Mastercard Inc. has tightened its corporate climate strategy, now pledging to reach the equivalent of no greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a goal shared by a quickly growing number of companies and governments around the world.
The payment processor was already the first in its industry to agree to a climate program with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a project led by several nonprofits that helps companies develop adequate goals. Those thresholds are to cut direct emissions by 38% and indirect emissions from supply chains and customers by 20% by 2025 from 2016 levels.
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Mastercard used renewable power or purchased renewable credits for 100% of its electricity last year. More than half of its energy use comes from data centers scattered among its 180 facilities around the world.
The Purchase, New York-based company has taken the additional step of associating with the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, another initiative to ratchet down global emissions.
Indirect emissions, called “Scope 3” in the jargon, make up the bulk of Mastercard’s greenhouse gas emissions (as they do for many companies), and 79% of that pollution came from suppliers in 2019. Business travel and employee commuting together made up 19%.
Addressing emissions requires diving deep into its purchasing and partners, where the company found that technical consulting, advertising, amusement and recreation, and promotional marketing make up the bulk of its Scope 3 responsibility, according to Mastercard’s 2020 report to the data and research group CDP.