Ripple and Nelnet launch $44M ESG fund for carbon-negative crypto sector
Ripple, the blockchain payments firm, has recently announced a $44-million joint venture partnership with fintech provider Nelnet Renewable Energy as an environmental, social and governance (ESG) collaboration for funding the adoption of environmentally conscious solar energy projects across the United States.
As per the announcement, the ESG fund would offset over 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide in a span of 35 years, which is equivalent to the energy usage of 180,635 homes for one annum.
Back in March 2021, Nelnet Inc. had notedly received a commendable E1 ESG accreditation from the reputed S&P Global Ratings evaluation committee for its $9.9-million solar tax equity fund. The project entails financial support for building four photovoltaic solar projects in Upstate New York.
The evaluation committee assessed it for three basic parameters concerning environmental priorities, including transparency, mitigation and governance. The project had scored 88, 80 and 86, respectively, out of a maximum of 100.
Ripple’s Head of Social Impact, Ken Weber, had spoken of the environmental precedent that the Nelnet partnership could potentially instigate across the broader market.
Weber expressed that they are “excited” to work with Nelnet in pursuing their commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of global financial services and in delivering on the promise of “a carbon-negative cryptocurrency industry.”
Last year in October, Weber had said in an interview with Cointelegraph that Ripple is committed to practising environmental consciousness through purchasing carbon offsets and choosing sustainable products, in addition to investments in carbon-removal technology. Simultaneously, the company had also outlined its plans of becoming carbon net-zero by the year 2030.
In April 2021, ripple had also joined the Crypto Climate Accord, which is an initiative inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement that collated some 20 firms in total for a consortium including sectors like crypto, technology, finance and energy for unifying behind the goals of transitioning all blockchains to renewable energy by 2025. The initiative would also assist in the evolution of the crypto space to net-zero carbon by 2040.
For providing greater insights into the significance of environmental sustainability measures in the crypto sector, Peter Zhou, VeChain Chief Scientist, shared his views on blockchains adopting transparent, open and accountable ecosystems for carbon tracking.
Zhou said that the goal is “to cultivate a healthier planet” through the usage of clean and green technologies and proving that the blockchain platform is able to support green business efficiently. He also said that the firm is looking to establish that it can be a truly sustainable infrastructure for businesses to build their smart contract solutions from.
VeChain has published the latest report on carbon foot[print of the entire VeChainThor public blockchain, revealing that the total carbon emissions each year generated by the network accounts for 4.58 metric tons (approximately 2.4 per cent) of the carbon emission generated when a single Bitcoin is mined.