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Understanding ESG
Mastercard coalition expands reforestation work
New Asia-Pacific sites part of plan to restore 100 million trees by 2025, capture carbon
The Asset 20 Apr 2022

Ahead of Earth Day on April 22, Mastercard’s Priceless Planet Coalition of more than 100 global banks, fintechs and merchants has expanded its reforestation work to include 15 new sites in countries around the world, including Cambodia, China, India and the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific region.

The coalition, which aims to restore 100 million trees by 2025, works by uniting companies, communities and consumers in collective, coordinated climate action. It employs science-based best practices to identify new project sites, select the appropriate tree species and ensure long-term forest health through ongoing monitoring, while also providing economic opportunities for local communities.

A 2022 report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sounded the alarm about the urgency of taking immediate action to mitigate climate change. The report stated that removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, in tandem with reducing emissions, will play a central role in mitigating the effects of climate change; reforestation is widely acknowledged as one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to do this.

And while a UN Global Compact study found that 81% of CEOs are already developing sustainable products and services, research from Bain revealed that nearly half of these sustainability initiatives fail to achieve their stated aims. This is often due to the significant investments required to hire talent and build new capabilities, external factors, and long programme durations measured in decades rather than years or months. Uniting in action with partners and experts, Mastercard points out, can help address these challenges and lead to better outcomes.

“Tackling environmental issues is a whole-of-society task, but efforts are often undertaken in isolation or without coordination,” says Sandeep Malhotra, executive vice-president, products and innovation, Asia-Pacific, Mastercard. “Given the urgency of the IPCC’s latest findings, now is the time to pull together to combat this challenge that affects every one of us on this planet. By pooling resources, it’s possible to rapidly scale forest restoration work and environmental initiatives, while providing businesses with pre-existing infrastructure that easily – and cost effectively – allows them to have a tangible impact.”

Conversation
Danielle Welsh-Rose
Danielle Welsh-Rose
head of the Sustainability Institute, APAC, and ESG investment director, Asia Pacific
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Giuliana Auinger
Giuliana Auinger
partner, sustainability business division, HK and SE Asia
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