Mastercard has announced the launch of its new Sustainability Innovation Lab, which will spearhead the further development of the company’s portfolio of environmentally conscious digital products and solutions. The Lab will focus on ways to empower businesses and consumers to transform how they produce, distribute and purchase products and services, ensuring both people and the planet can thrive as the global economy rapidly digitizes.
In support of the EU Green Deal, Mastercard selected Stockholm, Sweden as the home of the global Lab – a location that has long been at the forefront of sustainable innovation, with strong consumer, political and business commitment to transitioning to a green economy.
“Fostering innovative solutions with practical applications is urgently needed to achieve global climate change goals,” says Kristina Kloberdanz, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mastercard. “As we continue to build a more sustainable digital economy, the Sustainability Innovation Lab will enable us to co-create a robust portfolio of environmentally friendly solutions, uniting everyone – businesses and consumers alike – in climate action.”
Recognizing that consumption will have to shift to a more sustainable paradigm in order to meet global carbon reduction targets, Mastercard is reimagining the future of commerce by collaborating on digital solutions designed to empower businesses, governments and billions of consumers across its network to help preserve the environment. The Lab will focus specifically on solutions that enable sustainable spending, as more consumers want to take action for the environment, as well as increase visibility and traceability across value chains for producing products that have a positive impact on both people and the planet.
Open innovation to drive sustainable impact
Mastercard has a track record of building partnerships with startup innovators in the Nordics region, where the new Lab will be based, having most recently collaborated with the Swedish fintech Doconomy to create the Mastercard Carbon Calculator. Mastercard is also nurturing climate-focused fintech innovation through the Climate Fintech Cards & Payments Challenge and its Start Path startup engagement program.
“Human activity has undoubtedly created the climate crisis and it’s ours to fix,” says Mathias Wikström, CEO, Doconomy. “Working with Mastercard and our partners across the world, we are confident that innovation will help us address it. It is truly inspiring to see the Sustainability Innovation Lab capabilities support inclusive climate action by every bank in every market.”
Research and development within the Lab is already underway – with dedicated Mastercard employees, startup partners and customers – and the physical space will open in spring 2022.
The new Lab builds on Mastercard’s experience in impact-driven innovation, in areas such as financial inclusion, and will explore how technologies such as 5G, quantum and advanced AI can be applied to address environmental challenges. It will consist of an R&D Center focused on solutions for sustainable consumption and value chains; a “Labs as a Service” platform to convene partners and customers in the co-creation of sustainable shared-value solutions; and a Mastercard Experience Center for hands-on product demos and in-person engagement.
The Lab’s initial priorities include iterating on the Mastercard Carbon Calculator feature, now embedded across the company’s global network, ensuring that it is seamlessly implemented by customers – with Doconomy team members based in the Lab to support. It will also explore how Mastercard Provenance can continue to elevate transparency not only for social impact, but also environmental initiatives, such as enabling supply chain parties to make more sustainable production decisions.
To further drive collective climate action, Mastercard continues to make progress on its pledge to reach net zero by 2050, having recently joined the 1.5 degree Supply Chain Leaders initiative to address emissions across its network of suppliers. And the company has united more than 65 partners globally as part of the Priceless Planet Coalition, which aims to restore 100 million trees.