Bank’s switch to recyclable payment cards will reduce CO2 and tons of plastic

Bank’s switch to recyclable payment cards will reduce CO2 and tons of plastic

HSBC is introducing sustainable payment cards which by the end of 2026 it will eliminate single-use PVC plastic, in favour of recycled PVC plastic (rPVC).

The programme – which includes HSBC’s debit, credit and commercial cards – is part of the bank’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions and achieve net zero in its operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner. 

Working with global cards manufacturer IDEMIA, the bank will introduce new cards gradually across its locations. Rollout started in Malaysia in January 2021 followed by Sri Lanka and in the UK. It will then extend across further countries and markets by the end of 2021, including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Macau, Mexico, Singapore, UAE and US. 

Based on the current volume of cards issued by HSBC per year (23m), the move to rPVC will reduce CO2 emissions by 161 tons a year. Each card will also reduce plastic waste – 73 tons per year, that’s the weight of over 40 cars. 

Taylan Turan Group Head of Customers, Products and Strategy at HSBC, said: “HSBC is committed to achieving net zero by 2050 or sooner; and we’ve pledged to work with our customers in all sectors to reduce emissions. Evolving our payment cards to eliminate single-use plastic cards is part of our aim to be net zero in our operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner.” 

Global research conducted for HSBC by Mintel found a majority (77%) of consumers agree that ‘financial services firms have an important role to play in creating a more sustainable society’; when it comes to their appetite for payment cards made from sustainable materials, over two-thirds (67%) showed high levels of interest. A separate global survey, conducted for IDEMIA by Dentsu Data Labs found that most people (92%) think their bank should actively contribute to preserving the planet; and a majority (87%) expect their banks to offer eco-friendly cards.