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Corporate Cards

 May 12, 2011
MasterCard and Brighter Planet To Help Companies Manage Their Environmental Footprint

 MasterCard and Brighter Planet have announced a new program to help make travel carbon emissions analysis easier -- and more accurate -- for the businesses worldwide that use MasterCard corporate cards. Developed in response to the nearly 80 percent (1) of companies expressing an interest in green travel initiatives, the MasterCard Carbon Emissions Reporting feature represents the first time that automatic reporting and analysis of estimated travel-related carbon emissions data will be available to corporate cardholders based on their card transactions.

"We continue to innovate and expand our enhanced data initiatives to help businesses more efficiently manage their corporate card programs and meet current and future analytical needs," said Jay Singer, group head of U.S. Commercial Products at MasterCard Worldwide. "This collaboration with Brighter Planet will help companies with MasterCard corporate card programs continue to evaluate the impact their travel activities and corporate buying decisions have on their broader sustainability initiatives."

Increased Focus On Corporate Environment Impact

With consumers and businesses alike becoming more sensitive about costs as well as carbon footprints, the launch comes at a critical time. According to the National Business Travel Association, U.S. business travel generates $240 billion in annual spending.

The Carbon Emissions Reporting program provides access to new data that is increasingly valued by companies as they strive to benchmark sustainability goals and initiatives, confront sustainability standards on their supply chains, and address the environmental concerns of stakeholders. The new initiative represents a novel model, implemented on an unprecedented scale.

"Our work with MasterCard is about giving companies deeper insights on travel purchasing so they can make smarter decisions," said Patti Prairie, CEO of Brighter Planet. "Travel is a huge driver of costs and carbon emissions -- as much as 30 or 40 percent of total operations for some companies."

Sustainability In Action

Detailed estimated data on flights, rental cars, hotels and other travel purchases will be automatically processed by Brighter Planet's CM1 calculation platform, which will integrate carbon scores into MasterCard smartdata.gen2, MasterCard's industry-leading, web-based expense management and reporting solution. The carbon scoring, which uses independently validated, standards-compliant calculation methodologies, will let companies benchmark, track, compare, and report various emissions metrics across organizational divisions.

"The MasterCard Carbon Emissions Reporting program is a remarkable step forward in accelerating the availability of information for companies on their carbon footprint," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a leading coalition of investors and environmental groups working on sustainability issues. "As we all know, in the business world, what gets measured gets managed."

Since 2002, MasterCard's suite of enhanced data management solutions has provided companies with the ability to help effectively track and manage corporate travel spending, reduce costs and improve efficiencies.

The Carbon Emissions Reporting program will initially be launched in the United States later this year.

(1) MasterCard Worldwide commissioned an online study in June 2010 to understand corporate attitudes regarding carbon emissions and travel.