Sunday, January 29, 2023
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Vancity announced “carbon footprint” tracker linked credit card

Vancity, a British Columbia based credit union will be the first in Canada to normalize a carbon footprint tracker for customers purchases.

When the carbon tracker launches in 2023 it will first be available for consumers with a Vancity visa card.

“Members will be able to see how their monthly tally compares to the national average, or which credit card purchases have the highest environmental cost,” said a statement by Vancity. 

“The Carbon Counter will help Vancity card holders understand the carbon footprint of their purchases as well as provide advice on what they can do to reduce their emissions footprint.

Vancity credit union partnered with a Berlin-based fintech tech company called Ecolytiq, which has the goal to partner with banks and create a personalized environmental footprints for consumers. 

“We know many Vancity members are looking for ways to reduce the impact they have on the environment, particularly when it comes to the emissions that cause climate change,” said Jonathan Fowlie, Vancity’s Chief External Relations Officer who oversees the credit union’s impact and climate efforts.

According to Visa, 70% of Canadians want their bank accounts and credit cards connected to an emissions tracker, which is based on a survey of only 501 Canadians. The population in Canada is about 34 million.

This is the first initiative of its kind for Visa in Canada, however the concept has been demonstrated elsewhere.

“We’re developing through technology an ability for consumers to measure their own carbon footprint,” said president J. Michael Evans.

“What does that mean? Where are they traveling? How are they traveling? What are they eating? What are they consuming on the platform?”

Individual carbon trackers have drawn criticism for posing a risk to private rights, according to their detractors.

Leslyn Lewis, a conservative MP, has been a vocal opponent of the introduction of technology by governments that infringes on citizens’ rights.

Lewis slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for exploiting the pandemic to launch a “socialist coup” in an open letter she wrote while she was running for the Conservative party’s leadership.

“Many Canadians rightly fear the repercussions of Trudeau transforming Canada into a cashless society,” said Lewis. 

“They have told me that they are afraid the Liberals will impose a social credit score, similar to the one that exists in China.”

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Jordan is a casual reporter for BC Rise


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