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American Express Announces New Initiatives to Advance Climate Action and Support Low-Carbon Communities

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American Express Announces New Initiatives to Advance Climate Action and Support Low-Carbon Communities

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American Express plans to introduce new digital solutions to help corporate clients better understand their carbon footprint and expand the availability of its recycled plastic cards

American Express announced plans to introduce new digital solutions to enable corporate clients to better understand and manage their carbon footprint, including digital carbon tracking and offset solutions, and the expansion of its recycled plastic cards. To celebrate Earth Month, the company is also launching “Shop with Purpose” Amex Offers to reward eligible customers for shopping with purpose throughout April. In addition, as part of its $10 million grant commitment announced last year, American Express is also providing $2.25 million to organizations tackling the effects of climate change in local communities, particularly urban areas.

“We’re excited to kick off Earth Month by introducing our new suite of offerings that will enable our corporate clients to make carbon conscious decisions and support community organizations doing important work to promote a low-carbon future,” said Jennifer Skyler, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. “These new initiatives build on the work we have done to reduce our own carbon footprint by engaging our colleagues, customers and community partners in initiatives that address the climate crisis.”

The company previously committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative, and has been a carbon neutral company powered by 100% renewable electricity across its global operations since 20181.

INTRODUCING LOW-CARBON SOLUTIONS FOR CUSTOMERS

According to the latest Amex Trendex2, a trend report from American Express, 76% of consumers surveyed feel a greater urgency to address climate change than they did a year ago. Yet, 84% of consumers surveyed agree they would like to better understand their carbon footprint, and 65% agree they are unsure of what actions they can personally take to reduce it.

Last year, American Express announced a goal to pilot low-carbon product innovations for its customers as part of its Advancing Climate Solutions initiatives, which is a core pillar of the company’s ESG strategy. In support of that goal, the company plans to make new digital products and services available later this year to help customers understand their carbon footprint.

To help corporate clients better understand their impact and take action to manage their carbon footprint, American Express is developing the following solutions:

  • An Expanded Carbon Footprint Dashboard for global Corporate clients to help track estimated carbon emissions associated with certain categories of their employees’ spend – including air travel, ground transportation, hotel stays, restaurants and retail – letting them better understand behaviors so they can find opportunities to manage carbon emissions.3
  • A Carbon Offset Referral suite for U.S. Corporate clients to find and connect with carbon offset providers who can help them manage their footprint via offset solutions that include investments in large-scale carbon removal and reduction projects, avoidance projects, and more.

HELPING CARD MEMBERS SHOP WITH PURPOSE

American Express is launching a selection of “Shop with Purpose” Amex Offers for the duration of Earth Month to eligible U.S. Consumer and Small Business Card Members to support spending on eligible purchases from select Certified B Corporations™ like Avocado Green Mattress, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and pre-loved designer fashion marketplace, Vestiaire Collective, and other brands committed to making a difference.

The Amex Trendex found that 79% of consumers surveyed would be more loyal to a company that works to address environmental issues and 76% of consumers surveyed are interested in shopping at Certified B Corporations.

See related article: Mastercard Expands Consulting with Practices Dedicated to Crypto, Open Banking and ESG

EXPANDING AVAILABILITY OF RECYCLED PLASTIC CARDS

To reduce the company’s consumption of virgin plastic, in 2019 American Express launched the first-ever Card manufactured primarily from reclaimed plastic collected from beaches and coastal communities. Since then, teams at American Express have been working to expand the availability of recycled plastic cards globally. The company’s goal is to have the vast majority of plastic cards issued by American Express be made of at least 70% recycled or reclaimed plastic by the end of 2024, which can help avoid nearly 160,000 pounds of virgin plastic from being used annually.

American Express’ Card Take Back program enables U.S. Card Members to return both plastic and non-plastic cards by mail for recycling. Since the launch of this program in 2019, American Express has recycled more than 1.3 million cards, including cards returned by Card Members.

BACKING LOW-CARBON COMMUNITIES

Beyond efforts to reduce its own carbon footprint, American Express is committed to supporting climate action through community giving efforts. As part of its commitment to provide at least $10 million in funding for projects and initiatives that advance climate solutions by 2025, the company today announced $2.25 million in grants to American Forests, National Park Foundation, and Earthwatch Institute. These grants support nature-based solutions and sustainability efforts in local communities, particularly in urban areas.

  • A $1.1 million grant to American Forests will support its Tree Equity program by bringing more native and climate-resilient trees to four U.S. cities where American Express has offices – Phoenix, AZ, New York, NY, Sunrise, FL, and Salt Lake City, UT. The grant will help identify potential nursery locations and increase the number of local nurseries, support the planting of urban forests, and create entry-level jobs to help historically marginalized populations transition into the tree care industry. Additionally, the grant will help expand Tree Equity Score to its first international location where it will indicate whether there are enough trees in neighborhoods for everyone to experience the health, economic and climate benefits that trees provide.
  • A new multi-year partnership with the National Park Foundation will provide funding over the next three years for a total of $1 million to support service corps programs, which will provide job opportunities for young people of diverse backgrounds and identities to experience careers in the outdoors. Service corps members will engage in essential preservation projects that help alleviate the effects of climate change in national parks across the U.S.
  • A $145,000 grant to Earthwatch Institute will fund the planting of several hundred trees in the United Kingdom to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, enhance biodiversity, and provide planting, maintaining and monitoring volunteer opportunities to American Express colleagues. In addition, the grant will support the creation of a Climate Change Master Class that will be accessible virtually later this year to American Express colleagues. The class, led by scientists, will provide education and tools to help colleagues reduce the impacts of climate change in their personal lives and communities.

ENGAGING COLLEAGUES THROUGH GREEN2GETHER

Throughout the month, as part of the company’s Green2Gether program, American Express colleagues around the world passionate about the environment can participate in dozens of company-sponsored activities, such as recycling drives, online lectures, community clean-ups, and food sustainability awareness campaigns.

As part of its ESG strategy, the company is working to engage thousands more of our colleagues globally in sustainability initiatives through Green2Gether, which includes workplace climate education, waste and energy-reduction efforts, and volunteering with non-profit partners.

Source: American Express

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