ESG & Blockchain: Concordium’s Approach to Sustainability

Wachsman interviews Maria Eisner Pelch, ESG & Sustainability Lead at Concordium.

1. Why is it important for blockchain companies to prioritize ESG compliance?

Like any other technology, blockchains also have an environmental footprint — one that will affect the overall footprint of any company using this technology. There has been a huge focus within the corporate world on ESG compliance, as well as from individuals seeking low emissions and ESG-compliant products. So, although there are currently no obligations for blockchains to report on ESG, like any other entity operating in this world, it’s important for blockchain communities to take care of the planet and its people. 

2. Take us through Concordium’s ESG strategy, what are your main goals?

The focus is two-fold. On one side, it’s about an internal focus on sustainability by ensuring that we find optimal ways to incentivize node runners to use green, renewable energy, optimize tps, and use efficient coding. In essence, we focus on doing everything that supports Concordium to run as green as possible. 

On the other side, it’s about empowering anyone building ESG projects with the safest, greenest blockchain. Here, we focus on building the tools that allows ESG projects and corporations to focus on creating impact. This includes the Agora Impact Marketplace, and supporting projects with technical/engineering support. Our goal is to be the preferred blockchain for ESG and sustainability projects. 

“Focusing on ESG at the infrastructure layer ensures that solutions building on top will have the best prerequisites for positive planet impact.”

3. What are some examples of ESG use cases Concordium’s blockchain is currently supporting?

There are currently three pillars within the Concordium ecosystem around ESG. 1) Green Renewable Energy Certificates, 2) Carbon Markets, and 3) ESG reporting. 

  1. The case of Danish Transmission System Operator Energinet who has built their solution for renewable energy certificates on Concordium
  2. ClimaFi, Carbotanix, upcoming Aqualibre, and others are leveraging the Concordium blockchain to create transparent carbon markets. Several are exploring the Agora Impact Marketplace tooling built by the Concordium Ecosystem, which supports projects with a coding repository to launch their marketplaces within weeks. 
  3. ESG reporting is something that is being explored by Arivu in collaboration with Generation Impact Global. Together, they give corporations the power to prove their green credentials. 

We’ve also explored donations together with WeToo. 

4. If you could propose one change within the blockchain ecosystem to work towards achieving a higher degree of sustainability what would it be?

A complete shift away from proof of work — it’s too energy intensive and harms the reputation of the industry.

5. Given the transformation of blockchain from an energy-intensive platform only a few years ago to a much greener platform today, what future ESG-related changes do you see happening within blockchain in the future?

In the nearest future; I believe there will continue to be a focus on calculating the emissions of blockchains using PoS, but first, a shared standard methodology must be developed. Further, there will likely be an increased focus on energy-effective program languages such as Rust and green coding. Focusing on ESG at the infrastructure layer ensures that solutions building on top will have the best prerequisites for positive planet impact.