Vancity has become the first Canadian financial institution to offer a credit card that calculates a user’s carbon footprint. It is partnering with climate-focused German fintech Ecolytiq to offer the carbon calculator.
Starting next year, Vancity Visa cardholders will be able to track their estimated carbon emissions from their credit card purchases. The move is an effort by the credit union to honour its commitment to climate action.
Mastercard last year announced a carbon calculator tool that banks could roll out to customers, but, according to a report from City News Everywhere last month, did not immediately respond to clarify whether any Canadian banks currently offer its calculator tool.
The Mastercard option was rolled out in collaboration with Doconomy, a Swedish fintech company that in 2019 launched a credit card with a carbon footprint limit.
The Carbon Counter will allow Vancity cardholders to compare their monthly carbon footprint to the national average. It will also provide advice on how to reduce the carbon footprint.
“We know many Vancity members are looking for ways to reduce the impact they have on the environment, particularly when it comes to the emissions that cause climate change,” said Jonathan Fowlie, Vancity’s Chief External Relations Officer.
“As a member-owned financial cooperative, we believe it is our job to do everything we can to help, especially when it comes to the decisions people make with their money. This tool will equip Vancity Visa credit cardholders with valuable information on their purchases and enable them to connect their daily spending decisions to the change they want to see in the world.”
The Carbon Counter was developed in collaboration with Ecolytiq, a climate engagement tech company based in Europe.
Ecolytiq’s co-founder Ulrich Pietsch said: “We are breaking new ground here. We developed a White Label solution to offer financial institutions all over the world an agile and effective way to offer their customers tools to forge a better tomorrow. With the launch of Carbon Counter, Vancity is solidifying its role as a leading sustainability innovator both in Canada and in the global banking world.”
Visa claims it conducted research that found that 70% of Canadians said sustainability is important to them and more than 50% want to monitor their carbon footprint.
“We are proud to support the launch of Vancity’s CO2 calculator, a first on a Visa card in Canada. This is a great example of how we can empower consumers to understand their environmental impact and honor Visa’s commitment to a sustainable future,” said Visa Canada’s Manager & President Stacey Madge.