One Market Plaza San Francisco,
Tel: +1 650 432 3200
- Dow Jones Sustainability, North America Index, 2018, RobecoSAM
- FTSE4Good Index Member 2018
- 100 Best Corporate Citizens, 2018, 3BL Media
- JUST 100 2018, JUST Capital
- Newsweek Green Rankings
- Silver CSR Rating 2019, EcoVadis
- CDP B List 2019
- SAM ESG Score List
- Bloomberg Gender Equality Index
- World’s Most Ethical Companies, 2018, Ethisphere
- World’s Most Innovative Companies, 2018, Forbes
- Top Companies for Women Technologists
- 100% Equality Index & Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality
- America’s Best Employers for Diversity
- Best Companies for Women, Multicultural Women & Millennials
- Best 100 Companies for Working Mothers
CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER
- The winner of Corporate Secretary magazine’s “Best Compliance and Ethics Program” award (2017 and 2018)
Report created by Sagarika Deshmukh
Visa Inc. is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in California, USA and was incorporated in 2007.
Visa facilitates electronic funds transfers throughout the world, most commonly through Visa-branded credit cards, debit cards and prepaid cards. Visa does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers; rather, Visa provides financial institutions with Visa-branded payment products that they then use to offer credit, debit, prepaid and cash-access programs to their customers.
Visa Inc. operates as a payments technology company worldwide. The company facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among consumers, merchants, financial institutions, businesses, strategic partners, and government entities.
It operates VisaNet, a processing network that enables authorization, clearing, and settlement of payment transactions. In addition, the company offers card products, as well as value-added services. It provides its services under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink, V PAY, and PLUS brands.
Visa Inc. has a strategic partnership with NovoPayment to enable financial institutions and merchants to deploy Visa’s digital solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. VisaNet is a secure, scalable and reliable system, capable of processing more than 65,000 transaction messages per second while providing fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. In fiscal 2018, 182 billion payments and cash transactions with Visa’s brand, averaging to 500 million transactions per day have been made.
Company Sustainability Activity
Visa has an opportunity and responsibility to join with clients, partners and other stakeholders to connect the world — helping to empower people, businesses and communities to thrive.
Visa’s corporate responsibility and sustainability strategy focus on priority issues in four groupings: Empowering people and economies; Securing Commerce and Protecting Customers; Invest in WorkForce; Operating Sustainability and Responsibility.
Visa takes part in several membership organizations and peer networks focused on corporate responsibility and sustainability topics. Key memberships include: Business for Social Responsibility, Centre for Sport and Human Rights, Corporate Eco Forum, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), Corporate Responsibility Association, Conference Board Corporate Responsibility Council and Sustainable Brands.
- Reduced direct greenhouse gas emissions by 5% from 2017, and achieved a 75% improvement in direct emissions intensity per employee since 2009
- Progressed towards Visa’s goal to source 100% renewable electricity for Visa offices and data centers by the end of 2019, including enrolling in renewable energy programs in the UK, San Francisco Bay Area and Colorado
- Bolstered leadership development programs for female employees (Executive Edge) and for African American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx employees (Elevate)
Energy and Climate
- Efficient electronics policy that mandates at least 90% of new electronics in Visa’s largest corporate campus offices meet either ENERGY STAR or EPACT certification standards.
- Committed to transition to purchasing renewable electricity equivalent to 100% of their global electricity usage.
- Visa is working towards deploy technology that reduces potable water use by 80%.
Waste Reduction and Diversion
- Visa is working to curb the amount of office waste we dispose of in landfills.
Human Rights and Diversity
- Visa aims to bring 500 million people first time access to digital payments accounts by the end of 2020.
Energy and Climate
- Approximately 711,268 gigajoules (GJ) of energy from electricity, natural gas and other fuels. This represents a slight increase of 4.5% compared to 2017.
- GHG emissions, measured in absolute terms with a market-based approach, were 62,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e). This represents a 5% decrease year-over-year from 2017 and a 34% decrease from 2009 baseline year.
- 67% of Visa’s owned or leased square footage, occupied by 64% of employees, had achieved LEED.
- Visa’s energy usage per transaction decreased by 16% compared to 2017.
- In 2018, Visa committed to transition to purchasing renewable electricity equivalent to 100% of their global electricity usage.
- Visa offers employee shuttles between nearby public transit hubs and other offices.
- Over the course of 2018, they provided 290,000 rides and reduced emissions from employee commuting by 1,431 MTCO2e.
- Globally, Visa estimated using 49,410,996 gallons of potable water in 2018, with 76% occurring in the United States, 6% in the United Kingdom and the remainder in the Philippines, Singapore and elsewhere. By business source, 75% of potable water usage originated in Visa’s offices while 25% occurred in data centers.
- In one of the largest water user data center locations (responsible for almost 20% of Visa’s total water usage) Visa deployed technology that reduces potable water use by 80%.
Waste Reduction and Diversion
- Visa has increased the landfill diversion rate from 57% in 2014 to 76% in 2018.
Empowering Sustainable Lifestyles
- Visa launched employee Green Teams in multiple large office locations to conduct environmental projects, host events and develop sustainability-focused community volunteering opportunities.
- Visa offers commuter benefits to encourage the use of lower-carbon or public transportation and more than 2,400 of their employees use these commuter benefits.
- In 2018, Visa partnered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Adaptation Fund on an initiative to help people support climate environmental action.
- Through this collaboration, Visa created a contactless payment kiosk at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland. The event featured a simulation in which a landscape of deforestation improved as attendees tapped a Visa contactless card. For each tap, Visa donated €3 to the climate resilience projects of the Adaptation Fund for afforestation and conservation projects in developing countries, with more than 20,000 taps made during the event.
Human Rights and Diversity
- In 2018, Visa became a founding supporter and Advisory Council member of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights.
- The organization convenes governments, international organizations, sports bodies, hosts, human rights groups, trade unions, sponsors and broadcasters to work toward a world of sport that fully respects human rights.
- Visa bench marked the Visa Supplier Diversity Program against industry best practices to identify improvement opportunities in 2018. Through this program they are increasing their engagement with and promoting diverse suppliers.
- Expanded their financial empowerment focus on micro and small businesses.
- Visa implemented programs including She’s Next, Money Is Changing and Visa Everywhere Women’s Edition and helped unbanked individuals access electronic payments accounts now reaching 396 million toward their goal of 500 million by 2020.
- LEED Green Building Rating System /Gold-Platinum-Silver
- Green Mark Platinum-Gold
- 4 Star NABERS Energy Rating
- BREEAM Very Good
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Compliance
- Reduced direct greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent from 2017, and achieved a 75 percent improvement in direct emissions intensity per employee since 2009.
Progressed towards goal to source 100 percent renewable electricity for our offices and data centers by the end of 2019, including enrolling in renewable energy programs in the UK, San Francisco Bay Area and Colorado.
- Became a founding supporter and Advisory Council member of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, bringing together governments, international organizations, sports bodies and other key stakeholders to work toward a world of sport that fully respects human rights.
Invest in payments security infrastructure.
- Expand access to underserved and unbanked.
- Provide financial education resources Investing in.
- Advance initiatives to attract and retain diverse talent.
- Commit to CEO Action on Diversity and Inclusion.
- Collaborate globally to address biases Operating Sustainably & Responsibly.
- Helped unbanked individuals access electronic payments accounts — now reaching 396 million toward their goal of 500 million by the end of 2020.
- Developed and deployed business and financial skills tools and resources in English and Spanish for micro and small business owners.
- Provided financial support, including via the Visa Foundation, during times of crisis, such as hurricanes, typhoons and earthquakes, including the recovery efforts after Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael in the U.S. and Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines.
Implemented our Supplier Code of Conduct and expanded our Supplier Diversity program, establishing and encouraging our prime suppliers to participate in our Second-Tier Initiative.
Visa demonstrated their lack of commitment to diversity through few targets for various segments such as waste, energy, and water.
The company fails to disclose what specific targets they aim to achieve within the next 10 years. The few targets they have are very vague and do not have a quantifiable number to determine whether Visa is actually progressing towards their targets.
Additionally, Visa saw an increase in the use of energy by 4.5% due to the expansion of their operations. This demonstrates that they have not made any innovative strides in their supply chain capabilities to become more efficient and sustainable.
Despite their minimal efforts on reporting, Visa has been listed on the Dow Jones Index and FTSE4Good. In addition, the company holds several certificates and complies with some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Visa has been rated a C.
Analyst Outlook: Neutral
Visa’s issuance of a green bond demonstrates intentions of greenwashing in order to raise capital since the company’s actions do not demonstrate commitment towards sustainability.
- Visa doesn’t share most of its sustainability activities in detail.
- Their most recent report is from 2018 which is very outdated.