Mastercard to measure carbon footprints

MasterCard has teamed up with environmental group Brighter Planet to offer corporate customers carbon footprint reports. By capturing and analyzing travel-related carbon emissions based on card transactions, the program hopes to help companies go green.

“Travel is a huge driver of costs and carbon emissions,” Brighter Planet CEO, Patti Prairie told Forbes. “As much as 30 or 40 percent of total operations for some companies.”

Based on “standards-compliant” calculation methodologies, the service will let companies track, compare, and report emissions metrics across organizational divisions, MasterCard said.

Brighter Planet’s software is already used by sites like Yaktrak, which allows users to plug-in a FedEx tracking number to find out how much CO2 was emitted to deliver a package.

The MasterCard application of Brighter Planet software looks at cardholder purchases such as flights, car rentals, hotel reservations the translates them into carbon dioxide emissions. Supplied with that information, businesses can manage their carbon footprint and increase sustainable practices.

The MasterCard program will automatically look at several billion calculations each year at no additional charge to customers. Those add up to $240 billion in travel-related expenses spent by U.S. businesses annually.

Flickr photo by jon smith ‘una nos lucror’

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