The card payments industry needs to improve its energy efficiency and reduce its environmental impact. As a payments infrastructure specialist, we share insight on some necessary first steps.
The payments industry has not been immune, especially the crypto and blockchain segment which, some claim, uses as much energy as a small country for mining and transaction purposes. Even without crypto, there is a wide range of ways in which the payments sector can raise its game when it comes to environmental responsibility and sustainability.
With consultants and NGOs reporting three-quarters of European consumers expect their banking services provider to take action on climate change, our recent white paper on sustainable card payments makes the case for why the payments business needs to reduce its environmental impact – and sets out practical steps for how to make this happen.
Sustainable card payments: our responsibility outlines the actions our industry should take to reduce its environmental impact, including issuing sustainable cards manufactured from earth-friendly sources such as corn, ocean recovered plastic and recycled PVC or PET. In the card management space, we make the case for using recycled paper and reducing the use of paper in general in client communications and minimizing the carbon footprint of the card production and delivery process.
At Tietoevry Banking, we estimate that around 10% of energy use in the card business comes from processing operations. To reduce the impact of this energy use, we undertake card processing using 100% renewable energy sources at our data centres in Norway. We also believe customers should be given the option to recycle their cards at end of life – that’s why we’ve entered into a partnership with SpareBank1 to find ways to manage card recycling in a sustainable manner. Measures such as these have helped us to reduce Tietoevry’s total environmental impact by 56% since 2016.
Acting on sustainability is the right thing to do. However, many studies also show it’s great for your business: recently, the Harvard Business Review revealed 65% of consumers are seeking brands driven by the sustainability agenda, while in October 2020 Nielsen Research claimed 81% of the world’s consumers expect companies to take action to save the planet.
By improving the sustainability of your card programmes, you establish your institution with customers as a leader in environmental protection and enhance customer loyalty by making your customers feel good about using your cards. Such positive sentiments aren’t just limited to customers, either: our experience suggests that colleagues in banks with sustainable approaches feel better about their work. It all adds up to a situation in which your work to help the planet can also drive measurable returns for your business.
Download a copy of the recent white paper on sustainable card payments from Tietoevry Banking now to learn more about steps to reduce the environmental impact of your card programmes.
 See CPQI, Three Emerging Trends in Green Banking: https://cpqi.com/3-emerging-trends-in-green-banking/
 See statistics from the Dutch National Bank here: 574-evaluating-the-environmental-impact-of-debit-card-payments.pdf (dnb.nl)
 See: https://www.tietoevry.com/en/newsroom/all-news-and-releases/other-news/2021/03/new-technology-and-knowledge-based-collaboration-in-norway-with-the-aim-of-creating-more-climate-friendly-bank-cards/
 The Harvard Business Review: The Elusive Green Consumer, July 2019: https://hbr.org/2019/07/the-elusive-green-consumer
 Nielsen Research, The Sustainability Imperative, October 2020: https://www.nielsen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/04/Global20Sustainability20Report_October202015.pdf