Jun 01, 2021

How Algorand Offsets its Carbon Footprint

By: Algorand

Enterprises and individuals can build on Algorand without having any remorse for contributing to climate change.

Algorand employs a consensus algorithm called Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS), which doesn’t involve mining at all. This means, it doesn’t sacrifice decentralization, being the only solution to solve the Blockchain Trilemma, in which scalability, decentralization, and security are achieved altogether. 

Algorand goes even further by integrating a fourth key element – sustainability. 

Algorand: A Sustainable Blockchain

On Algorand, with the PPoS consensus, there is no competition among block validators as the protocol randomly picks a small number of validators from the entire group of ALGO holders, which allows for less power consumption per transaction. The hardware power consumption per transaction continues to decline on Algorand while improvements in its overall transactions per second (TPS) performance upgrade is gradually implemented in 2021.

Besides an eco-friendly infrastructure, Algorand promotes carbon neutrality at all levels, which is reflected in its partnerships and internal values and culture. 

Algorand founder, MIT Professor Silvio Micali, said that he cared about our planet, which is why he had designed the PPoS to be as “clean” as possible from the very start.

Thanks to its sustainability-oriented approach, Algorand has managed to offset the minimal carbon footprint left by its blockchain validators.

Algorand Partnerships that Enable It to Stay Carbon Neutral

Algorand advocates for carbon neutrality throughout it’s different use cases.

At the end of April, Algorand announced that its blockchain was fully carbon neutral, as a result of working closely with an organization that offers a solution aimed at keeping the earth clean. 

One of the main partnerships involved is ClimateTrade, which helps companies and entities meet their sustainability goals by offsetting CO2 emissions and sponsoring climate change projects.

Silvio Micali commented on the recently upgraded collaboration effort with ClimateTrade:

“We understand that the mechanics of measuring the environmental impact of a global, decentralized and widely used blockchain are nuanced and complex. That’s why we are teaming up with ClimateTrade to continue and double-down on our eco-conscious efforts.”

In fact, currently, there are three environmentally focused use-cases that are leveraging Algorand:

  • Global Carbon Holding – an Algorand partner since January 2021 that uses blockchain to tokenize carbon credit assets in Asia and supports a global marketplace where users can buy certified carbon offsets that have the highest possible levels of quality and provenance.
  • PlanetWatch – since the summer of 2020, PlanetWatch has been leveraging Algorand for the world’s first blockchain-based platform for air quality sensors. It developed and deployed a global network of affordable air quality sensors with the goal of validating, filtering and displaying data online and through a mobile application in real-time.
  • ClimateTrade – at the end of last year, ClimateTrade announced that it had integrated Algorand to bring transparency and traceability into carbon markets. As mentioned, the Spanish company’s objective is to help companies achieve their sustainability goals by offsetting CO2 footprint and financing climate change projects. ClimateTrade offers its solutions to large Spanish and global firms, including Iberia, Melià Hotels, Cabify, and Telefónica.

Through the partnership with ClimateTrade, Algorand is able to leverage several projects that are offsetting the low footprint of the network:

  • Southern Cardamom Rainforest – the Cardamom Rainforest Landscape, located in Cambodia, is one of the last unfragmented rainforests in Southeast Asia. The Southern Cardamom REDD+ project – initiated by Wildlife Alliance and Wildlife Works, in partnership with Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment – uses best practices to prevent more than 3 million tons of carbon emissions annually. It also protects almost 500,000 hectares of tropical rainforest in the region. Through the sale of REDD+ credits, the project is protecting the forest and safeguarding wildlife through a direct threat-based approach. The project is collaborating with local communities and government agencies to come up with sustainable income opportunities for the villages situated in the region. It works with more than 15 villages to implement sustainable community-based ecotourism.
  • Vichada Gold Standard Climate Reforestation – this climate project is aimed at reforestation in the Orinoco Department in Colombia. Its objective is to create forests with the goal to produce quality hardwoods combined with carbon sequestration. The project also aims to establish profitable production and conservation systems, enabling local companies to operate in a beneficial way. It has already created many full-time jobs and unified more communities.The project has already managed to reforest 76,000 hectares, prevent soil erosion, and create shelters for animals and insects.

  • Oaxaca Wind Project by ACCIONA – Spanish ACCIONA has been developing the Oaxaca wind project in Mexico to produce clean energy. An IBEX 35 company, ACCIONA is present in over 40 countries worldwide, providing innovative solutions for renewable energy. Through the Oaxaca wind farms, ACCIONA produces clear energy for about 700,000 Mexican homes, which translates into an annual emission avoidance of 670,000 tons CO2. ACCIONA is also addressing climate change through its initiatives in harmony with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by conducting activities that have a sizable positive impact on the communities and biodiversity near their facilities. Sponsors that buy reduction certificates of this project are directly contributing to a more sustainable world.

  • Sumatra Merang Peatland Project (SMPP) – this project aims to restore and protect a peatland ecosystem located in the Musi Banyuasin district of South Sumatra, Indonesia. The peatland extends on a territory of 22,922 hectares. The project is located within the Merang-Kepayang peat dome, one of the largest carbon-rich peat swamp areas in Sumatra, spanning over 150,000 hectares.
    Without the involvement of the SMPP, this peatland area would have become an industrial forest plantation of acacia for pulp and paper, which would have reduced water table levels, resulting in GHG emissions and increasing the risk of fire. The SMPP avoided the emission of over 1.2 million tons of CO2 during the first monitoring period, about 490,000 tons CO2 during this second monitoring period, and almost 63 million tons of CO2 over the project's lifetime. The SMPP is implemented by PT Global Alam Lestari (PT GAL) and Forest Carbon (registered Equator Group PTE LTD).

Algorand is not only carbon neutral but has a positive impact on the environment, which is how every innovative blockchain ecosystem should be in the future. 

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