Mastercard Inc is a global payment and technology company that deals with clearing, authorization, and settlement of payment transactions. The company offers a wide range of payment solutions and has operations in the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Mastercard is headquartered in Purchase, New York, the US.
Mastercard Renewable Electricity Procurement Success
Mastercard has made significant strides in its commitment to environmental sustainability making it a core feature of both its operations and its business model. “Tackling the global climate crisis will take all of us – and major businesses have a vital role to play. At Mastercard, we continue to raise the bar for ourselves, accelerating our commitment to reach net zero emissions,” said Michael Miebach, Mastercard’s CEO. “We will also use our technology and global network to inspire collective action that fosters a more sustainable digital economy.” This doesn’t seem to be just talk given that the company announced in 2021 that senior executive bonuses would be directly tied to achieving their environmental goals and their pledge to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Kristina Kloberdanz, Mastercard’s former Chief Sustainability Officer now at Macquarie Asset Management crystalized their principles in a 2021 statement saying that ‘by coming together, we can drive exponential impact. The quality of all our futures are deeply and inextricably linked to the health and well-being of our planet. That’s why, in addition to improving our own environmental footprint, we’re driving systemic change through powerful coalitions and empowering our network of nearly 3-billion consumers to take collective action to preserve the environment.” As a result of this committed approach, in 2021, the company achieved its goal of procuring 100% renewable electricity, reinforcing its commitment to the RE100 initiative.
This milestone was reached through a combination of energy efficiency programs and renewable energy energy procurement strategies detailed in their 2022 ESG report. Their renewable energy strategy includes a four pronged approach: developing and implement on-site renewable energy
sources at owned facilities (all owned facilities are outfitted with solar panels); establishing long-term renewable energy agreements (five- to 12-year agreements with utility providers or third parties in the U.S., U.K., Australia and other locations); purchasing in-country renewable-energy credits (RECs) for our sites in locations that are too small for long-term agreements; and for locations in countries without a renewable-energy credit market, purchasing RECs in neighboring countries that are connected to the same grid. Overall, in 2022, unbundled RECs accounted for 65% of Mastercard’s scope to mitigation strategy for the 103,024 MWh of electricity consumption.
Mastercard's current strategy and effort to maintain its 100% renewable target continues under the helm of Ellen Jackowski who took over as Chief Sustainability Officer in late 2021. She’s since reiterated that these efforts will continue in full force as “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.”
Mastercard Renewable Energy Certificates Additionality Impact
While Mastercard has made commendable progress in sourcing renewable electricity, the company could further improve its impact by incorporating RECs with additionality into its strategy. RECs with additionality can have several positive effects:
Reducing reliance on unbundled RECs and increasing investment in longer-term renewable energy projects.
Accelerating the transition of the grid to renewable energy.
Mitigating costs over time associated with continued renewable energy procurement using RECs without additionality.
Enhancing the company's ability to make a more impactful marketing claim for sustainability purposes.
Providing scale to their emission reduction strategies needed to cover increased consumption of megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity as their business continues to grow.
In conclusion, Mastercard has demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability by achieving 100% renewable electricity procurement in 2020. The company's ongoing efforts to maintain this target and further decarbonize its operations are commendable. By incorporating RECs with additionality into its strategy, Mastercard can further enhance its positive impact on the environment and contribute to a more sustainable future.