A Credit Card that will not Let you Buy when you Exceed your Annual Carbon Footprint

More and more creative and curious ideas are emerging to reduce the carbon footprint we emit a year into the atmosphere – and that demands to be urgently reduced.


More and more creative and curious ideas are emerging to reduce the carbon footprint we emit a year into the atmosphere – and that demands to be urgently reduced. The last is a credit card that prevents you from buying when you exceed your limit.

The exacerbated consumerism, an economic model that is not aligned with the cycles of nature or with respect to the planet’s resources, food waste or the generation of practical waste are some of the factors behind climate change, whose devastating consequences They have led to droughts, subsidence, rising temperatures, rising sea waters or more virulent and frequent natural disasters in recent years.

To curb its impact and look for new alternatives that allow developing responsible consumption and individually reducing the CO2 footprint we emit into the atmosphere – some guidelines for this are having fewer children, not taking long flights, opting for urban transport or bike and adopt a plant-based diet-, born Doconomy, a credit card that will be interrupted at the time your purchases have exceeded the carbon limit stipulated for the year.

“We realized that setting a limit that blocks your ability to complete the transaction is radical. . . but it is the clearest way to illustrate the seriousness of the situation we are in, ”reveals Johan Pihl, one of the founders of this Swedish-based think tank to Fast Company, who is launching the new card in collaboration with the Secretariat United Nations Climate Change and MasterCard Card. “We need to address how our consumption is affecting our planet.”

Doconomy will release two versions of the card later this year. One only tracks your carbon footprint as you spend, and the other, called Do Black, takes the additional step of establishing a strict limit on your footprint for the year.

Initially, the data used to calculate the impact of each purchase will be inaccurate: the system extracts the category code of a merchant that classifies it as a particular type of store, then performs a calculation based on the general carbon footprint of the industry – It doesn’t matter if you buy fast food, at a clothing store or an airplane flight.

The limit is based on a country-specific calculation of the amount of carbon that each citizen can emit to keep up with the 2030 goal of reducing emissions by half. In the future, the impact calculation will be linked to specific online items on a receipt to make it more accurate.

Doconomy will also connect consumers with compensation, all examined through the United Nations, although it is more interested in changing consumption patterns than in alleviating guilt. “This is a very educational effort more than anything else,” says Mathias Wikström, co-founder of Doconomy. The most important thing is not to stop spending, but to begin to understand, visualize your footprint, empower yourself and make more responsible decisions towards the planet, biodiversity and society itself.

Thus, while cities become more intelligent, sustainable and based on urban transport, agriculture transitions to a model of ecological and local production or the energy system is redesigned to give way to a renewable mix, solutions such as this can Assume important support. In Sweden, as Doconomy revealed, 60% of a person’s carbon footprint is linked to consumption. On a massive scale, changes in consumption can amount to significant reductions in the wider footprint of a country.

The solution seems like a powerful tool to illustrate the weight of individual decisions and change the consumption model. “On a personal level, I think it’s difficult; there aren’t many governments or companies that share their ideas on how to achieve the 2030 goals, ”says Wikström. “Everyone is talking about the fact that it is important. But as a person, I would like to understand more. When am I being too much of a burden? And when am I doing a good job? Using the Do Black card is a way to illustrate that. ”