Mastercard has announced the creation of a new Sustainability Innovation Lab, which will lead the company’s continued development of environmentally sensitive digital products and solutions.
As the global economy quickly digitizes, the Lab will focus on methods to empower businesses and consumers to revolutionize how they produce, distribute, and purchase products and services, guaranteeing that both people and the earth can prosper.
Mastercard chose Stockholm, Sweden as the location for the worldwide Lab in support of the EU Green Deal a city that has long been at the forefront of sustainable innovation, with strong consumer, political, and commercial commitment to the transition to a green economy.
“It is critical to foster new ideas with practical applications in order to reach global climate change goals,” says Kristina Kloberdanz, Mastercard’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “As we work to establish a more sustainable digital economy, the Sustainability Innovation Lab will enable us to co-develop a strong portfolio of environmentally friendly products, connecting everyone in climate action — businesses and consumers alike.”
Recognizing that in order to meet global carbon reduction targets, consumption must shift to a more sustainable paradigm, Mastercard is reimagining the future of commerce by collaborating on digital solutions that will empower businesses, governments, and billions of consumers across its network to help save the environment. As more customers desire to take action for the environment, the Lab will focus on solutions that enable sustainable spending, as well as increasing visibility and traceability throughout value chains for manufacturing products that benefit both people and the environment.
To have a long-term impact, open innovation is required.
Mastercard has a history of forming relationships with startup entrepreneurs in the Nordics, where the new Lab will be situated, most recently creating the Mastercard Carbon Calculator with the Swedish fintech Doconomy. Through the Climate Fintech Cards & Payments Challenge and its Start Path startup engagement program, Mastercard is also fostering climate-focused fintech innovation.
“Human activity has clearly caused the climate catastrophe, and it is our responsibility to address it,” says Doconomy CEO Mathias Wikström. “We are sure that innovation will help us address it, and we are working with Mastercard and our partners around the world to do so. It’s extremely inspiring to see how the Sustainability Innovation Lab’s skills help every bank in every market take inclusive climate action.”
The Lab is already doing research and development with the help of dedicated Mastercard employees, startup partners, and consumers, and the physical space will open in spring 2022.
The new Lab will expand on Mastercard’s impact-driven innovation experience in areas like financial inclusion and will investigate how technologies like 5G, quantum, and advanced AI might be used to address environmental concerns. It will include a research and development center focused on solutions for sustainable consumption and value chains, a “Labs as a Service” platform to bring partners and customers together to co-create sustainable shared-value solutions, and a Mastercard Experience Center for hands-on product demos and in-person engagement.
Iterating on the Mastercard Carbon Calculator product, which is now embedded across the company’s global network, and ensuring that it is effortlessly implemented by customers – with Doconomy team members based in the Lab to support – are among the Lab’s first goals. It will also look at how Mastercard Provenance can continue to raise transparency for social and environmental efforts, such as allowing supply chain participants to make more sustainable production decisions.
Mastercard is continuing to make progress toward its goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, having recently joined the 1.5 degrees Supply Chain Leaders effort to reduce emissions across its network of suppliers. In addition, the corporation has formed the Priceless Planet Coalition, which intends to restore 100 million trees around the world.