PLENO’s Nura Linggih on Web3’s Potential to Reshape Carbon Credit Landscape

PLENO's Nura Linggih on Web3's Potential to Reshape Carbon Credit Landscape

The European Blockchain Convention interviewed the co-founder of PLENO, Nura Linggih, to discuss PLENO and the carbon credit market in the Web3 space.

Problems of the carbon credit market

The prevailing issues plaguing the current carbon credit market revolve around time, costs, and accuracy. The market lacks digitization, with a significant portion of the process still done manually. Moreover, the presence of numerous intermediaries in the ecosystem contributes to time-consuming procedures, with the typical duration for creating a carbon credit extending up to two years.

Within this landscape, different carbon registries, such as Verra, Gold Standard Foundation, Climate Action Reserve, American Carbon Registry (ACR), and others, employ their own distinct standards for calculating the estimated carbon removal. This variety of standards poses a challenge for project developers to follow up with the calculations and choose the most suitable registry.

For many project developers, particularly those operating with limited resources and expertise, navigating the complexities of carbon credit creation is challenging. Therefore, developers often seek consultants or external assistance, incurring substantial costs, with fees climbing as high as $100,000.

The heavy reliance on manual methodologies and inadequate real-time monitoring exacerbates issues related to emission calculations’ accuracy. These issues further lead to a lack of trust among buyers. There have also been several scandals and news on the carbon credit market, where the carbon credit buyers are actually purchasing “phantom credits.”

Different registries use different carbon standards. Image source: PLENO blog.

The start of PLENO and the backgrounds of the founder

“I always thought there would be an Ah-ha moment for a startup idea, but actually it’s not as sexy as that, I would say.”

Nura Linggih, Co-founder of PLENO

Drawing on his extensive academic and professional background in sustainability, Nura identified a significant issue within the carbon credit market. His journey into the realm of blockchain technology started a few years ago, and he started to learn about regenerative finance (ReFi), which perfectly merges his passion for blockchain technology with his sustainability expertise.

He started a blog named ‘Enjoy the weather’ to talk about Web3 and real-world use cases such as sustainability. He later joined ReFi DAO as a writer and discovered many interesting projects that inspired him.

Several months ago, Nura, along with Nino, his childhood friend since their time in Bali, Indonesia, decided to participate in the Blockchain Founders Group incubator program and successfully secured funding. As a result, Nura made the bold decision to leave his job as a sustainability solution manager at one of Germany’s most successful software companies and go all in with PLENO.

The founders of PLENO: Nura (left) and Nino (right).

What is PLENO doing?

PLENO introduces a digital platform tailored to carbon credit project developers, streamlining the entire process of measuring, reporting, and verifying (MRV) carbon projects. 

The PLENO platform leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and Geo-Information System (GIS) to collect all fragmented information such as satellite data to simplify the workflow. The team harnesses remote sensing and machine learning techniques to do a more robust analysis of carbon projects, enabling the identification of carbon stocks and sequestration activities. Read how PLENO uses AI for carbon credits here.

PLENO sets itself apart from other MRV players with its automatic calculator. This eliminates the need for manual work with complex formulas and spreadsheets, while also ensuring highly accurate carbon forecasting. 

Highlights of PLENO digital platform. Request early access here.

In the verification and certification process of carbon projects, PLENO plays a pivotal role in facilitating the certification of projects by accredited registry institutions. To enhance the validation and traceability of these certifications, PLENO assists in the recording of data onto a public blockchain. Carbon project developers can efficiently manage and share their data with verifiers and registries.

Looking ahead at the roadmap, PLENO has plans to incorporate a range of features, including real-time data validation, automated report generation, and secure data storage, further assisting carbon project developers.

PLENO offers solutions to make the issuance of carbon credits faster, cheaper, and more accurate.

How is PLENO different?

There is a growing trend of sustainability initiatives in the Web3 space, but the majority of Web3 carbon credit projects tend to focus on either as marketplaces or tokenization players and providing investments for carbon projects.

PLENO, on the other hand, is strategically positioned to target the vital middle ground of the carbon market. The team plays a pivotal role in assisting project developers in the establishment of high-quality projects.

The minimum viable product (MVP) of PLENO. Request early access here.

PLENO’s Focus: Blue Carbon and Mangroves

PLENO is currently focusing on mangroves and other blue carbon projects. These projects are still new but are growing quickly. Mangroves are great because they absorb a lot of carbon and help protect coasts and communities. They’re also hard to measure, which is why a new solution like PLENO is needed.

The mangrove forest in Indonesia. Image source: World Bank.

So far, PLENO is working on 3 pilot projects in Indonesia, a country with 3.5 million hectares of mangroves, about 23% of the world’s total. PLENO is also talking with mangrove project developers in other places like Bangladesh and the Philippines, among others. In the near future, PLENO will also cater to other blue carbon projects such as seagrass.

Mangrove is identified as Indonesia’s climate guardians. Image source: World Bank.

Blockchain and Web3’s impact on the carbon credit market

Nura firmly believes that blockchain technology and Web3 will deeply impact the carbon credit markets in the coming years. Currently, these technologies occupy a relatively small niche of buyers. However, Nura envisions a future where companies in this space actively forge partnerships, demonstrate the practical utility of blockchain, and grow together as an ecosystem. 

The co-founder is convinced that the goal of net-zero emissions and combating climate change cannot be achieved without carbon projects. Even though he anticipates that prices may experience a decline following the initial hype, it’s when the true innovators and builders will persist in advancing their projects.

“Web3 and Sustainability is a growing ecosystem, so we need to go together. We cannot do it alone… we need to prove that there is a real use case of using blockchain to solve problems such as carbon removal and its credits.”

Nura Linggih, Co-founder of PLENO

Make sure to follow PLENO on LinkedIn. PLENO is launching its 1st MVP in October, if you’d like to try it and stay ahead of the carbon market, register for early access here. For more information and partnership queries, contact Nura directly here.


Read more about ReFi and sustainability in Web3:

Solarpunk and Web3: Envisioning a Sustainable, Collaborative Future

Solarpunk and Web3

Solarpunk is a movement in speculative fiction, art, fashion and activism that seeks to answer and embody the question “what does a sustainable civilization look like, and how can we get there?”

Jay Springett, Co-administrator of solarpunks.net

What is Solarpunk?

Solarpunk is a visionary movement that emerged as an antidote to the dystopian themes of Cyberpunk and the nostalgia and aesthetics of Steampunk. It offers an optimistic outlook on the future amidst the climate crisis, envisioning a society in perfect harmony with nature and equally shared with everyone on the planet. A Solarpunk future is one that is sustainable at a not-just-for-rich-people level but a human-friendly future that can scale.

In the Solarpunk world, technology is developed in tandem with nature, and clean energy sources like solar and wind power entirely sustain cities. There are no existential threats like the climate crisis looming over society. The focus is on regenerative and sustainable practices, with a circular economy at its core

Olivia Louise shared her aesthetic vision of Solarpunk on Tumblr in 2014.

The Solarpunk Manifesto

“Solarpunk” was coined in 2008 in a blog post from the Republic of the Bees. Over the years, Solarpunk has evolved from a small online community to a promising speculative subgenre. In 2014, Adam Flynn penned down his notes toward the Solarpunk manifesto, while an ultimate Solarpunk reference guide was created by Jay Springett in 2017. The Solarpunk movement has evolved with its distinct aesthetic and an emerging manifesto.

Solarpunk is about finding ways to make life more wonderful for us right now, and more importantly for the generations that follow us… Our futurism is not nihilistic like cyberpunk and it avoids steampunk’s potentially quasi-reactionary tendencies: it is about ingenuity, generativity, independence, and community.

Adam Flynn, “Solarpunk: Notes toward a manifesto

To grasp some main ideas of Solarpunk, you can read this interesting Tumblr post explaining why solarpunk is the most important speculative fiction movement in the last 20 years.

Solarpunk artwork Sun City created by Nusa Stiglitz.

Essential Elements of Solarpunk

Decentralization

Decentralization is a fundamental element of the Solarpunk movement. Unlike Cyberpunks who envision a world controlled by oppressive corporations, Solarpunks envision a future where power is distributed among individuals and communities, fostering a sense of autonomy and empowerment. Instead of centralizing authority in the hands of a few, decisions are made collectively, with a focus on sustainability and environmental harmony. By embracing open-source technologies, information is freely accessible to all, driving innovation and progress for the betterment of society.

Lush Nature

The core idea of Solarpunk is to create a world where lush natural landscapes abound, as we see in the Studio Ghibli films, and human activities coexist peacefully with the environment.

Lush nature is an essential feature in the films from the Gibili Studio. Source: Howl’s Moving Castle from Intofilm.org.

Renewable and Sustainable Technologies

Renewable energy, especially solar power and its representation are the foundation of the Solarpunk ideology, which characterizes “gentle, non-centralized, and non-mediated”, the Solarpunks envision a world with collaboration and communities, in which no one is left behind. 

Solarpunk emphasizes the use of green energy, such as wind, water, and solar power. Source: The Future Is Bright by Jessica Woulfe.

Solarpunk Aesthetics and Art

Solarpunk’s visual aesthetics embrace an ever-changing fusion of influences. It weaves together the charm of 1800s age-of-sail/frontier living, now enhanced by the eco-friendly elements of nature and the modern touch of technology. The landscapes showcase the creative reuse of existing infrastructure, offering glimpses of both post-apocalyptic and present-weird worlds.

In 2014, Olivia Louise’s Tumblr post went viral. She integrated the art nouveau elements and gave the concept of Solarpunk a visual language. The work of Hayao Miyazaki, one of Japan’s greatest animation directors, is also considered a representation of the Solarpunk art style.

For more Solarpunk art, check out the Solarpunk Magazine, concept artist Jessica Woulfe (Solarpunk Art Contest Winner in 2019), graphic designer Nusa Stiglitz (who did the Solarpunk city design for Fuzzy Binary Games), Elijah Johnson (Solarpunk Art Contest winner in 2021).

Artwork Solar Ascension created by Astral-Requin for the Atomhawk Solarpunk art contest.

Solarpunk Movies, Fictions, and Architectures

The animated commercial by the Yogurt company Chobani in 2021 made Solarpunk concepts and aesthetics reach a greater audience. Solarpunk futurist Stephen Magee also posted the video to Twitter, claiming that the lifestyle in the video is the Solarpunk future that he’s fighting for.

The animated Yogurt commercial released in 2021 aligns with the Solarpunk ideology.

Books

  • Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation (2017)
  • Wings of Renewal: A Solarpunk Dragon Anthology (2015)
  • Chameleon Moon (RoAnna Sylver, 2014)
  • Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastic Stories in a Sustainable World (2013)
  • Parable of the Sower (Octavia E. Butler, 1993)
  • Mars trilogy (Kim Stanley Robinson, 1992)
  • The Dispossessed (Ursula K LeGuin’s, 1974)
  • Looking Backwards (Edward Bellamy, 1888)
Books that align with the Solarpunk values. Source: FreedomNews.org.

Movies

  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Castle In The Sky (1989)
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1987)
Hayao Miyazaki’s films often explore the themes of humanity and nature. Source: Princess Mononoke, Queensland Art Gallery.

Architecture

Architecturally, Solarpunk is characterized by buildings adorned with vegetation, including rooftop gardens and vertical forests. The aim is to integrate nature into urban spaces and create a more harmonious coexistence between humanity and the natural world.

  • Architect Vincent Callebaut (Belgium)
  • Architect Francis Kere (Burkina Faso)
  • Gardens by the Bay (Singapore)
  • Jewel Changi Airport Waterfall (Singapore)
  • Golden Bridge (Vietnam) 
  • Bosco Verticale (Italy)
Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Source: Official Site.

Solarpunk and Web3

In a world with constant tensions between different groups and the environment, Solarpunk is our alternative for doomerism in a world of rising coordination failure. With Web3, the transparent, immutable, programmable, and global structure that can unlock better coordination, we can leverage collective intelligence to make the world better.

Solarpunk in Web3 highlights cooperativism, coordination, cooperation, communities, and collective benefits. Scott Moore, Co-Founder of Gitcoin, highlighted how Web3 reimagines public goods, emphasizing the positive externalities on society.

Kevin Owocki, CEO of Gitcoin, also tweeted that Web3 builders are creating economic systems with various mechanisms like NFTs, Quadratic Funding, and Retro Public Goods Funding, aiming to generate a positive impact. 

Unlike Web2, Web3 developers are incentivized to construct transparent infrastructure for public goods. Examples like open-source software and Decentralized Science, as highlighted by Kevin Owocki, demonstrate their commitment to providing public access to a decentralized and transparent financial system. Their ultimate goal is to foster a world with increased fairness and justice. 

Web3 is Solarpunk reimagining public goods – Scott Moore (at ETH Barcelona 2023).

Sustainability is a vital element in Web3, aligning closely with Solarpunk principles. Increasing discussions arise around mining crypto with a green footprint, leveraging blockchain to improve the circular economy, or building projects for human rights and social equality. The emergence of Regenerative Finance (ReFi) protocols in the Web3 space further demonstrates the commitment to effectively address sustainability challenges.

Web3 is not just some sort of a speculative game. It’s actually building new kinds of regenerative ecosystems, and ReGen is fundamentally Solarpunk.

Scott Moore, Co-Founder of Gitcoin

Lunarpunk and Privacy

Lunarpunk originated as a subset of Solarpunk, sharing the values of decentralization, diversity, and inclusivity. However, it has diverged from Solarpunk’s optimistic outlook. While Solarpunk focuses on transparency and openness, Lunarpunk emphasizes sovereignty and privacy. 

Lunarpunks argue that optimism leaves Solarpunks unprepared for potential challenges, giving rise to what they call “Solarpunk Fragility.” In response, Lunarpunks advocate for robust defense and the use of cryptography to safeguard user identities. They believe in the inherent conflict between cryptocurrencies and existing institutions, fearing that regulators will ban cryptocurrencies while using anonymity as an excuse to extend control.

The video from Rekt clearly explains the concepts of Lunarpunk and its distinctions from Solarpunk.

The development of zero-knowledge technology, self-sovereign identities, and decentralized IDs reflects the LunarPunk value of privacy preservation in the Web3 space. Privacy will be the future of Web3 and how to balance privacy and surveillance will be an important question to consider.

Read more about privacy and trust in Web3:

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!