Making the world more sustainable with blockchain | Worldline
Blog / Innovation /

Making the world more sustainable with blockchain

Mathieu Barthelemy

Lead Product Manager Digital Services at Worldline

6 October 2021

Making the world more sustainable with blockchain

Banks and other financial institutions can play a vital role en route to a more sustainable world. Consumers are basing their decisions more and more on sustainability and their impact on the environment. As a pivotal link within transactions and investments, financial institutions can properly inform consumers and retailers about greener options. And with the rise in popularity and possibilities of blockchain technology, they can do even more ...

Blockchain has grown increasingly in popularity over the last few years. Most people probably know it best from the trade in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but the blockchain technology is so much more. Without getting into too much technical detail, it offers, for instance, more safety – as it is practically impossible to commit fraud – and transparency – as all actors in the network have access to the same information.

Together with our sustainable partners, we are constantly looking at new green innovations at Worldline. The possibilities and benefits of blockchain have helped us to come up with two interesting ideas that we are currently exploring.

CO2 Credit

Naturally, there are many ways to make your business or way of living more sustainable. One of these options is to buy CO2 credits, through which you can compensate your own CO2 emissions. You can do this by buying credits from a financial institution, which invests this money in certified green project developers, such as organisations that plant trees or solar power companies.

This is a very promising initiative, but its main challenge is that the end buyer can never be completely certain that his money is indeed invested in a proper sustainable organisation. Even when this organisation has been certified, which was done at a specific point in time, it cannot be guaranteed that the organisation is till abiding by the sustainable rules.

Blockchain technology can be the solution here. By coordinating the entire process from a blockchain network, every actor has access to every step in the process. In other words, due to the transparency, everything can be checked at all times. This way, the end buyer knows for sure that his or her money is spent the right way.

Green rewarding through a local coin

Another concept that we are exploring is the development of local currencies. a currency that consumers can earn when they act in a sustainable way. For instance, they can earn credit by separating their garbage or reducing their waste altogether. Their city will then provide them with specific amount in a local currency as a reward, which they can use to shop at local stores.

I believe this is a very intriguing idea, mainly because all the participating actors will benefit from it: consumers earn extra money, local merchants will experience a growth in traffic and sales, and the city will profit from the sustainable actions of their inhabitants and optimize their costs.

As I mentioned before, these ideas are still in their infancy but I believe they are very promising. As we have the knowledge on blockchain at Worldline, I am confident that together with our sustainability partners, we can play a major role in making our world more sustainable.