Jun 2, 2021

Tred and Nium launch first UK Green debit card

Dominic Ellis
3 min
Tred is billed as the UK's first green debit card that lets users track, reduce and offset their carbon footprint

There are two elements of the Tred green debit card which immediately appear novel: firstly, it's not a conventional plastic card, as befits these e-wallet times (although you can opt in for a recycled plastic one), and perhaps more pertinently, it is billed as the UK's first green debit card that lets users track, reduce and offset their carbon footprint.

In line with the boom for all things ESG, sustainable finance is clearly taking root.

FinTech Tred - which claims its waiting list has shot up 122% since the start of the year and has raised more than £1m from over 1,000 investors - has selected global B2B payments company Nium to be its card-issuance partner, and will target UK residents.

Frederick Crosby, Nium Chief Revenue Officer, said: "This partnership will bolster Tred’s vision to be the platform that brings managing money and lowering our impact on the planet, effortlessly in one place."

Nium will not only provide Tred with a UK-issued consumer BIN (bank identification number) with GBP settlement, but will also be looking after the processing and e-wallet services. Tred Card users will be able to utilise Nium’s solutions to make payments securely either in-store or online.

Tred’s green debit card

  • Will help Tred plant trees with every spend: Tred profits will fund reforestation projects
  • Will track users’ carbon emissions
  • Will be supported by frictionless in-app card management (card freezing, top-ups, etc.)

Will Smith, Tred Co-Founder, said the partnership marked the natural next step, following the success of our crowdfunding campaign last month, which hit its target from pre-registered supporters in just 90 minutes. Cards will be issued later this year.  

“These debit cards work seamlessly alongside the Tred app and help us achieve exactly what we set our minds to: to help people manage their money in a way that’s good for them and the planet. Every time our customers use Tred cards, they’ll help us plant trees and will contribute to a better future for our planet,” said Peter Kirby, Tred Co-Founder.

Nium has committed to donating a percentage of the interchange fee to Tred’s tree planting programme.

The e-card is a welcome move as every year, 30 million kgs of PVC are used for banking card manufacturing, equivalent to the weight of about 150 Boeing 747s, according to Thales, most of which end up in landfills. The main problem with PVC is it isn't biodegradable.

Global sustainable investment now tops $30 trillion, up 68 percent since 2014 and tenfold since 2004, according to McKinsey.

Banks and net zero targets

  • Deutsche Bank claims it was one of the first banks to become carbon neutral, achieving the milestone in its own operations in 2012 "and have maintained it since".
  • HSBC aims to achieve net zero in its operations and supply chain "by 2030 or sooner".
  • Lloyds Banking Group is targeting net zero carbon operations by 2030 and plans to reduce its direct carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) by at least 75% (compared with 2018/2019 levels).
  • Barclays is aiming to be a net zero bank by 2050. "We’re already net zero emissions from our own operations; our focus now is on reducing the client emissions that we finance," it states.
  • NatWest Group wants to halve the climate impact of its financing activity by 2030 and intends to do "what is necessary to achieve alignment with the 2015 Paris agreement".

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Jun 7, 2021

Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International sign MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping

Independent commodity trading company Trafigura and Yara International have signed an MoU to explore developing ammonia as a clean fuel in shipping and ammonia fuel infrastructure.

Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050. 

How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.

Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:

  • The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
  • Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
  • Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities

Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.  

There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.

Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.

Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.

Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.

It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.

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