Priceless Planet: Investor coalition pledges to plant 100 million trees

A group of global investors, including Mastercard, Citibank and Santander UK, have launched a new coalition focused on making investments that preserve and restore the environment, starting with a pledge to plant 100 million trees in the next five years.

Priceless Planet: Investor coalition pledges to plant 100 million trees

The tree-planting campaign will be launched in partner cities around the world

The Priceless Planet Coalition has made the pledge through a rewards system, which will encourage consumers to use public transport by pledging to plant trees per journey. Corporate partners of the investors, which also includes IHS Markit, bunq, Saks Fifth Avenue, L.L. Bean, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Transport for London, and American Airlines, will be able to contribute to the forestation drives every time an employee uses a Mastercard for travel, goods and services.

“No matter who you are or what you do, climate change affects you. But, it has the biggest negative impact on those who are socially and economically vulnerable. The time for just negating our environmental footprint has passed. Our best chance at changing the course we’re on and setting us all up for better futures is for companies and consumers to pull in the same direction towards a shared goal,” Mastercard’s chief executive Ajay Banga said.

“We are committed to help advance change. We have an incredible network of reach. We have an incredible network of partners. We can put them to work to help deliver positive impact for the environment in the form of a Priceless Planet Coalition.”

More partners of the coalition are expected to be announced and participating companies will implement their own corporate sustainability strategies. The coalition will also implement more environmental initiatives in the future.

The tree-planting campaign will be launched in partner cities around the world, including London, New York, Stockholm, Helsinki, Ankara and Barcelona.

The coalition will work with Conservation International – which has protected or restored more than six million square kilometres of land and sea across more than 70 countries – and the WRI on the forestation projects. WRI will leverage a global network of financial, technical and government partners through platforms like AFR100 and Initiative 20×20 to help with the planting process and provide reporting mechanisms.

The coalition is Mastercard’s latest venture into environmental practices. Professional services firm Accenture recently teamed with Mastercard and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch a supply chain initiative that uses blockchain technology to encourage customers to “tip” small-scale growers and producers that are showcasing sustainable practices.

The new initiative, which also involves technology firm Everledger and humanitarian aid organisation Mercy Corps, aims to directly reward sustainable practices at the base of a supply chain. Blockchain and digital identity technologies are used so that when a consumer scans a product label, they can access details of how that product was made and can make a direct payment to individuals further down the supply chain.

UK tree planting

In the UK, a host of major UK water companies, local authorities and NGOs teamed on a new tree-planting initiative that will assist the delivery of a carbon-neutral water industry by 2030. The UK’s nine major water and sewerage providers, including Yorkshire Water, Anglian Water and United Utilities have committed to planting 11 million trees in order to improve the natural environment across 6,000 hectares of English land.

The National Trust has also unveiled a plan to become net-zero carbon by 2030, which features one of the UK’s biggest forest expansion projects. Once planted, the trees will increase the proportion of the National Trust’s estate covered by forest from 10% to 17%

17% is notably the proportion of land across the UK which the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has recommended should be forest if the UK is to reach its 2050 net-zero target. 

Matt Mace

Comments (2)

  1. Andreas Steinert says:

    The announcement sounds good. In reality, however, others have already moved on. See

  2. Andy Kadir-Buxton says:

    Tree Planting by Drone Could Help To Reach UN Target of a Trillion Trees

    DENDRA, the makers of Sky Tractors (drones) say that they can plant 150 times faster than conventional methods and in hard to reach places, the land is scanned to ensure that the germinated seed pods are not wasted on such things as rocks and water, before planting starts, the Sky Tractors can be then flown several at a time (if the country permits this) for maximum speed. I have been in contact with Susan Graham CEO with a view to getting the Sky Tractors to plant in equilateral triangles in order to increase crop production by 15% (see Crow’s Footing page).

    My friend Don Shaw from Australia says: Woke up 2am to smell of smoke drifting from fires, Sounds bit like a California scenario. and sent a photograph he took of the flames sky high. In the climate crisis land use is going to be critical, and also, tree rings around cities, towns, and villages, will keep the area cooler as trees give off water vapour, I have already got Google to cool their servers with trees, it works out cheaper than conventional electrical cooling. Beijing does not have to be the only city with a ring of trees.

    The Drawdown book edited by Paul Hawken recommends silvopasture, which is planting trees in fields where animals graze, this provides shade, sequester carbon above and below ground, and cut farmer’s costs for feed, fertiliser, and herbicides, it could save 31.19 gigatons of reduced CO2 for a cost of $41.6 billion with a saving of $699.4 billion. Managed grazing can also help. By breaking up fields into smaller areas with fencing, and then moving the animals on regularly the grass is not over cropped and gets time to grow back. Drawdown estimates that this would save 16.34 gigatons of CO2, would cost $50.5 billion, and would save $735.3 billion, so another obvious weapon in the hands of environmentalists.

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie