MIAMI, Jan. 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On average, the American lifestyle produces enough carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (17.6 metric tons) to equal over 41,000 miles of driving in a typical passenger car. Manmade carbon emissions are considered the leading cause of global climate change, yet carbon reduction and other sustainability efforts don't always eliminate one's carbon footprint to zero. To address this problem, Sustain:Green has created a new biodegradable MasterCard® rewards cardholders with carbon offsets for their everyday purchases. Carbon offsets rewarded to Sustain:Green users help fund Mata no Peito rainforest preservation projects in Brazil.
To reward users of the card, Sustain:Green reduces their carbon footprint by 2 pounds for every dollar in net merchandise purchases. On the card's first use, an additional 5,000 pounds of CO2 is eliminated on the cardholder's behalf. Card users can calculate their carbon footprint and track their reduction through their personal online dashboard. All carbon offset purchases and retirement on behalf of Sustain:Green cardholders are recorded transparently on the American Carbon Registry and are verified as such by the non-profit Winrock International.
"After recycling, reusable grocery bags, and turning down the thermostat, the options most people have to reduce their carbon footprint usually fall into three categories, too difficult, too expensive, or not possible," said Arthur Newman, Co-Founder and CEO of Sustain:Green. "Just by using our card for purchases they would make anyway, consumers can shrink their carbon footprint for free, everyday, while also helping to preserve rainforests critical to combating climate change. We hope they will use the card in conjunction with other carbon reduction lifestyle changes, such as fuel efficient transportation choices."
The Sustain:Green MasterCard is issued by Commerce Bank. Commerce Bank is ranked among the top 10 on Forbes' list of America's Best Banks for the sixth year in a row,. With a deep commitment to sustainability, Commerce Bank issues the Sustain:Green MasterCard and manages all aspects of the credit card not specifically related to the rewards program.
"At Commerce, we consider sustainability factors in all facets of our business. Since 2009, our E-statement usage has increased by more than 230% and we've reduced annual energy consumption companywide by more than 20% over the last 6 years," said Chad Doza, Senior Vice President of Consumer Credit Cards. "Our relationship with Sustain:Green enables us to expand on our sustainability efforts by offering a customized credit card solution for Sustain:Green members to help reduce carbon footprints and preserve rainforests."
For transparent tracking and accounting of carbon offsets rewarded to card users, Sustain:Green works in concert with the non-profit American Carbon Registry (ACR). ACR is the world's first private, voluntary offset program, with two decades of experience in the development of science-based greenhouse gas accounting methodologies, as well as operational experience in the oversight of carbon offset project verification, registration, offset issuance and retirement reporting.
"Until now, carbon offsets were a typically used by businesses to reduce their carbon footprints," said Mary Grady, American Carbon Registry Director of Business Development. "Today, with the Sustain:Green MasterCard, individuals can reduce their carbon footprint, easily and automatically just by using the card. We applaud Sustain:Green for helping engage consumers in the fight against climate change."
The biodegradable Sustain:Green MasterCard also brings simplicity to corporate social responsibility efforts. CSR managers can track the collective carbon reduction of cardholders within their company through the online dashboard and non-profit organizations can anonymously track similar data of their members.
Individuals can apply online at www.sustaingreen.com. Organizations interested in sharing the biodegradable Sustain:Green MasterCard with their employees or members should contact the company directly at www.sustaingreen.com.
1Forbes, America's Best and Worst Banks 2014, December 19, 2013
Sustain:Green is a provider of unique credit cards, supported by MasterCard and issued by Commerce Bank, that offer carbon reduction rewards with every swipe. The founders of Sustain:Green combined their backgrounds in finance, green technology and carbon markets, with their passion for sustainable living, to create a financial services product with social value. Every time the biodegradable cards are used, a concrete contribution to the fight against climate change is made through carbon offsets and reforestation projects. Sustain:Green partners with leading environmental organizations and financial institutions, such as the American Carbon Registry, who share in their vision of a healthier planet. Learn more by visiting sustaingreen.com or facebook.com/SustainGreen.