Mastercard launches Priceless Planet Coalition, inviting Australian organisations to unite and preserve the environment

October 20, 2020 | SYDNEY | By Barkha Patel

Mastercard coalition partners to support planting 100 million trees globally, with Australia selected as one of top three forest restoration locations

Mastercard has announced the launch of the Priceless Planet Coalition in Australia, inviting local organisations to come onboard and take collective action against climate change.

The Priceless Planet Coalition unites the efforts of merchants, banks, cities and consumers to fight climate change through the restoration of 100 million trees over five years – together with forestry experts Conservation International (CI) and World Resources Institute (WRI). Australia has been selected as one of the top three forest restoration locations globally, along with Brazil and Kenya.

“In Australia, through the Priceless Planet Coalition, Mastercard is empowering its network of partners and consumers who share its commitment to being a force for good in the world to unite in action and create exponential impact for the environment. Mastercard welcomes all Australian organisations, big or small, to get involved,” says Richard Wormald, Division President, Australasia, Mastercard.

The Priceless Planet Coalition has welcome new partners – Archa, Associated Bank, Barclays Bank US, BECU, Berkshire Bank, BMO Financial Group, Charity Charge, Davivienda, Doconomy, DZ BANK, E. & J. Gallo Winery, EedenBull, Emirates NBD, Eurobank, Expo 2020 Dubai, Finix, First Hawaiian Bank, Frank Green, Frontier Airlines, Halkbank AD Skopje,  Hawaiian Airlines, HSBC, Itaú Unibanco, Network International, Produbanco , SchoolsFirst FCU, Scotiabank, SEFCU, Synchrony, Transcard, WESTbahn, and 1derful – as well as eminent environmental experts as part of the recently announced Advisory Committee. These new partners join existing coalition members American Airlines, bunq, Citibank, L.L. Bean, the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Santander UK.

In Australia, Archa and 1derful have joined the coalition and the Sydney Opera House is looking to support Mastercard in its Priceless Planet efforts.

“Archa aims to provide tangible ways for our customers to offset their carbon emissions through direct contribution – i.e. round-ups on transactions – and donations through the Mastercard platform,” says Oliver Kidd, CEO and Founder of Archa.

“1derful was delighted to be invited to join the Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition as it presented an active, demonstrable way for us to articulate and evidence our commitment to a truly sustainable future. Rather than just talking about a green future, Priceless Planet is giving truth to the statement ‘actions speak louder than words.’ 1derful is delighted to be part of this global initiative and sees it as integral to who we are and the leadership we want to display in all that we do,” Luke Bunbury, Co-Founder & Deputy CEO, 1derful.

“The Opera House is excited to be working with our major partner Mastercard on exploring ways to support Priceless Planet, a wonderful initiative that underscores the organisations’ shared commitment to the UN Global Goals, in particular taking action on climate change,” says Louise Herron, the Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Opera House.

After the worst bushfire season ravaged Australia over the last year, marked by severe drought followed by heavy rainfall and flash flooding, Wormald says everyone must urgently invest in innovative ways to inspire collective action to address climate change.

“Mastercard believes that by interconnecting its assets and accelerating industry-wide innovations, everyone can make a bigger impact than if each one acted alone,” says Wormald.

New Advisory Committee

A newly appointed Advisory Committee will support the development of the Priceless Planet Coalition’s work. These world-renowned climate experts will use the latest scientific research and data to ensure that the Priceless Planet Coalition makes the greatest positive impact on both the climate globally and on local communities. The Advisory Committee welcomes Bo Lidegaard, Danish historian and diplomat, who has led international negotiations on climate change and is the former editor-in-chief of the Danish newspaper Politiken; Todd Stern, former Special Envoy for Climate Change and the U.S.’s chief negotiator for the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement; and Izabella Teixeira, Former Minister of the Environment for Brazil and co-chair of the UN’s International Resource Panel (IRP).

Inspiring more sustainable lifestyle choices

Core to the Priceless Planet Coalition’s mission is empowering and inspiring consumers to take action against climate change. Mastercard continues to develop environmentally conscious solutions that enable more people to embrace a sustainable lifestyle through their spending choices.

    • A collaboration with the Swedish fintech startup Doconomy enables people to track, understand and take accountability of their environmental footprint through digital tools that set a new standard for purpose-driven payment solutions.
    • For people interested in contributing to reforestation projects and other environmental causes, Mastercard donation platform and soon-to-be-available mobile app enable direct donations to the reforestation partners of the Priceless Planet Coalition and roundup everyday purchases. Mastercard also offers a widget, a web API that can facilitate banks and merchants to enable cardholder donations in diverse points of the consumer journey.
    • Mastercard is also embedding the coalition into loyalty programs run on behalf of issuers and merchants. For example, the company will enable cardholders to redeem reward points for trees through their gift catalogue and in real time through Mastercard Pay with Rewards.
    • To enable issuers to offer cards made from more sustainable materials, Mastercard recently launched the Sustainable Materials Directory, encouraging wider adoption of certified eco-friendly solutions. Mastercard has approved 34 different sustainable card products to date, which have been issued by more than 60 financial institutions. Mastercard continues to target the reduction of first-use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and to research alternative materials for cards, including recyclable, bio-sourced and biodegradable material in collaboration with leading vendors through its leadership of the Greener Payments Partnership (GPP).

Australia in top three global forest restoration locations

The Priceless Planet Coalition aims to reinforce a restoration model that’s not only focused on planting trees, but on re-growing forests in geographies with the greatest need and most potential for a positive climate, community and biodiversity impact.

Guided by the expertise of our forest restoration partners, Conservation International and World Resources Institute, and our new Advisory Committee, the Coalition has employed rigorous science-based best practices to identify three restoration locations for the coming year in Australia, Kenya and Brazil. Beyond these initial projects, the project portfolio will be expanded to include other locations that meet established criteria.

Mastercard’s own environmental footprint

Earlier this year, Mastercard was the first in the payments industry to receive approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for an updated emissions target, which aligns to a 1.5-degree Celsius climate trajectory. The company also joined RE100, formalizing a commitment to continue using 100% renewable energy across all of its global operations.

To learn more about Priceless Planet Coalition, please visit and follow us on social media #pricelessplanet.

Notes to Editors:

Quote Sheet

Bo Lidegaard, Historian, diplomat, former editor-in-chief of Politiken, and Priceless Planet Coalition Advisor: “The green transition is happening, but not at the speed needed. As citizens, businesses, and societies, we need to cut emission faster and deeper and at the same time step up efforts to preserve land and forests and enhance natural sinks. The Priceless Planet Coalition aims to enhance action by producers and consumers by creating visibility around the carbon footprint of individual products and specific consumption - and by providing the opportunity for immediate action to offset emissions.”

Todd Stern, former Special Envoy for Climate Change, the U.S.’s chief negotiator for the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and Priceless Planet Coalition Advisor: “Climate change is upon us with a vengeance and to contain it we need nothing less than to decarbonize the global economy in just three decades, starting now, and to deploy nature-based solutions in forestry and land use that can both reduce carbon emissions and absorb them naturally. We can do what’s required, but only if political will is mobilized at every level, from government leaders to business, civil society and ordinary citizens. The Priceless Planet Coalition will help drive the healing growth of forests around the world, at the same time that it educates and helps mobilize action and activism by companies and consumers.”

Izabella Teixeira, Former Minister of the Environment for Brazil, co-chair of the UN’s International Resource Panel (IRP), and Priceless Planet Coalition Advisor: “Nature-based solutions, such as forest restoration, are an essential means of tackling the climate crisis. The Priceless Planet Coalition enables us to act on both a global and local level – addressing the global environmental agenda, including deforestation and conservation, as well as enabling people to take action. Together, we must promote development that also preserves the environment”

American Airlines, Rick Elieson, President, AAdvantage® Loyalty Program: "Addressing the challenge of climate change requires meaningful collaboration across companies and industries to drive innovation and scale impactful solutions. As a proud partner of the Priceless Planet Coalition, American Airlines will donate AAdvantage® miles to ensure cardholders can enjoy Priceless Experiences with friends and family."

Archa, Oliver Kidd, CEO and Founder: “Archa aims to provide tangible ways for our customers to offset their carbon emissions through direct contribution - i.e. round-ups on transactions - and donations through the Mastercard platform.”

BECU, Tom Berquist, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer: “BECU’s philosophy of ‘people helping people’ goes beyond members and beyond community to the whole planet. We believe we all need to do our part to protect and preserve our environment, and we’re proud to join the Priceless Planet Coalition.”

DZ BANK, Gregor Roth, Head of Transaction Management Department: “We want to provide our customers not only with secure and convenient payments across the word, but also take responsibility to make a positive environmental impact. As part of the cooperative financial network sustainable business is an integral part of our DNA.”

Emirates NBD, Moadh Bukhash, Chief Marketing Officer, Group Marketing & Customer Experience: “The Priceless Planet Coalition brings together like-minded partners who share our commitment to sustainability and passion to preserve our planet for future generations. Our participation builds on our ongoing efforts to raise consciousness and mobilize people and businesses towards social good to create a cleaner, healthier environment for us all.”

Eurobank, Stavros Ioannou, Deputy CEO: “The effects of climate change are very real, and companies have a responsibility to lead by example to protect our planet. Eurobank is committed to be a responsible bank and we are excited to be joining forces with a partner that shares our common vision for a better world. Being the Greek systemic bank that supports Mastercard’s new initiative proves on ground the priority it attaches to action and policies meant to address major, global challenges.  We join the Priceless Planet Coalition co-signing along with leading business groups of international scope an initiative that increases private sector’s awareness in the, demanding and ongoing, effort for good practices supportive to green and sustainable development, the sole remedy against climate change”.

Expo 2020 Dubai, Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer: “Expo 2020 Dubai is a place that explores how to build and operate for a sustainable future. We hope to inspire people to think and act differently and to live in greater harmony with our planet. The next decade will be a crucial period for humanity and we are hopeful that the Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition will broaden our collective understanding of what we can do when we act together.’’

Finix, Jareau Wadé, Chief Revenue Officer: "We are a mission-driven company. While our central focus is to make robust payments infrastructure ubiquitous, we are also passionate about climate change. As a California-based company seeing the coast ravaged by fires, we want to do more. We're honored and excited that our first step is an environmental campaign with Mastercard and look forward to collaborating on the Priceless Planet Coalition together.”

First Hawaiian Bank, Christopher Dods, EVP: "Sustainability and stewardship have always been core governing principles for First Hawaiian Bank. As a community bank with deep roots, we recognize that our success is achieved when our customers and our communities are thriving. This is why we continue to invest in initiatives, such as the Priceless Planet Coalition, which foster responsible economic growth and contribute to the well-being of the communities we serve."

Frank Green, Kathryn Ficarra, President of the North American Division: “We’re really excited to partner with Mastercard on the priceless planet coalition,” states Kathryn Ficarra, president of the North American division of frank green. “Our mission to eliminate the distribution and manufacturing of single-use plastics by creating visually stunning reusable cups aligns with the Mastercard tree planting initiative. We see this as an opportunity to empower consumers to live more sustainably; these small steps have an extremely meaningful impact.”

Frontier Airlines, Tyri Squyres, Vice President of Marketing: “As America’s Greenest Airline, we are proud to join the Priceless Planet Coalition and support critical efforts to protect our planet from climate change. Frontier is at the forefront of more sustainable flying in commercial aviation and has adopted new technology and innovative solutions to significantly reduce our company’s carbon footprint.”

HSBC, Taylan Turan Group Head of Customers, Products and Strategy: “One of the most significant contributions we can make to address climate change is to provide banking options and solutions that make it easy for our customers to take meaningful, climate-friendly actions. We believe Priceless Planet will help give customers the choice to use their cards rewards points to make a positive impact on the environment. It’s one more step in our ongoing plan to help Personal Banking customers take action on climate change.”

Network International, Samer Soliman, Managing Director, Middle East: “We are pleased to lend support to a movement that we see not only relevant to future generations but also integral to conducting business today. Network remains committed to creating real impact through collective action, bringing together greater awareness, action and resources by tapping into the strength of our extensive merchant base.”

State Employees Federal Credit Union, Michael J. Castellana, President and CEO: “As a financial institution that is committed to changing lives every day, SEFCU is proud and excited to join the Priceless Planet Coalition. Like Mastercard and the other members of the coalition, sustainability is an integral part of SEFCU’s business and service model. From investing in technology and digital service platforms to joining this movement to plant trees and preserve our planet’s natural resources, we are dedicated to building a better, stronger, and greener society for our members today, and for generations to come.”

Transcard, Greg Bloh, CEO: “Transcard is committed to protecting the environment and health of our employees, customers and the global communities where we provide services. We’re delighted to join the Priceless Planet Coalition and help drive a broader environmental mission toward a sustainable future.”

WESTbahn, Dr. Erich Forster, CEO: “We welcome Mastercard's initiative and are pleased to be enabling the planting of 60,000 trees together with our customers. With no other means of transport protecting the environment as effectively, the railroad is one of the key players in the field of sustainable mobility. Thanks to the corresponding investments in the Priceless Planet Initiative, environmentally friendly travel is now even more valuable.”

1derful, Luke Bunbury, Co-Founder & Deputy CEO: “1derful was delighted to be invited to join the Mastercard Priceless Planet Coalition as it presented an active, demonstrable way for us to articulate and evidence our commitment to a truly sustainable future. Rather than just talking about a green future, Priceless Planet is giving truth to the statement ‘actions speak louder than words.’ 1derful is delighted to be part of this global initiative and sees it as integral to who we are and the leadership we want to display in all that we do.”

Barkha Patel, Vice President, Communications, International Markets (IMK), Mastercard

Media Contacts

Matilda Freedman, Mastercard
Olwyn Flanagan, Agency (Eleven)