Posted by Patti on Thursday, May 12, 2011.

Bringing sustainability to the heart of commerce

“The world’s most advanced carbon calculator may already be in your wallet.”

That’s the tagline on a postcard we’re distributing today here at the Ceres conference in Oakland, where we’re announcing a major new partnership with MasterCard. Powered by Brighter Planet, MasterCard’s Carbon Emissions Reporting initiative is a first-of-its-kind sustainability solution that will efficiently bring advanced carbon analysis to more businesses worldwide than any other service we know of.

Businesses care more and more about managing travel sustainability for reporting, brand, efficiency, and employee engagement purposes. Last year 39 percent of Global 500 companies analyzed and reported their employee travel footprint, up from 34 percent the year before. But getting good carbon info by traditional means, whether compiled in-house, by an outside consultant, or with specialized software, costs time and money—and that means it’s done less frequently, and less carefully, than it could be, which compromises environmental and economic potential.

It’s this problem that MasterCard and Brighter Planet are targeting with our new carbon intelligence partnership. The concept is simple:

  • Companies of all sizes use corporate cards for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, etc.
  • MasterCard helps these companies aggregate and analyze all of this spending data, delivering sophisticated business intelligence through their Enhanced Data offering.
  • Brighter Planet steps in to deliver the science, analyzing all of this accumulated travel transaction data to calculate carbon footprints for flights, rental cars, hotels, and other purchases. Our cloud-based CM1 platform works behind the scenes, adding authoritative footprint data to the other spending details already in the MasterCard system for use by clients.
  • Corporate card accountholders gain access to employee travel carbon data through the same MasterCard software they already use to manage purchasing card business intelligence online. This new value comes with no new costs, no new software programs to adopt, and no new partnerships to manage.

This is the direction we believe the next generation of carbon and energy data management solutions is headed, and it’s just the type of program we built CM1 to power. As organizations begin to contemplate not just measurement but active management of sustainability—and as global business data ecosystems are increasingly interconnected—we think MasterCard’s program will serve as a powerful example of what’s just now becoming possible.

What blog is this?

Safety in Numbers is Brighter Planet's blog about climate science, Ruby, Rails, data, transparency, and, well, us.

Who's behind this?

We're Brighter Planet, the world's leading computational sustainability platform.

Who's blogging here?

  1. Patti Prairie CEO