From the outset at ETC Group we have always taken a proactive approach to offsetting the carbon footprint of our company and all of its products, and doing this the right way – going above and beyond what is required to assume our responsibility in helping to combat this Climate Crisis.
We partnered with Carbon Responsible for an independent calculation of our carbon footprint and through our relationship with South Pole, Durrell, and ClimateCare, we have carefully evaluated and selected accredited offset projects that resonate with us as a company. We don’t want to just tick a box.
Durrell is working with local partners IPE (Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas), with whom they have partnered for many years, to restore 5,000 hectares of new forest through forest corridors and agroforestry. The project aims to plant 7 million trees, from over 100 different native species. The tree corridors provide lifelines for threatened wildlife including black lion tamarins, jaguars, and ocelots. In addition, the trees are grown in community-run nurseries and agroforestry provides income for nature-dependent communities that live there.
This grid-connected, run-of-river hydroelectricity plant is built on the upper banks of the Musi River near Sumatra’s port city of Bengkulu. By harnessing the kinetic energy of powerful running water, the Musi River Hydro plant has a total-installed capacity of 210 MW and delivers over 765,000 MWh to Sumatra’s grid every year – that’s enough to meet the demands of over 700,000 Indonesians on average each year!
This two-turbine 14MW hydroelectric power project generates around 94,000MWh of clean, reliable energy every year. This project is protecting local forests, cutting carbon and re-invigorating the local economy. For the first time in 15 years, the region’s homes, clinics, schools, government administrative buildings and businesses have uninterrupted power.
As a disruptive and relatively recent innovation, the social impacts of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, both positive and negative, are still emerging. However, two evolving benefits brought by cryptocurrencies are already evident: financial inclusion and economic empowerment.
Many consider that human bias typical of traditional financial services can play out by discriminating against minorities, whether on ethnic, gender, religious or other grounds. Being free from these biases, cryptocurrencies are entirely inclusive, as evidenced by their growing popularity amongst certain minority groups.
‘Sending money home’ has always been a way that emigrants have helped their families, and some of the poorest countries in the world rely on these overseas remittances. In fact, they can be a meaningful part of national GDP. The incumbent remittance industry charges in the order of $25 billion per annum in transfer fees for funds often used for basic fundamental needs such as housing, education and healthcare. By contrast, cryptocurrencies enable this transfer at no cost, using a smartphone. The result? More and faster economic empowerment for those who need it most.
Being decentralised, and with embedded democratic and inclusive decision-making procedures, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies employ a totally different governance system to traditional financial institutions. This contrast makes direct comparison between the two difficult, and both have advantages and disadvantages. Governance advantages of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies include transparency and traceability. For instance, rather than relying on a selected - and generally exclusive - board to make strategic decisions around risk management and core procedures, the process is open to everyone in the community.
What’s more, it is transparent and all transactions are fully traceable, which is often not the case in the traditional financial system. A governance and transparency challenge for the crypto ecosystem is that individual identities can be difficult to trace, however this will likely change further down the road.