Africa, 20 April 2022: Mastercard is expanding the reforestation work of the Priceless Planet Coalition to include 15 new restoration projects – including three in Africa – for a total of 18 globally. These projects will help accelerate progress toward the Coalition’s goal of restoring 100 million trees. Consumer desire to support initiatives that drive positive change for the environment is growing around the world; according to the Mastercard Economics Institute*, consumer donations to environmentally focused charities grew 48.4% globally in 2022 when compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels, overall outpacing donation growth to other organizations.
Reforestation is widely acknowledged as one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to positively counteract climate change. The Priceless Planet Coalition project portfolio includes a diverse geographical representation with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar and Malawi among the 15 new sites globally. The restoration in Madagascar will serve as a flagship project, with a target of 2 million trees. In Malawi, 1.25 million trees are planned, and in Democratic Republic of Congo 1 million.
In addition to these three new African sites, the project portfolio of the Priceless Planet Coalition also includes representation in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region (Kenya, UAE), Asia Pacific (Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Philippines); Latin America (Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala); Europe (France, Portugal, Spain and Scotland); and North America (Mexico, United States). The expansion builds on the Coalition’s existing planting progress underway in Australia, the Amazon in Brazil, and restoration of a total of 890,400 trees is already underway in Kenya’s Makuli-Nzaui landscape of Makueni County, with community-led work supported by the Green Belt Movement, founded by Nobel Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai.
The Priceless Planet Coalition is not only focused on planting trees, but on re-growing forests in places with the greatest need and the most potential to have positive impact on climate, community and biodiversity goals. Guided by its restoration partners, Conservation International and World Resources Institute, the Coalition 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.
“The Priceless Planet Coalition is focused on addressing the urgent global climate crisis by restoring the right trees in the right places,” says Jorn Lambert, Chief Digital Officer, Mastercard. “By collaborating with our global network of Coalition partners, we are able to further scale our forest restoration work and create collective action for the planet.”
Uniting in climate action
The Priceless Planet Coalition unites companies, communities and consumers in climate action and now includes more than 100 partners globally, including sustainably minded merchants, fintechs and global banks. Each partner is helping to fund the forest restoration through consumer engagement and donation campaigns that encourage people to take climate-friendly actions or make direct contributions through a donation platform. Recent partners to join the Coalition in Sub-Saharan Africa include Premier Bank in Somalia, NMB Bank Plc in Tanzania, Faisal Islamic Bank in Sudan, and Salaam African Bank in Djibouti. Faja Lobi is the implementation partner in DRC, with Wells for Zoë in Malawi and Conservation International Madagascar in Madagascar.
“There’s growing acknowledgement that investing in the preservation and restoration of the natural world around us is critical also to tackling climate change,” says Bo Lidegaard, historian, diplomat, former climate change negotiator, and advisor to the Coalition. “The Priceless Planet Coalition is designed in a way to maximize impact for the planet, rooted firmly in the best science and quality planning and monitoring.”
Building a sustainable digital economy
Through innovation and trusted partnerships, Mastercard is committed to building a more inclusive and sustainable world with a digital economy that works for everyone, everywhere. The company accelerated its net zero timeline to 2040 and recently expanded its compensation model for all employees, linking it to three priorities across Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). Through its Global Sustainability Innovation Lab, Mastercard is also developing a range of products to enable more sustainable commerce, as well as services to help its customers bring more eco-conscious solutions to consumers around the world.
To learn more about the Priceless Planet Coalition, visit PricelessPlanet.org.
*The Mastercard Economics Institute analysis looked at aggregated and anonymized transactions made to charities within the Mastercard network, focusing on markets with robust data quality accounting for history and volume of the market.