The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 April 2007

A green card, as it were

The new Barclaycard "Breathe" is going after the environmentalist market in a big way:

Barclaycard Breathe is the only UK credit card to donate 50% of profit after tax to support carbon reduction projects in the UK and abroad. The card will be launched in Summer 2007 and we commit to donating at least 1million per year.

All donations will be sent to our independent environmental partner — an organisation which guarantees to meet the new UK Government standards for carbon offsetting. It is responsible for ensuring the money is placed into reputable projects that help tackle global warming.

Customers can take advantage of low interest rates on public transport (rail and bus tickets) as well as selected environmentally friendly products and services.

Given Barclays existing record of greening, I think this might be more than just marketing mumbo-jumbo, though their acquisition of subprime lending operations does give me pause.

Barclays will not offer Breathe in the States, at least at first; however, their recent acquisition of Juniper Bank gives them a toehold in the US credit-card market, and they may well opt to offer a similar package at a later date.

(Via Hippyshopper.)

Posted at 9:25 AM to Common Cents

This is all about sale volumes - Barclaycard think they can a) get more of the credit card market through a brand advantage and b) make people spend more than they would otherwise because they get a green 'glow' when they spend.

These things - particularly the second - are not good for the environment. Environmentalism is about consuming less, and there will never be a credit card company whose commercial goals are compatible with that.

Posted by: Dan at 4:14 PM on 3 May 2007

It would so seem.

Posted by: CGHill at 10:10 AM on 5 May 2007