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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

The Open Water Project x Mastercard

Entered in Environment , Responsible Consumption & Production


Sustainability at Mastercard involves reducing their carbon footprint and offers consumers the opportunity to do the same by creating innovative solutions and initiatives that unite our network of customers, partners, and consumers in climate action. In partnership with Conservation International, Mastercard is committed to restoring 100 million trees globally via the Priceless Planet Coalition and will do so by prioritizing projects and geographies with the greatest potential for positive impacts on climate, community, and biodiversity.

Mastercard and The R&A joined forces to drive awareness, donations, and reduce waste for two key sustainability issues; plastic pollution and deforestation. The challenge presented was how to inform the public and raise funds for these two important initiatives in an environment conducive to the conversion.

Golf has a unique relationship with nature as an outdoor sport, so these two coastal events are uniquely placed to deliver this environmental message. The Open Championship and AIG Women’s Open in 2021 was an ideal setting to educate the public on the impact of plastic pollutants and deforestation.

Mastercard and The R&A created a campaign that inspired both on-site attendees & golf fans viewing the events to contribute to Mastercard’s Priceless Planet Coalition (PPC), a collective effort to plant 100 million trees by 2025. The PPC has three objectives:

•             PPC Donations towards tree planting & removal of single-use plastic

•             Increased PPC Understanding & Climate Change Awareness

•             Position golf as a sport taking positive climate action

Strategy and Execution

Our target augience, was to connect with golf fans both on the ground at The Open Championship and AIG Women’s Open and watching both tournaments at home.


•             We created a comprehensive suite of comms and media, including an educational and informative video, to ensure fans were aware of the campaign, objectives and actions they could take in order to participate while the tournament played out.

•             We enlisted two of Mastercard’s leading golf ambassadors, Justin Rose & Annika Sorenstam within media to become spokespeople for the campaign.

Event Period

•             TV visible branding for awareness

•             Site wide media for onsite fan awareness

•             Tap & Donate units within the water stations

•             Branded water bottle creation

•             QR codes on branded material within the Mastercard Club, directing consumers to learn more about the campaign

•             Portion of water bottle sales given to PPC

•             Use of Mastercard ambassadors to create content – Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Max Homa,, Brooke Henderson & Mastercard’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kristina Kloberdanz

•             PR landed in The Times using Mastercard ambassador, Tom Watson

•             Online contribution platform for remote fans

•             Daily social posts on event, brand and ambassador channels

•             Use of influencer, Rick Shiels, to create content

The creation and execution of a multi-channel actionable campaign ensured that two of the sport’s ‘majors’ paved the way on ecological thinking. The PPC and The Open Water Project campaign showcased to consumers the importance of managing their own carbon footprint, using powerful campaign messaging to heighten the focus on doing good for the planet.


The environmental results were:

•             Dispensed 53,072 liters of purified water

•             Saved 106,000 plastic water bottles

•             Planted 21,046 trees

•             £31.5K in donations were made via the water stations to the PPC planting projects

The campaign achieved excellent results through The Open channels:

•             5.3M social media impressions

•             39,100 engagements

•             1.8M video views

84% of consumers at The Open used the Water Stations, instead of buying plastic bottles. In addition, the Mastercard donate widget achieved a conversion rate, visits to donations, of 23.6%. The funds raised from our joint initiative with The Open Water Project were distributed across selected reforestation projects in South America, Australia, and Africa.

Importantly, calculations show that the 21,046 trees planted will come close to covering the Scope 1 & Scope 2 carbon emissions generated by this year’s events over the course of the trees lifetime.

Guided by Conservation International and World Resources Institute, Mastercard’s Priceless Planet employs a forest restoration model dedicated not only to the planting of 100 million trees but also to the re-growing of forests in geographies that represent the greatest global need. Areas with the greatest potential for positive impacts on climate, community, and biodiversity goals are prioritized as we set out to restore forestland across the globe.

Eliminating plastic water bottle waste, ensured that this environmentally unfriendly material did not end up in the waste cycle, as well as saving both production and shipping.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Octagon, Mastercard