October 1, 2019 - Visa released its latest Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability report, the company’s summary of progress in its ongoing commitment to corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethical leadership across its most significant environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.
“We are proud of our employees around the globe for demonstrating our commitment to sustainability, innovation and leadership in digital payments,” said Douglas Sabo, Vice President and Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Visa Inc. “Together, we made significant progress toward our goals, which include using 100 percent renewable electricity across the company by the end of 2019 and bringing 500 million people first time access to digital payments accounts by the end of 2020.”
In its fourth Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report, Visa shares achievements in four focus areas: Empowering People & Economies, Securing Commerce & Protecting Customers, Investing in Our Workforce, and Operating Sustainably & Responsibly. The report includes the following highlights:
Empowering People & Economies
We delivered on our commitment to supporting micro and small businesses, expanding financial access to the unbanked and underserved, building financial capability and strengthening our communities. Our progress includes:
- Increased our financial empowerment focus on micro and small businesses (MSB) via programs and partnerships, such as capacity-building for merchants in Mexico and supporting female farmers in India
- Promoted financial inclusion by offering products and solutions, including Visa Direct, QR Products and Prepaid cards to merchants, individuals and governments
- Helped unbanked individuals access electronic payments accounts — now reaching 396 million toward our goal of 500 million by the end of 2020
- Expanded our women’s empowerment initiatives through programs including She's Next, Money Is Changing and Visa Everywhere Initiative Women's Edition
- 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
Securing Commerce & Protecting Customers
We demonstrated our commitment to implementing an evolving and multi-layered approach that enables reliable, trustworthy and frictionless digital payment experiences. Our progress includes:
- Continued on our mission to significantly reduce fraud, increase approval rates and reduce consumer friction in the payments ecosystem
- Expanded the Visa Token Service (VTS), which helps our customers build and maintain digital payment experiences while protecting consumers’ sensitive information from fraud
- Prevented approximately $25 billion in fraud using Artificial Intelligence
- Received the highest rating in our sector from Gartner Consulting during our 2019 Cybersecurity program review
- Opened a new Cyber Fusion Center in London and strengthened our global capability to rapidly collect, analyze and leverage cyber threat intelligence information
- Established policies and processes required for the implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and preparation for other pending privacy regulations
Investing in Our Workforce
Visa’s mission to connect the world to enable businesses, economies and individuals to thrive is fueled by the talent, diversity and dedication of our employees. We are committed to developing our world-class talent, fostering a diverse and inclusive culture and offering benefits that support our employees’ success. Our progress includes:
- Continued and expanded Visa University – our signature global learning platform – which now offers over 80,000 learning resources, featuring courses facilitated by company leaders
- Enhanced our benefits programs for supporting our employees’ health, financial and overall well-being, such as introducing a new family emergency leave system
- Bolstered our leadership development programs for female employees (Executive Edge) and for African American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx employees (Elevate)
- Expanded our reporting on pay equity, including data on gender, racial and ethnic dimensions.
- Created a Gender Inclusion Council, composed of 20 Visa leaders from around the world, tasked with helping promote a more inclusive working environment
- Signed the Pledge to America’s Workers, joining together with companies representing 6.5 million workers and committing to expanding programs that educate, train and reskill American workers ranging from high school to near retirement age
Operating Sustainably & Responsibly
As we work to grow our business and as we build an inclusive economy, we also are committed to doing so in a responsible, ethical and sustainable manner – one that is good for people and for the planet. We demonstrated our commitment to advancing environmental sustainability and upholding the highest standards for integrity, compliance and corporate governance. Our progress includes:
- Reduced our 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 our 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
- Continued to be recognized for responsible and ethical behavior, placing on the Ethisphere Institute’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list for the seventh consecutive year and earning the highest designation on the CPA-Zicklin Index for the third year in a row
- 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
- 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
As outlined in the report, Visa’s progress helps support many elements of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the global roadmap for progress by 2030. Visa’s work includes contributions toward SDGs focusing on inclusive growth (“Decent Work and Economic Growth”, “Quality Education”, “Gender Equality” and “No Poverty”) as well as on the environment (“Climate Action” and “Responsible Consumption & Production”).
Among its growing recognition for corporate responsibility and sustainability, Visa was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, the FTSE4Good Index, the JUST Capital 100, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, and the Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 Corporate Gender Equality Index.
Learn more about Visa’s responsible business and sustainability progress by accessing the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report.