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WORLD | Apr 11, 2023

Mastercard accelerates sustainable card efforts

/ Our Today

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Company to require all payment cards to be ‘Card Eco Certified’ by 2028

A Mastercard logo is seen on a credit card in this picture illustration August 30, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Thomas White/File)

Multinational payment processing corporation Mastercard Inc. has announced it is accelerating efforts to remove first–use, PVC plastics from payment cards on its network by 2028. 

This move further reinforces the company’s sustainability commitments and scales the accessibility of more sustainable card offerings for consumers seeking a way to reduce the environmental impact of their wallet.

From January 1, 2028, all newly–produced plastic payment cards will be required to be made from more sustainable materials including recycled or bio-sourced plastics such as rPVC, rPET, or PLA. Additionally, the new cards are to be approved through a certification programme, in a first for Mastercard Inc. The company will support its global issuing partners through the transition away from virgin PVC.

Mastercard launched its Sustainable Card Program in 2018. Since then, over 330 issuers across 80 countries have signed up, working in partnership with major card manufacturers to transition more than 168 million cards across its network to recycled and bio-based materials. 


The April 5 announcement further accelerates these efforts, while also complimenting the company’s work to deliver innovative, digital-first card programs that fully eliminate the need for a physical card offering.

The rule change will see all newly made cards certified by Mastercard to assess their composition and sustainability claims; this certification will then be validated by an independent third-party auditor.

Once a card has been validated it can be imprinted with a Card Eco Certification (CEC) mark.

“At Mastercard we are leading and shaping our industry’s collective pursuit of a more sustainable, more environmentally conscious future,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber & intelligence at Mastercard. “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.”

Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber & intelligence at Mastercard. (Photo:

“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,” said Ellen Jackowski, chief sustainability officer for Mastercard.

In 2018, through Mastercard’s Digital Security Lab, the company launched the Greener Payments Partnership with card manufacturers Gemalto, Giesecke+Devrient and IDEMIA to reduce the use of first-use PVC plastic in card manufacturing.

Mastercard’s participant banks span more than 80 different countries worldwide. It launched the CEC scheme in 2021.

Driving a more sustainable future

Mastercard Inc. maintained that tackling the global climate crisis will “take all of us”.

“Mastercard can have the biggest impact by activating our global network to create collective action. Our network includes 20,000 customers and banking partners – collectively reaching over 3 billion cardholders. Through this network, we are collaborating with partners to bring new environmental innovations and initiatives to market, such as our Priceless Planet Coalition, Carbon Calculator and Sustainable Card Program. And we’re partnering across the public, private and social sectors to drive the next generation of climate innovation. Our Sustainability Innovation Lab serves as an R&D centre for sustainable digital products and a platform to co-create with partners,” the company stated.


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