumers based on what they purchase on Monday, with an aim to spread awareness on how certain activities contribute to global warming and other environmental issues.
The innovative move allows consumers to learn about how their spending habits could contribute to carbon emissions and global warming, though it does not track individual transactions, CNN reported.
The calculator gathers information that estimates the hidden costs for businesses who choose to use unsustainable natural resources. The index calculates the impact of certain transactions by using an average footprint number for specific industries and sectors.
“For the carbon calculator, that information is correlated to Mastercard’s merchant category codes like ‘food and beverage’ or ‘apparel,’” the company said in a statement.
But the calculator goes beyond hidden costs and allows consumers to see information on the number of trees required to absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide released from the purchases in specific categories,” CNN said.
Speaking to CNN, Mastercard’s chief digital officer, Jorn Lambert, said “while it’s not perfect, it actually gives a very good indication about what your overall spend is for the month.”
He called the calculator “a middle ground between respecting privacy yet providing information to consumers.”
This is just the latest in recent efforts by Mastercard to help the environment. In January, the company had previously made a pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and also announced a reduction in first-use plastic for producing its payment cards.