Published On: November 9, 2022Categories: articleTags:

Last week I received a package through one of the big delivery services and I got an email stating “this package was delivered to you carbon neutral”. As it was not delivered to me by a pigeon* but rather by a diesel van, their claim seems to be a bit odd.

Wherever you read ‘carbon-neutral’ or ‘net-zero’, companies mean that they are offsetting their unavoidable emissions with carbon credits. And we enter a rather opaque domain where the emission of CO2 is offset by a project that sequesters this Carbon Dioxide. Most popular instruments are trees, either by planting them or by protecting trees from being cut down.

These projects are real and it works. At least that’s what we must assume. Because we are told so by a third party verifier. But despite that, some projects that live up to the highest standards according to these verifiers, have turned out to be fake.

So there’s no way currently to independently verify a carbon credit. The well-meaning companies with the ‘zero carbon’ or ‘net zero’ claims can’t and the general audience can’t. This must change because carbon credits in itself are necessary to get to a net zero world.

That’s why the carbon credits that will be generated using ZeroSix’ technology will be independently verifiable. ZeroSix, which was launched last week, will create carbon credits based on permanently shutting in oil and gas. Because as Greenpeace put it: “carbon stored in trees and other ecosystems is not the same as fossil carbon left in the ground”. It’s like ‘just stop oil’ but without throwing soup at art works.

What we designed and built for ZeroSix is a way to store all documentation related to a specific project, in their case closing down a particular oil or gas well, including all necessary signatures in a tamper-proof way using the Interplanetary File System (IPFS). The Content Identifier (CID) of all stored files is written to a public blockchain serving as an immutable proof of the eligibility of the project. This information is then used in the minting process of  an ERC-1155 token, a combination of fungible and non-fungible components, and this token is the carbon credit that can be traded and retired. Each token is directly connected to a specific project and all of its underlying documentation.

Anyone can check this information, independently.

This makes the carbon credit transparent and it is a necessary step towards a better and future-proof carbon credit market.

A future in which companies can actually prove their claims of being ‘net zero’.

So next time your package arrives in a diesel van in a carbon neutral way, you can check for yourself if that claim is true.

*I couldn’t find any reliable data on the carbon footprint of pigeons so it’s only an assumption they would deliver packages with a lower carbon footprint.