Ripple and Nelnet have launched a $44 million fund for the carbon-negative crypto industry.

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Ripple has contributed the lion’s share of a $44 million fund to support solar energy projects across the United States.

Ripple, the blockchain payments company, has announced a $44 million environmental, social, and governance (ESG) joint venture partnership with fintech provider Nelnet Renewable Energy to fund the adoption of environmentally friendly solar energy initiatives across the United States.

According to the announcement, the new fund is expected to offset over 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide over 35 years, equivalent to the energy usage of 180,635 homes for one annum.

In March 2021, Nelnet Inc. received a commendable E1 ESG accreditation from the S&P Global Ratings evaluation board for the former’s $9.9-million solar tax equity fund. The project entails the financial backing to build four photovoltaic solar projects in Upstate New York.

The evaluation was assessed across three parameters of environmental priorities: transparency, governance and mitigation, for which the project scored 88, 86 and 80, respectively, out of a maximum of 100.

Ken Weber, head of social impact at Ripple, spoke of the environmental precedent that the partnership with Nelnet could instigate across the broader market:

“We’re excited to work with Nelnet as we pursue our commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of financial services globally and to deliver on the promise of a carbon-negative cryptocurrency industry.”

Weber stated in October 2020 that Ripple practises environmental consciousness by purchasing carbon offsets and choosing sustainable products and services, as well as investing in carbon-removal technology. At the same time, the company announced plans to become carbon-neutral by 2030.

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Ripple joined the Crypto Climate Accord in April 2021, an initiative inspired by the values of the Paris Climate Agreement that has brought together a consortium of 20 firms from the crypto, finance, technology, and energy sectors to unite behind the goals of transitioning all blockchains to fully renewable energy by 2025 and evolving the crypto space to net-zero carbon by 2040.

According to Peter Zhou, chief scientist at VeChain, this is to gain a better understanding of the importance of environmental sustainability measures in this sector.

Zhou shared his thoughts on crypto and blockchain firms adopting open, transparent, and accountable carbon tracking and reporting systems:

“In pursuit of our goal to cultivate a healthier planet through green technologies, we intend to prove that a blockchain platform can support green business and be a truly sustainable infrastructure for companies to build their smart contract solutions from.”

VeChain recently published a report sharing the carbon footprint of the entire VeChainThor public blockchain network, summating that “the total carbon emissions per year generated by VeChainThor is around 4.58 metric tons, approximately 2.4% of the carbon emission generated for mining a single Bitcoin.”

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