SpareBank 1 and TietoEVRY have entered into a collaboration in Norway for the development of next-generation bank cards with the ambition of more than halving the climate footprint of cards through the use of recycled plastic.
Approximately 10 million debit and credit cards are manufactured in Norway each year, all of which are made of virgin plastic. This means that the raw material is produced specially for this purpose, and as a result the CO2 emissions from cards are relatively high. New technology means it is possible to use recycled plastic. This first measure may cut the CO2 emissions from actually producing the plastic used for cards by as much as 75%. Such a technological quantum leap alone may spare the environment 500 tonnes of virgin plastic, which is equivalent to a reduction in emissions of 1,500 tonnes of CO2 over a ten-year period. In addition, new product and distribution processes may also help reduce emissions.
SpareBank 1 and TietoEVRY have set up an expert group that will seek to realise the potential of new environmentally friendly technology as quickly as possible. The collaboration will research the possibility of going further and using recycled sea plastic, which would reduce the climate footprint of cards even further.
“SpareBank 1 seeks to create solutions that make it easier to make more sustainable choices and that help promote responsible consumption and production. Payment cards are something we come into contact with every single day. Norwegians are interested in making a difference through both small and large steps, and we therefore now want to take the lead so that we can provide our customers with cards that have a distinctly sustainable profile. This collaboration with TietoEVRY for next-generation cards is part of our ongoing work to contribute to the green transition”, comments Øyvind Aas, CEO of SpareBank 1 Utvikling.
As society is using less and less cash, bank cards have become increasingly relevant for all types of transaction in both physical shops and online. Due to the way in which cards are used and their value, there are strict technical quality requirements for the plastic used to make them. Strict security requirements are also important conditions that have to be met. Existing preliminary studies indicate that some types of recycled plastic can meet the requirements set for bank cards.
“We will analyse the entire value chain step-by-step, including physical bank cards, in our hunt for improvements that can reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions associated with cards. We have set ourselves an ambitious target, but this unique collaboration with SpareBank 1 that involves us bringing together our knowledge and tech represents a strong starting point for delivering concrete benefits”, comments Christian Pedersen, Managing Partner, TietoEVRY Norway.
The parties will gather expertise from research teams and other stakeholders who have knowledge, analysis or advice to contribute.
A focus on marine debris
Due to Norway’s extensive coastline and the negative consequences of marine debris, the parties have decided to focus particularly on this area. TietoEVRY and SpareBank 1 can make a difference in this area through their collaboration in relation to card solutions while at the same time contributing to the transition to a low-carbon society.
TietoEVRY supplies debit and credit cards to banks in 12 countries. The company has a dedicated centre of expertise in the city of Mo i Rana that has built up its expertise in card technology over many years. In combination with the expertise of the banks in the SpareBank 1 Alliance and their commitment to their local communities, the Alliance has identified producing new climate-neutral bank cards as an important initiative.