Global payment technology company Mastercard announced that it will remove first–use, PVC plastics from payment cards on its network, with a new rule requiring all newly–produced Mastercard plastic payment cards be made from more sustainable materials – such as recycled or bio-sourced plastics – by 2028.

The company also pledged to support its global issuing partners in the transition away from first-use plastics.

Under the new rules, all newly made cards on the network will have their composition and sustainability claims certified by Mastercard, with the certification then validated by an independent third-party auditor. Mastercard launched an Eco-Certification (CEC) scheme in 2021, applying a badge that identifies cards made from sustainable materials such as recyclable, recycled, bio-sourced, chlorine-free, degradable or ocean plastics.

Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard, said:

“As our customers respond to increased consumer desire to make more eco-friendly choices, we are making a firm commitment to reducing our environmental footprint – for the benefit of people, planet and inclusive growth.”

The announcement marks the latest in a series of sustainability-related initiatives at Mastercard. The company established its ESG efforts over ten years ago, initially focused on areas including financial inclusion, inclusive growth and data responsibility. In recent years, Mastercard has expanded its initiatives to include environmental sustainability, setting (and subsequently accelerating) a net zero target in 2021, and launching the Priceless Planet Coalition, working with partners to contribute to the goal of restoring 100 million trees by 2025. In 2021, Mastercard unveiled a compensation model for senior executives, with incentive pay linked in part to progress towards the company’s ESG priority areas of carbon neutrality, financial inclusion, and gender pay parity, and last year the company tied the achievement of ESG goals to bonus pay for all employees.

Ellen Jackowski, Chief Sustainability Officer for Mastercard, said:

“Mastercard is committed to advancing climate action and reducing waste by driving our business toward net zero emissions and leveraging our network and scale to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, regenerative economy.”

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