Earthchain is a platform that estimates CO2e for different types of situation. Measuring CO2 is the first step in understanding how to reduce it. When your emissions cannot be reduced any further, you should offset the residual CO2 using a good quality carbon offset.
For carbon offsets to be guaranteed to be effective, the projects which issue them must be meticulously verified and certified. Earthchain partners with Gold Standard as our supplier of verified emissions reduction certificates. We buy them by the tonne, and store them by the gram, as tokens on our blockchain.
Blockchain is a powerful technology that enables organisations such as Earthchain to undertake innovative and environmentally conscious projects. As this technology is quite new, you may not be familiar with it, so we’ve provided a breakdown of how it works to give you an insight into how this incredible tech is changing the world.
How we ensure your offsets genuinely reduce CO2 entering the atmosphere
Step 1: You pick a project to support
Once you have calculated the carbon footprint of a specific purchase, you are able to select which certified emissions reduction project you want to benefit when you offset a transaction.
The project you choose will benefit from your offset because it will receive the ‘total offset price’, financing the project. The price to offset your transaction will vary depending on your purchase and which project you wish to donate to.
Step 2: VER certificates issued by Gold Standard
All our projects have been certified by our partner Gold Standard.
Gold Standard is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) based in Geneva, which supplies the VER (Verified Emission Reductions) certificates that Earthchain buys on behalf of our customers.
VERs are effectively ‘carbon credits’ provided by emission reduction projects that have attained voluntary third party approval. One VER is equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2 emissions.
Step 3: Earthchain buys VER certificates
Earthchain buys the VER certificates from Gold Standard by the tonne.
We then use Stellar Blockchain technology to break down that tonne of carbon into grams and tokenise it, allowing you to buy them by the gram, so it's easy for you to offset smaller individual emissions.
Our Stellar Blockchain tokens enable us to track the history of every single gram of the VER certificates we provide, ensuring integrity of the market and preventing double counting of carbon offsets.
Step 4: Earthchain transfers fractions of VER certificates to you
When you use Earthchain you are able to pay for the exact number of grams required to offset a specific emission/purchase.
When a purchase is offset, an ID number will be shown on the certificate we email to you. This is the ID of the purchase of tokenised grams of CO2 from the VER: basically, this is your receipt. This number can be looked up on the blockchain register to prove that your fraction of the VER certificate was transferred to you and debited from Earthchain's stock.
After we transfer the tokens to your Earthchain account, we deactivate them. This means they cannot be exchanged, or bought & sold, they are retired.
Frequently Asked Questions
Isn't Blockchain really bad for the environment?
Some blockchains are terrible for the planet. These are ones which are associated with "proof-of-work" cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin & Ethereum. We chose Stellar specifically because it is one of the lowest energy blockchains in the world. Each Stellar transaction uses less energy than paying by VISA card, and Earthchain bundles operations together to do more in a single transaction.
Why not just use a database?
Blockchains are designed for building ledgers. Ledgers are needed to properly account for value, whether that's money or carbon. Blockchain records cannot be changed or falsified. Every operation must be signed to guarantee integrity and authenticity. The ledger is public and is not controlled by anyone with a vested interest. This is what Earthchain requires to run a credible carbon ledger.
Are carbon offsets greenwashing?
Carbon offsets should only be used after you have measured and done everything you can to reduce your CO2 emissions. They are intended to compensate emissions you are currently unable to remove, or for historic emissions.
Some offsets are effective, but others are not, ineffective ones have not been rigourously audited by an independent organisation to ensure their claims can be substantiated.
Earthchain partners exclusively with Gold Standard, because their approach to certifying emissions reduction projects is methodical, science-led, and fully documented.