• Gemalto is now part of the Thales Group, find out more.

Eco-friendly bank card's life cycle: supporting your environmental-friendly practices


Developing an eco-friendly card's life cycle strategy is part of a more global approach where banks have to select technology, process and products which result in substantial reduction of their carbon footprint and in the development of sustainable practices.

Gemalto is supporting banks in taking actions towards environmental-friendly practices and sustainability. 

The company has developed a full set of tools that enables its banking clients to build a consistent green strategy that moves beyond empty environmental claims. 

Our contribution covers every aspect of a bank card’s life, from biosourced materials to eco-packaging produced by a manufacturer with a robust environmental policy.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Gemalto's suite of green banking tools is built on four key pillars: 
  1. dematerialization, 
  2. alternative materials, 
  3. green factory,
  4. end of life.

​Implement processes to accelerate dematerialization

Our services helps reduce the excessive and unnecessary volume of printed documents (such as personalized card carriers, inserts, PIN mailers..) associated with delivering and activating cards, sharing information with cardholders and providing issuers with reporting solutions.

  • The Gemalto card carrier compiler tool enables you to manage advanced carrier design and implement frequent online content updates and so scale down the number of leaflets you need to bundle with a card. 
  • We also offer PIN by SMS. This innovative and secure solution for delivering PINs and PIN reminders via text messages means you can cut both mailout print runs and postage costs. 
  • Our Gemalto Ca​rd Companion application links payment cards with smartphones to make it easy for you to contact cardholders whenever you want, without using paper. 
  • And our Secure Transactions web portal and electronic invoicing solution lets you monitor personalization and dematerialization processes in real-time and gradually reduce your need for paper reports.

Use organic and non-toxic alternative materials

Bio-Sourced Card

​Our MasterCard and Visa-approved bio-sourced bank card is made from polylactic acid (PLA), a plastic substitute. Using renewable sources such as corn, it can be recycled back to its initial resin over and over again without loss of quality. It is non-petroleum based and non-toxic if incinerated.


PLA is compatible with magstripe, contact and dual interface card technologies. Gemalto is currently the only company providing this kind of card body technology for banking cards.

A complete range of eco-friendly packaging is also available, enabling smart delivery of your banking cards while reducing your impact on the environment.

Source from a green supplier

Gemalto's global environmental policy aims to manage our overall environmental impact. 

So not only do we ensure eco-friendly delivery of our products, we also embrace green manufacturing practices – as the ISO 14001 certifications of all our major sites testify. 

We also promote eco-design at every stage, from product conception to re-engineering. This covers the product's environmental impact such as resource consumption and emissions during manufacturing to waste and end-of-life disposal. 

There's more.

Gemalto offers all its customers a “carbon offset” solution to compensate greenhouse gas emissions generated by card production. This provides financial support to energy-saving and renewable energy programs that generate “carbon credits”.

Manage card's end-of-life

Our role is to facilitate your end-of-life product management by acting as an intermediary between our clients and partner recycling companies. 

This ensures you have buy-in to a total green strategy, and enables you to save resources by recycling valuable metals and plastics.

With increased consumer expectations regarding environment initiatives, Gemalto can offer a complete set of tools to build a consistent green package that goes beyond greenwashing* claims.

*The term “Greenwashing” is used to refer to communications put out by companies on their progress in terms of sustainable development, without any real action being taken to back up the claims. 

Greenwashing is a contraction of the words green and brainwashing. 

About smart card technology

Smart card technology is an excellent Green IT tool. 

It is a very familiar portable object with a rather long life-cycle (several years) and an extreme low carbon footprint (equivalent to just 1 km by car per card manufactured). 

In addition, it has a very low electric consumption (only seconds and when in use). 

 Video

  • Green Banking


    Help your customers play a part in saving the planet. Discover the Gemalto green banking offer that covers every part of a bank card's lifecycle.

    Watch video

 References

  • Coop Bank Denmark

    Coop Bank Denmark was the first to commercially deploy our Optelio Contactless EMV Eco Cards. These cards are still able to offer all features that their customers expect, with creative artwork that set the designs apart from the crowd, such as contactless capabilities and availability in EMV and Dual Interface.

    Read more

  • bio-sourced Optelio EMV payment cards

    Bank of Aland

    Gemalto is supplying its bio-sourced Optelio EMV payment cards to support The Baltic Sea Project, a major environmental initiative by pioneering Scandinavian bank, Bank of Åland.

    Learn more

  • Bio Sourced card for Banco Popular Dominicano

    Gemalto developed the Bio Sourced card with a body made entirely from renewable resources for Banco Popular Dominicano, the Dominican Republic’s leading bank. Not only will customers benefit from an environmentally-friendly, artistic, high-quality product, but they’ll also enjoy discounts on sporting events, restaurants and hotels.

    Read more

 Documents