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Samsung using blockchain for reforestation project in Madagascar

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Samsung America plans to plant two million trees in Madagascar by the end of the first quarter of 2022 in an effort to help sequester CO2 from the atmosphere and combat climate change. Blockchain company veritree will monitor the initiative to track and trace the reforestation process.

The urgency to address climate change is ever more pressing, and as much as individual actions are crucial to battle the ongoing crisis, it is becoming more recognized that corporations are the ones with the capacity to carry out real change. As such, consumer behavior is shifting to reflect a demand for conscious and sustainable practices. 

According to a survey conducted by the IPSOS in 2019, 69% of consumers worldwide have changed their consumption patterns due to growing concerns about climate change. Research conducted by Deloitte also shows that consumers are demanding direct action from brands and business leaders in the matter. 

Supply listens to demand, and brands seem to be listening to what consumers have to say and taking individual actions to become more sustainable or improve specific global challenges. 

Carbon offsets, for example, have become common buzzwords in corporate sustainability. Corporations claim to either reduce their carbon footprint, or, as Samsung is doing, present a plan of action to “offset” carbon emissions, often through tree planting. However, measuring how much CO2 has been captured through the trees is quite an abstract concept. And it is a complicated process to measure carbon offsetting practices, which often leads to greenwashing. 

This is where blockchain technology comes in. Blockchain facilitates tracing a project’s development to ensure it is following procedure and helps measure the overall impact of an initiative.

Samsung’s plan is looking to restore 200 hectares of land and sequester over one billion pounds of CO2 within 25 years. Veritree’s platform will support Samsung in collecting field-level data, managing the planting sites and trees, and monitoring the impact of the project. Data will begin being collected from the moment trees are planted and will give consumers more transparency of the entire process. 

“Reforestation is one of the best ways to fight climate change. By collaborating with veritree, eco-conscious brands like Samsung that aim to do good for our planet instead of just less harm can have accurate, ground-level data on their tree planting impact,” said Derrick Emsley, Co-Founder and CEO of veritree. “Our mission is to make it simple to incorporate nature-based solutions into any business model and we’re excited by our strategic partnership with Samsung.”

Meanwhile, as carbon credits become more common and blockchain ability to trace them proves efficient, the InterWork Alliance, including Accenture and others, have been developing blockchain standards for the matter. And IBM developed a tokenized blockchain offering for renewable energy certificates. In regards to tracing CO2 capture, Mitsubishi is using blockchain to track the capture and reuse of it. 

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