Visa Names First Chief Sustainability Officer


Visa Inc., one of the largest global payments technology companies, has announced the appointment of its first chief sustainability officer, Douglas Sabo.

“At Visa, we see a responsibility and an opportunity to use the power of our network to drive broad shifts toward a sustainable future,” Visa Chairman and CEO Al Kelly said in a statement. “Our green bond offering will help us accelerate the transformation of our infrastructure and operations to reach our environmental goals. This commitment extends to appointing Visa’s first chief sustainability officer, tasked with ensuring we continue to take bold and industry-leading actions on the environment.”

Sabo’s hiring comes at the same time that Visa launched its $500 million green bond offering. Believed to be the first issued by a digital payments network, the money will be used to advance the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and a sustainable payments ecosystem, Visa said.

The initiative builds on Visa’s sustainability goals, including its transition to 100 percent renewable electricity across its operations achieved at the start of 2020, Visa said.

“As the world continues to address the urgency of climate change and other environmental challenges, we are embracing our opportunity to play a leading role in building a more sustainable world,” said Sabo in a statement. “Through our green bond offering and together with our initiatives driving inclusive economic growth, we are working to ensure people and planet both can thrive together.”

In June, Visa announced it has joined with CPI Card Group to launch a card for cardholders composed of up to 98 percent “upcycled” plastic.

Dubbed the Earthwise High Content Card, it seeks to help eliminate plastic waste.

In an interview with PYMNTS, Sabo said the cards reduce first-use plastic, are EMV compliant and can handle contactless payments.

Of the material itself, he pointed out that “this is not ‘scrapped’ [plastic]. There are many approaches to sustainable cards and some approaches use scraps left over from the card manufacturing process.”

By way of contrast, the upcycle approach uses plastics that have come from other, existing materials and packaging, using, for example, industrial products diverted from landfills, he added.



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