MasterCard to help track emissions with new service

The service will help corporate sustainability initiatives, MasterCard says

MasterCard WorldWide on Thursday announced a program to help companies go green by capturing and analyzing travel related carbon emissions based on card transactions.

The Carbon Emissions Reporting feature is intended to measure and report the impact of a company's travel activities on carbon emissions, which will contribute to corporate sustainability programs, MasterCard said in a statement.

The announcement was made with Brighter Planet, which will provide the cloud-based business intelligence software to analyze the data. Data collected will include flight, rental car, hotel and other travel purchases, which will passed through Brighter Planet's CM1 software. The carbon scores will then be reported through MasterCard's web-based expense management and reporting service.

Based on "standards-compliant" calculation methodologies, the service will let companies track, compare, and report emissions metrics across organizational divisions, MasterCard said.

Last year about 39 percent of Global 500 companies audited and reported employee travel footprints, said Patti Prairie, CEO of Brighter Planet, in a blog entry].

With the service, MasterCard corporate card holders will be able to access employee travel carbon data through existing software used to track and manage spending.

"This new value comes with no new costs, no new software programs to adopt, and no new partnerships to manage," Prairie said.

There is a growing interest in tracking carbon emissions as companies look to cut costs and streamline operations. Hewlett-Packard, for example, in March started offering services to monitor and report energy usage and carbon emissions in facilities and supply chains as a way to balance business operations with energy use and sustainability. HP's service is provided using tools from Hara, which provides environmental and energy management software.

MasterCard's carbon emissions reporting program will become available in the U.S. later this year.

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