Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Guest, the award-winning loyalty programme of Etihad Airways, and the UAE’s largest bank First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), in partnership with Visa, the world leader in digital payments, will launch a sustainably-focused Visa credit card. The card will reward shoppers for making sustainable choices in their everyday spending habits.
The FAB Etihad Guest Visa Sustainable Card will introduce a series of sustainability-focused benefits that will educate and reward members for making sustainable choices and provide options to offset emissions for their spending. The partnership is powered by ecolytiq, provider of digital infrastructure for green finance, which will provide the Sustainability-as-a-Service® technology to track sustainable spending. This will support the change of behaviour and issuance of rewards for those making sustainable spending choices.
Etihad is the first airline in the region to reward frequent flyers for being more sustainable in the air and on the ground. Through Conscious Choices, Etihad Guest members are rewarded for offsetting their flights with miles, carrying less baggage on board, and purchasing sustainable products in the Reward Shop. In their daily lives, when not flying, members can also earn Tier Miles by offsetting everyday emissions such as driving, as well as emissions such as cooling your home or cooking your dinner, or by donating miles to a meaningful cause.
FAB maintains a leading position in the regional sustainable finance sector. It was the first MENA Bank to issue a green bond and has financed over USD 30 Billion in sustainable projects to date. The bank became a signatory to the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration, initiated by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), which advocates sustainable finance and investments for long-term economic growth. Subsequently, the FAB Sustainable Finance Framework was created and used to fund projects that deliver tangible environmental and social benefits. In 2021, the bank executed the first green repurchasing (‘repo’) transaction in the Middle East, structured in partnership with Deutsche Bank. FAB was also the first bank in the region to commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and to join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance and was part of the official UAE delegation to the COP26 climate conference.
FAB’s focus on sustainability was recently recognised by MSCI with its ratings for the bank upgraded to AA, defining FAB as an “ESG Leader”.
Visa recently launched Visa Eco Benefits, a new package of sustainability-focused benefits for account issuers designed to enable and encourage cardholders to engage in sustainable consumption behaviours.
Terry Daly, Executive Director Guest Experience, Brand & Marketing, Etihad Airways, said: “We’re delighted to extend our Conscious Choices sustainability offering to consumers and Etihad Guest members by providing more opportunities to reward sustainable lifestyle choices through our partnership with FAB and Visa. The FAB Etihad Guest Sustainable Visa Credit Card will allow our members to understand where they can act more sustainably and provide incentives every time they make the sustainable choice in their everyday living and purchasing.”
Futoon Almazrouei, Group Head of Consumer Banking, First Abu Dhabi Bank, said: “FAB is proud of its role as an advocate for sustainability in the region and our track record is a testament to our efforts. Our partnership with Etihad on the FAB Etihad Guest Visa Sustainable Card is a natural progression of our journey to date and takes our commitment a step further by encouraging our customers to make more sustainable choices in their everyday life. Last year we became the first bank in the region to commit to net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050, in support of the UAE’s commitment to drive progress. In addition to the steps, we are taking as a Group to achieve this, we are looking to collaborate and partner with our customers as we work together to create a positive outcome for generations to come.”
Andrew Torre, Visa’s Regional President for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “Sustainability lies at the core of truly inclusive economic growth, and at Visa, we are committed to advancing sustainability within both our business operations and across the payments landscape. With the FAB Etihad Guest Sustainable Visa Credit Card, we are pleased to work together to drive sustainable commerce and climate action, while meeting growing demand from cardholders who care passionately about sustainable consumption and living. Together with Etihad Guest and FAB, we are proud to announce the first partnership globally leveraging Visa Eco Benefits for a sustainability-focused co-branded credit card program that will help guide and encourage sustainable choices.”
The launch of Etihad Guest Conscious Choices and the FAB Etihad Guest Sustainable Visa Credit Card are the latest initiatives under Etihad’s overarching sustainability ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and halve 2019 emissions by 2035. Travellers wishing to fly and spend more consciously and sustainably can now earn Tier Miles, and other rewards, for making sustainable choices.
Over the last two years, despite the challenges of COVID-19, Etihad has introduced several significant CO2 reduction initiatives under its Greenliner sustainability programme. This includes adopting thousands of mangroves, using sustainable fuels, reducing contrails, flying optimised flight paths, operating more electric vehicles and working with partners who share its vision for cleaner skies.
“It’s important for us to extend our own sustainability ambitions to empower our members and guests to contribute in their own way. We know this is a priority and a cause close to the heart of many of our guests and partners. As a corporate citizen, we are privileged to be in a position to help educate consumers to understand their carbon footprint, not just from travel but from their everyday spend. Consequently, we are proud to reward our guests and members for making a conscious decision to reduce their impact on the environment,” added Terry Daly.