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Keep It Blue: American Express Joins Parley in Effort to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution

June 7, 2018

Company Plans to Introduce First Credit Card Made with Ocean Plastic

American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Parley, an organization focused on combating marine plastic pollution, today announced a collaboration to raise awareness of this issue with Card Members, business partners and colleagues. As part of the effort, American Express announced plans to launch the first-ever American Express Card manufactured primarily from recovered plastic found in the oceans and on the coasts. Additionally, American Express is committing to reduce the use of single-use plastic within its operations globally.

“Every second breath we take is created by the oceans. Without them, we can’t exist. American Express is creating a symbol of change and inviting their network to shape a blue future, one based on creativity, collaboration and eco-innovation.” Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans.

American Express’ first ocean plastic Card will be made with upcycled marine plastic debris. The Card is currently a prototype and will be tested and refined over time with public availability anticipated in the next 12 months. The inspiration for the card is to combat plastic pollution in the oceans and to raise awareness of this important issue.

“Our oceans play a vital role in our lives, the health of our planet and the health of travel and tourism, which American Express has long supported. It’s important that we raise awareness and do our part to keep our oceans blue,” said Doug Buckminster, Group President of Global Consumer Services, American Express. “Partnering with Parley is the right next step as we pursue our larger vision of backing our communities and sustaining the planet we share.”

American Express will evolve its operations to embody Parley’s AIR (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign) philosophy through a corporate pledge to limit single-use plastics, intercept plastic waste and redesign existing materials and plastic products. American Express will:

  • Pursue a strategy to reduce the use of virgin plastic in Card products.
  • Phase out single-use plastic straws and coffee stirrers for all its major offices and Centurion airport lounges globally within 30 days.
  • Phase out single-use plastic for Centurion airport lounges by the end of the year.
  • Set a comprehensive waste reduction strategy to reduce single-use plastic and increase recycling rates in its operations globally by the end of the year.
  • Pursue zero waste certification for its New York City headquarters by 2025.
  • Enable American Express colleagues to be a part of the solution by engaging in annual company-run coastal and river clean-ups.

Other steps American Express has taken to become a more environmentally sustainable company include:

  • Reduced carbon emissions associated with its business operations by 50 percent compared to 2011.
  • All electricity powering the company’s U.S. data centers and New York City headquarters is from renewable energy.
  • Nearly 50 percent of the company’s global real estate footprint is green building certified.
  • $3.9 million has been provided in support of the environment and wildlife through the company’s Gift Matching and Serve2Gether programs in 2017.
  • Commitment to have 100% of its employee business travel be carbon neutral by 2021.

To learn more, please visit or follow the movement at #AmexParley.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on,,,, and

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, InAuth, corporate card, business travel, and corporate responsibility.

About Parley

Parley for the Oceans is the global network where creators, thinkers and leaders from the creative industries, brands, governments and environmental groups come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of the oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. The organization has formed alliances with major corporations including adidas, Anheuser Busch InBev (Corona), Intel; the United Nations; the Maldives and collaborators spanning the worlds of science, art, fashion, design, entertainment, sports, and space and ocean exploration. To know more:

American Express:
Charlotte Fuller
American Express
Caitlin Faford
Silvia Raccagni
Parley for the Oceans
Carly Baum
Karla Otto
Giada Bufalini
Karla Otto

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