By Olivia Pearce -September 19, 2019
American Express commits to raising awareness for the issue of marine plastic pollution
American Express has announced an expanded commitment to combat marine plastic pollution through several company-wide programmes, including unveiling the first-ever card made primarily with reclaimed plastic collected from beaches, islands and coastal communities from Parley for the Oceans, a global call to action to #BackOurOceans and help remove up to 1 Million pounds of marine plastic through beach clean-ups in partnership with Parley, and a new Card recycling programme.
“Each year nearly eight million metric tonnes of plastic enters the oceans, threatening the ecosystems and wildlife that inhabit them,” said Doug Buckminster, Group President of Global Consumer Services, American Express.
“As part of our brand promise to back our customers, colleagues, communities, and what they care about most, we are committed to raising awareness for the issue of marine plastic pollution and doing our part to care for the oceans and coastal communities that we all share.”
Cyrill Gutsch, Founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans, added: “Plastic is a design failure. It stands for the toxic age we created, threatening the future of our oceans and our own species. By making their legendary Green Card with Parley Ocean Plastic, American Express introduces another Symbol of Change — and with it, a powerful commitment and an invitation for everyone to support our movement.
“Steps like these sound the bells of a new era, a new economy, where harmful substances and exploitative business practices are relics of the past.”
As part of its partnership with Parley, American Express is evolving its operations to embody the Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid. Intercept. Redesign) to help combat marine plastic pollution.
Later this year, American Express will introduce redesigned Consumer and Corporate Green Cards which will each be made primarily with reclaimed plastic collected from beaches, islands and coastal communities by Parley for the Oceans, an organisation focused on combating marine plastic pollution.
To raise awareness for the issue of marine plastic pollution, American Express and Parley are also kicking off a global call to action and rallying Card Members, merchants, partners and colleagues to join them. Today through September 23, consumers can go to the @AmericanExpress or @parley.tv Instagram pages and explain why they #BackOurOceans or tag friends who they want to get involved. For each comment, American Express will partner with Parley to remove 2 pounds of plastic from beaches and coasts, up to 1 million pounds.
American Express is also introducing the company’s first card recycling programme. Rolling out in 2020 for US Consumer, Small Business, and Corporate Cards, the programme will enable Card Members to send back their expired or non-working Cards to American Express who will ensure that they are properly recycled.
The company has also pledged to eliminate single-use plastics across its operations globally and has already removed single-use plastic straws and coffee stirrers from its global headquarters, managed-office facilities and operating centres.
In addition, American Express has replaced single-use plastics in all US cafeterias with reusable or compostable packaging and utensils, as well as removed all single-use plastic in their Centurion Lounges.
This builds on the work American Express has done to evolve the sustainability of its broader operations. In 2018, American Express became a CarbonNeutral company, powered by 100 percent renewable energy.