Lenders have long used perks such as air miles and shopping rewards as incentives to entice customers, but a new credit card called Sustain:Green — from Mastercard and Commerce Bank — offers an altogether different bonus: a clear conscience. Sustain:Green is an eco-friendly credit card which promises to offset the CO2 emissions associated with the users’ spending, investing profits in rainforest preservation and reforestation, rather than the usual, self-orientated rewards.
Sustain:Green is a biodegradable card with no annual fee, aimed at the growing market of eco-aware consumers. The card monitors users’ spending and purchases two pounds of carbon for every dollar spent, through a Brazilian rainforest conservation project called Mata no Peito, which runs an offset scheme. Sustain:Green offsets an additional 5,000 pounds of CO2 when cardholders sign up and adds a further 2,500 bonus when they spend more then USD 1,250 a month.
The average US citizen produces 17.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually and although many companies offer consumers the option to offset their purchases, this is usually at an extra cost — which is likely to deter many people despite their best intentions. Sustain:Green bypasses the process by automating customers’ eco-friendly choices. We have seen other companies such as GreenHotelWorld appeal to green consumers by including automatic CO2 offsets in their business model.
Customers can monitor their spending and offsets on the Sustain:Green website. What other charitable perks could credit cards offer?