Doconomy, a Swedish start-up which made headlines this Summer, offers a bank card which estimates your shopping’s carbon footprint. The aim: raise the card holder’s awareness of the impact of their consumption on our planet.

Gimmick or a truly green bank card?

Is it a good thing to use a payment card to influence your buying habits? It’s certainly a good thing for the planet.

Just imagine.

You are buying jeans with your bank card and the payment terminal tells you: “Sorry, your purchase is bad for your carbon count. Transaction refused.” Science-fiction? Not really with Doconomy, the 1st start-up to offer a bank card that analyses your purchases in real time and gives them an environmental conscience.

White card or black card?


There are two types of card on offer. The white card is the basic version which connects to a smart phone and sends an alert in real time letting you monitor your carbon footprint with each purchase.

The black card goes one step further. If the purchase exceeds the carbon limit set by the card holder, the purchase is blocked. It’s what the start-up calls “Everyday Climate Action.” Raising awareness of the effect our daily consumption has on the climate.

How does it work?

The main challenge is in measuring each article’s carbon footprint accurately. The start-up relies on the Aland index to do this. It’s a calculator that provides estimates on production methods and carbon rates by product type. This is where the system has its limits. How can it tell the difference between a local product and one that has been flown in by plane? A taxi journey in a diesel car versus a journey in a hybrid? So far, Doconomy isn’t saying. But, it is a step in the right direction which will continue to improve and encourage us to question our consummation. And that’s a good thing!