Revolutionizing Environmental Markets: The Role of Blockchain in ESG

Panelists Emilie Allaert, Project Lead at Luxembourg Blockchain Lab, Andres J. Ruiz-Vargas, Head of Research at Codos Foundation, Markus Ament, Co-founder of Centrifuge, Gabriel Ibghy, General Council of HIVE Blockchain Technologies LTD, and Dana Gibber, Co-Founder & CEO of Flowcarbon, discussed ESG and blockchain at the 8th EBC!

How Can Blockchain Technology Be Used in ESG?

Dana thinks that the key is to find specific use cases to utilize blockchain technology to solve specific problems. She and Markus both think the existing carbon markets are inefficient. It can be improved by building a new system on the blockchain for creating, monitoring, trading, and retiring carbon credits. 

Andres, on the other hand, shares his work at the Codos Foundation. They are working on Proof of Sustainability and rewarding people that conduct sustainable actions with tokens. For example, the Codos App encourages people to commute by train, bus, or bike to reduce their carbon emissions. 

“There is a part where the technology needs to evolve more. And the more it evolves, the easier it would be for people to adopt it and play with it.”
– Andres J. Ruiz-Vargas, Head of Research at Codos Foundation

Is Your Business Affected By Criticism of Bitcoin?

Representing HIVE, Gabriel mentioned that they are using sustainable resources to mine digital assets like Bitcoin. The company provides demand response and grid balancing services to municipalities, monetizing stranded power and contributing positively to the utility’s balance sheet through blockchain technology.

Even though there has been quite a lot of criticism of Bitcoin’s energy consumption, Gabriel believes that bad press exists in all industries, and he thinks bad press starts with misunderstanding and when the business is further away from the communities. 

Speaking from HIVE’s experience, the company connects with the local community, participates in their activities, and actually benefits the residents, so it’s receiving positive feedback from the local media.

The panelists are discussing how blockchain can be implemented in ESG at EBC23.

How Do You See ESG and Blockchain in the Next 5 to 10 Years?

Markus expects the carbon markets to grow 50x in 5-7 years, and he foresees that blockchain technology plays a substantial role in the circular economy and biodiversity.

Gabriel thinks that the use of sustainable energy for digital asset mining can lead to more integration in institutions like universities and greenhouses. He also believes that there will be more and more projects in the future that make sense for both utilities and consumers.

Apart from carbon credits, Dana thinks that other types of environmental commodities, such as biodiversity credits, are also growing in importance. She argues that these markets are inefficient and experiencing rapid growth, and blockchain can provide infrastructure to make them more transparent and liquid.

Andres is convinced that the panelists on stage now are not the only ones working on ESG and blockchain, and he’s excited to see how the market will develop and what kind of innovative competitors they will have in the coming years.

Watch the full discussion to learn more about blockchain and ESG!

Blockchain for Sustainability: Practical Applications and Challenges

Enterprise Blockchain for a Sustainable Future

The 8th European Blockchain Convention discussed blockchain’s opportunities to address sustainability problems. The panel was moderated by Victoria Gago, Co-Founder of the European Blockchain Convention. The panelists include Salvatore Provenzano, VP of Sales Europe of Settlemint, Marcos Carrera, Head of Blockchain & Web3 Iberia at Fujitsu, and Mariana de la Roche, Regulatory Affairs Manager at IOTA.

Blockchain Technology and Sustainability

Salvatore believes that blockchain can be a tool for a sustainable future as it offers a single source of truth for data verification, enhancing audibility and enabling the development of concrete use cases for sustainability.

From a human rights perspective, Mariana sees the potential of blockchain in accelerating actions for major impact, citing examples such as carbon credits and financial inclusion for people that have long been excluded from the systems.

“We have only one life. We have only one world. One planet. Do your best using blockchain. This is the mentality, that’s all.”
– Marcos Carrera, Head of Blockchain & Web3 Iberia at Fujitsu

The panel “Enterprise Blockchain for a Sustainable Future” at EBC23.

Sustainable Blockchain Use Cases

Representing Settlemint, Salvatore shares that their platform can be used to track and trace carbon credits, ensuring that they are being used efficiently and effectively in reducing carbon emissions. 

Marcos presents the Botanical Water Technologies that Fujitsu has developed, which aims to offer a new sustainable and circular source of clean drinking water. Using blockchain technology, the company is able to create a secondary market for water that is no longer usable in the food industry but can be repurposed for other industries. 

According to Mariana, IOTA has implemented various practical use cases of blockchain to address sustainability. The Dig_IT project aims to understand the environmental impact and labor rights in mines by developing digital twins of the mines. 

The IotaOrigin project is dedicated to tracing minerals in conflict areas for human rights protection. The Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP) project is a cooperation between the IOTA Foundation and TradeMark East Africa, aiming to digitalize processes and facilitate goods transfer between East African countries and the UK. 

IOTA also developed the Digital Product Passport (DPP) to improve the circular economy and the DigitalMRV project that puts sensors and different machines in plants to monitor the actual emissions of a particular machine. 

Mariana shares some sustainable use cases of the IOTA Foundation at EBC23.

Challenges to Implementing Blockchain for Sustainability

Marcos thinks that companies need to change their mindset and build new business models to address sustainability problems with emerging technologies. 

Mariana believes that one of the challenges in implementing blockchain for sustainability is the lack of clear definitions and understanding of social impact within the blockchain ecosystem, which, she argues, creates barriers to mainstream adoption. Additionally, she thinks cooperation with governments and regulatory compliance is crucial for enabling innovation in the sustainability space.

“Competition is good sometimes, yeah, but you are stronger if you work together, and that’s a reality.”
– Mariana de la Roche, Regulatory Affairs Manager at IOTA

Watch the full panel discussion to learn more about blockchain sustainability!