MasterCard wants its customers to understand how much their spending habits are contributing to carbon emissions and global warming.
The credit card company created a calculator that measures consumers’ carbon footprints based on what they purchase.
On Monday The tool which will be available on the MasterCard website and app focuses on specific spending categories but doesn’t track individual transactions.
The calculator gathers information using a methodology called the Doconomy Åland Index, which collects data from Trucost, an ESG analysis company that estimates businesses’ hidden costs of using unsustainable natural resources.
That index calculates the impact of transactions by using an average footprint number for specific industries.
For the carbon calculator, that information is correlated to MasterCard’s merchant category codes like ‘food and beverage’ or ‘apparel.’
The calculator also shares information about the number of trees that are required to absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide that is released from the consumer’s purchases in specific categories.
“While it’s not perfect, it actually gives a very good indication about what your overall spend is for the month,” Jorn Lambert, MasterCard’s chief digital office