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Banca March becomes the first Spanish bank to issue sustainable cards certified by Mastercard

02 September 2021 Category: Agreements

Banca March has reached an agreement with Mastercard under which it will be the first Spanish bank to issue the Mastercard-certified sustainable bank cards.

  • The roll-out of these cards, made from recyclable plastics, is a reflection of Banca March's commitment to protecting the environment.
  • These sustainable cards feature a badge created by Mastercard which makes them easily identifiable and certifies that they meaningfully reduce energy consumption, material consumption, carbon footprint and waste.

Banca March has reached an agreement with Mastercard under which it will be the first Spanish bank to issue the Mastercard-certified sustainable bank cards. The roll-out of these cards, made from recyclable plastics, is a reflection of Banca March's commitment to sustainability and environmental protection across every area of its business activity.

The sustainable credit and debit cards feature a badge which allows for easy identification by the bank’s customers. The badge also certifies that the cards have undergone analysis by the Mastercard DigiSec Lab to verify that the materials and processes used in their production comply with a series of minimum requirements on renewable and traditional energy consumption, carbon footprint, sustainable material use and waste generation.

“In the financial sector, Banca March is always one step ahead when it comes to sustainability,” said Ángel Martínez Marañón, Managing Director of Banca March and Head of the Retail and Private Banking Area. “The agreement reached with Mastercard demonstrates that we are, as always, spearheading the sector in terms of the development of new products and services for our customers, positioning us as the first Spanish bank to issue credit and debit cards with Mastercard's sustainability badge. This is a further milestone in our commitment to generating an increasingly positive impact on the environment and society; a commitment which extends to every area of our activity, from our internal operations to the investment and financing solutions we offer as a specialist provider of private banking and corporate advisory services.”

Paloma Real, Managing Director of Mastercard Spain, said: “We are delighted that Banca March has joined our sustainable card programme. This is another crucial step towards our goal: to offer our financial clients the services they need to implement their own sustainability strategies and overcome the challenges facing the sector, such as recycling payment cards. We will continue to work on similar products and programmes, to help the industry build a better future for our planet and to support an inclusive, sustainable digital economy.”

Committed to sustainability

Banca March's commitment to sustainability is evident in every area of its activity. Banca March is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative. Along with 690 Spanish organisations and 1,590 worldwide, it seeks to align its objectives with policies and programmes that support partnerships with governments, civil society and the private sector to achieve the goals set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

As well as using its resources sustainably, Banca March also seeks to promote investment in sectors with effective environmental management strategies in place. For over 90 years, in keeping with its unwavering commitment to seeking shared growth with customers, employees, shareholders and society as a whole, Banca March has harnessed transformation processes to generate growth opportunities and new ways of investing and saving responsibly. The bank's commitment to responsible, sustainable investments is part of its vision of a new cycle that will be heavily influenced by technology, digitalisation and sustainability. 

In recent years, the bank has rolled out innovative, alternative investment and financing solutions which seek to offer the perfect blend of sustainability and performance:

  • Sustainable Responsible Investing: Banca March works with the Swiss group J Safra Sarasin, a global leader in sustainable investment, to invest in environmentally-responsible investment products.
  • Impact Investing: with Amundi-CPR, an investment boutique specialising in impact investing, the bank has launched an equity vehicle which evaluates the expected impact of the investment on the environment and on society as one of its core investment criteria.
  • Energy transition: in partnership with Tikehau Capital, Banca March offers its customers the chance to invest in the energy transition.
  • Sustainable infrastructure: through the sustainable investment manager Mirova, Banca March clients have invested in six hydroelectric plants in Portugal.
  • Next Generation: this strategy allows investors to gain exposure to three megatrends that the bank has identified as a potential source of returns over the years ahead: Industry 4.0, Sustainability and the Environment, and Demographics and Lifestyle.
  • Mediterranean Fund: In 2019, March Asset Management, Banca March's fund management arm, launched Mediterranean Fund, an environmental impact fund which donates 10% of the management fees generated to marine ecosystem conservation and recovery projects.
  • Sustainable financing: Banca March has signed sustainable financing agreements worth a total of 420 million euros in recent months, and its Asset Financing Solutions Unit is undertaking energy efficiency projects with hotel companies.

Mastercard has also committed to various initiatives to support sustainability. In 2020, it launched the Priceless Planet coalition, joining forces with merchants, banks, cities and consumers to plant 100 million trees and help fight climate change. It has also partnered with Swedish fintech Doconomy to launch its own carbon calculator, which allows banks to offer their customers extensive data and information on carbon emissions and help them contribute to reforestation.

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