London, 23 September - Today Ascenda, the rewards technology company, and Patch, the API-first platform for carbon removal, announced a strategic partnership to make banking greener by enabling consumers worldwide to neutralise their carbon footprint through the exchange of bank reward currencies into carbon offsets. This marks the first time the fight against climate change can tap into the global trillion dollar pool of outstanding rewards and individuals can turn their unused loyalty points into a force for good at scale.
The partnership launches off the back of the sixth report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which revealed that global surface warming is likely to exceed the 1.5C threshold set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Combining their cutting-edge technologies, Patch and Ascenda are enabling banks to drive positive change as they move to set ambitious sustainability goals in response to growing consumer environmental consciousness by giving their customers a new way to offset their carbon footprint.
Ascenda is bringing the new proposition to life by leveraging Patch’s diverse portfolio of carbon offset and removal projects to ensure that rewards points exchanged into carbon credits cover a broad spectrum of technologies and geographies. For example, with just 20,000 points a typical bank customer could neutralize 10 to 15 tonnes of CO2—nearly the annual footprint of an average American—by using these points to fund a portfolio of carbon offset and removal projects, rather than using them for traditional loyalty redemptions such as gift cards, flights, or hotel stays. This portfolio will include projects ranging from traditional reforestation and forestry preservation programs to disruptive frontier negative emission technologies such as direct air capture, biochar, and mineralization, which can sequester carbon for thousands of years.
Thanks to the new collaboration, 1.2 billion bank customers across Ascenda’s global TransferConnect network are now within reach of an impactful new points redemption option. Even if consumers globally exchanged just ten percent of their unused rewards currencies into carbon credits, this would offset approximately the emissions of the entire United States for a full year.
With this fresh new model for emissions offsetting, the traditional consumer hurdles of monetary cost and access to high quality carbon offset and removal projects are eliminated to unlock significantly wider adoption, further enhanced by a frictionless digital experience.
Kyle Armstrong, CEO of Ascenda, said: “The ability to exchange rewards currency into carbon credits at scale opens up an enormous new source of funding for the fight against climate change. We’re thrilled to work with the team at Patch who are transforming carbon offsets with a highly effective technology infrastructure. Our partnership puts the power to drive change into the hands of consumers worldwide, who increasingly want to make sustainability a factor in their decisions.”
Brennan Spellacy, CEO of Patch, added: “Perhaps more than any other sector, banking and financial services has the power to truly unleash the green consumer—from offsets as a reward and offset subscriptions, to carbon neutral investment funds. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Ascenda to launch the industry’s first global rewards exchange for carbon offsets, enabling billions of consumers to leverage unused points balances to invest in trusted carbon removal projects across the globe.”
Ascenda is a global technology company that makes customer engagement simple for leading financial services brands and merchants.
Ascenda delivers digitally native, intuitive and easy-to-deploy rewards solutions that enable banks to build deeper customer connections across the entire financial relationship. The company serves financial services clients in more than 40 markets, including leading banks such as HSBC, Capital One, ICBC, and Standard Chartered as well as disruptors such as Virgin Money.
For more information about Ascenda, please visit ascendaloyalty.com.
Patch is an API-first carbon removal marketplace that enables companies to seamlessly purchase as little as a gram of carbon removal from individual projects. This micro-transaction access enables businesses of all sizes to work with carbon removal projects and neutralize emissions with the granularity required by embedded carbon removal use cases, such as carbon neutral shipping, travel, and climate positive financial services products. As an API-first platform, Patch aims to create a future where every commerce transaction—every swipe of a credit card, retail delivery, and bitcoin purchase—automatically compensate for its unavoidable emissions.