Conferma Pay has launched a new carbon reporting system that measures the environmental impact of business trips based on payment data from virtual cards.
The system, Conferma Carbon Reporting, is available to both users of the Conferma Pay app and companies using Visa Commercial Pay and initially is focusing on emissions from flights and hotel stays via integration with Thrust Carbon, according to Conferma. When travelers use the virtual cards to pay for hotels and flights, Thrust Carbon’s data—which factor in such data as aircraft model and age, the duration of the flight and load factor—can calculate emissions for the trip. It eventually will help measure the carbon impact of other aspects of the trip, such as restaurants and taxis, Conferma Pay director of strategic relationships Paul Raymond said. That data may come through Thrust Carbon or other providers, depending on the type of data needed, he said.
Having payment data as the source of carbon reporting will help solve for the fragmented nature of available carbon data now, since all elements of a trip should be paid on the same card, and it also can be used both for reporting and to influence traveler behavior, Raymond said. For example, travelers paying for an Uber ride or buying a coffee from Starbucks with their card could see the carbon impact of their purchase as they make the payment.
“Every traveler, as long as they are using virtual payment, can see their emission value as an individual traveler, and you can use that to start educating the traveler,” Raymond said.
The data eventually could be used for benchmarking purposes as well, showing typical carbon impacts of trips by city or region for example, he said.