Enabling Verifiable Environmental Sustainability through Decentralization
Decentralization technologies allow us to coordinate economic activity in genuinely novel ways, exploring forms of organization that lie anywhere on a spectrum from today’s highly centralized corporations to fully emergent and transparent structures such as blockchains. In this talk, I’m going to show that the technologies allowing us to build decentralized economic entities also enable environmental accounting that is more comprehensive, responsive, and robust than we can achieve using traditional tools. As an example, the work we are doing at Filecoin Green allows storage providers to connect their operations to renewable energy and make public claims backed by robust on-chain proofs. In turn, this allows a client storing data on Filecoin to see not only where their data is being stored but specifically which renewable energy installation is producing the energy required to store it. This enables both human and automated clients visibility into the environmental impacts of their actions and the ability to publicly verify them. These and similar solutions will upgrade today’s environmental reporting practices in which reports are compiled annually and metrics are therefore always old by the time they are used. By delegating environmental accounting to decentralized systems able to reduce and prove their environmental impacts in real-time, decentralized infrastructure will pull sustainability-related information through value chains in minutes, not in months.