Season 3, Post 15: Greener spending

Great news that the world is getting slowly back to normal, but some things have undoubtedly changed, arguably permanently. It has become increasingly apparent…

Season 3, Post 15: Greener spending

Great news that the world is getting slowly back to normal, but some things have undoubtedly changed, arguably permanently. It has become increasingly apparent that environmental and sustainability issues matter, much more so than they did historically. In new research released by Mastercard this week, 85% of adults state they’re willing to take personal action to combat these concerns. Furthermore, 54% see reducing their carbon footprint as more important now than pre-pandemic.

Against this background, Mastercard has pioneered an innovative response. Where this business leads, other may perhaps follow. What Mastercard has done is to develop (in conjunction with a Swedish fintech, Doconomy) a Carbon Calculator. The calculator allows users to view their estimated carbon footprint across all their purchases. Tracked on a monthly basis, customers can see in which spending categories they are having the greatest impact. The Carbon Calculator has now been integrated across the Mastercard network and partnering banks can customise as appropriate for their customers.

While your author has yet to trial the service – although he will when it becomes available – it is more than just a marketing gimmick or a tool for the eco-conscious. There are practical actions that arise from its adoption. First, users can learn not only how their (spending) carbon footprint is calculated but then implement practical tips for reducing this footprint with future purchases. Next, consumers can offset some of their footprint via donations over the Mastercard network to the Priceless Planet Coalition. The 50+ global financial and retail organisations that comprise this group allow users to round up their purchases and/or make one-off donations towards a target of restoring 100m trees by 2025.

This initiative is timely, particularly in the context of World Earth Day next week, but we see the development as part of a broader trend. Other Blog pieces we have written this year have focused on topics such as how online delivery businesses are going greener (via more efficiently designed logistics networks, delivery vehicle electrification and better packaging) or how plastic can be recycled into helping surface roads. Expect to see more green initiatives appear across all industries. This future trend is set only to grow, in our view.

14 April 2021

The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Heptagon Capital is an investor in Mastercard. The author of this piece has no personal direct investment in the business. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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