Sustainable Building Blocks Pt. II
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Oct 18, 2021
by Wes Geisenberger
VP, Sustainability & ESG, The HBAR Foundation

At the HBAR Foundation we believe Hedera is the home for the sustainability economy. We focus on building the economy based on a few key goals:

  1. Help provide an entirely auditable framework, in addition to auditable data sources and actors, for every; GHG emission, carbon offset/removal, and renewable energy source leveraging Hedera as the Trust Layer for sustainability.

  2. Make all ESG Assets, such as carbon removals or emissions, discoverable on a public ledger with a verified link to their auditable source.

  3. Develop markets to create a source for a Global Carbon Price, with the home of the Carbon Price on Hedera (will be addressed in Pt III of this series).


Hedera & the HBAR Foundation are proud to announce the first open source reference implementation of the IWA Voluntary Ecological Markets ("VEM") Standards. This framework includes a Policy Engine for creating digital monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) with an auditable and discoverable link to ESG assets such as carbon emissions, carbon offsets, renewable energy certificates (REC’s), or conservation tokens following the Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) metric.

The outcome of this implementation is that any project building on Hedera will be able to quickly develop an ESG asset that enables a policy driven approach for defining projects like a carbon removal following a scientific methodology and the required auditable data for specific attributes such as the vintage year, geography, additionality, durability, and leakage. These carbon removals will be discoverable, as tokens on Hedera, and auditable to the sub-metric tonne through links to the data used to generate the asset following HIP 19. Ecosystem participants will be able to look up the roles and actors attesting to the MRV data tied to specific metric tonnes. This means when someone wants to prove a specific action, actors can see when devices used to measure were certified, audited, and what scientific protocol is being used for measurement, who implemented it, when the framework was audited, etc. The benefit of this is by defining each complex workflow across actors, data, and their relationship what once was siloed and required complex verification steps can now be audited on Hedera following HIP 19 and HIP 28 and discovered by asset type, down to the specific emission.

How can you contribute? 

  1. Build and Issue: Explore the Guardian Github Repo and join the ecosystem of free and open source builders in the Hedera community in creating new carbon markets initiatives. Sustainability and ESG developers can create sustainability tokens, and help others meet their sustainability goals.

  2. Buy: Offset your personal or company footprint with HTS-based carbon credits from companies building on Hedera. A list of companies building (publicly) on HTS can be found here, please add your name if it’s not already on the list. If you’re still in the planning stages don’t hesitate to reach out to the Hedera ecosystem ESG consultants who can help certify your organization in a more transparent way using Carbon Emission Tokens that are publicly auditable and discoverable following the same standards. To learn more about the quality of carbon credits take a look here.
  3. Spread the word: You don’t need to be technical to help build this community! Every application in the community needs marketers, sales teams, product managers, economists, technologists, and so much more. We’re happy to engage, support, and hear feedback from the community of builders, evangelists, and more, as we work together to build this more sustainable and decentralized future.

Note: As many will point out, there is a stigma about public DLT/Blockchain carbon footprints. The Guardian solution is built on the most sustainable Public Network, Hedera. Due to Hedera's technical and energy efficiency, developers don’t have to worry about unsustainable carbon debts. More can be found on Hedera’s energy efficiency compared to other PoS networks in a report by UCL, a Hedera Governing Council Member.

Some of the initial adopters of the guardian include companies such as Dovu, Reveille Digital Assets, Arkose Energy, BlockScience, ESG Impact, SUKU, & ValueNature.

The HBAR Foundation:
"The open source guardian is the first of many steps in our investments in ESG markets and building the sustainability economy on Hedera. This will be a primary building block for application developers to scale quickly as the world adopts Hedera as the natural choice for scalable and transparent sustainability applications."
– Wes Geisenberger

"Sustainability conversation has become a focal point for governments, private and public businesses, and consumers. While the realization of the urgency of solving sustainability challenges is there, technology-driven methods to do so are lacking. Our goal at Hedera is to empower communities to solve pressing ESG challenges, such as creating high-quality carbon credits supply and traceable and transparent offsets. The open-sourced Guardian project employs best-in-class technologies, such as high-performing Hedera network’s infrastructure and services, W3C-supported identity standards, and IWA sustainability assets framework, to build a best-in-class platform to codify sustainability policies and create digital ESG assets. We welcome everyone to participate in the conversation and contribute to the project."
– Sergey Metelin, Executive Director, Developer Advocacy, Americas

Envision Blockchain:
"As a Hedera Technology and SI Partner, Envision Blockchain is building and implementing best-in class business solutions. We are excited about the release of the open-source Guardian. Our mission is to enable organizations the ability to create publicly discoverable ESG assets. With this type of solution coupled with the Hedera Hashgraph network, we will transform the ecological market industry. We look forward to furthering this community and supporting any policy solution or new feature requests."
– Daniel Norkin, Co-Founder & CEO

Interwork Alliance & Global Blockchain Business Council:
“The InterWork Alliance (IWA) is focused on setting standards for tokenization based on our Token Taxonomy Framework (TTF). Within the IWA, our Sustainability Working Group authored the Voluntary Ecological Markets (VEM) Overview, which standardizes token definitions and contracts in business terms to facilitate collaboration and coding across platforms. Several members of the IWA Sustainability Working Group are actively working on implementations, and we are pleased to see the continued work of Hedera and the HBAR Foundation as they release the Guardian GitHub Repo, an open source implementation of IWA’s VEM Overview. We look forward to continuing to scale our efforts and are pleased to have expanded our network following our recent merger with the Global Blockchain Business Council, the leading global industry association for the blockchain technology ecosystem.”
– Marley Gray, IWA Leadership Council Chair

"Dovu is building the trust layer for carbon offset integrity, which will serve as the basis of our carbon offsetting marketplace. This trust layer will eliminate the risk of fraud and credit inflation and provide users with full transparency into the scientific method. By utilising the Hedrea/Envision Guardian, DOVU can provide full transparency into the minting of carbon credits down to the sub metric tonne, allowing every actor who contributes to be verifiable and all data to be cryptographically signed."
– Irfon Watkins, CEO

Reveille Digital Assets:
“One of the key reasons we chose to develop on the Hedera network is the Guardian. The Guardian allows our solution to provide full transparency of how greenhouse gas emissions are accounted for down to a per unit basis. This is key in validating that the data has been reported to globally accepted standards such as GhG Protocol and the EPA.”
– Richard Dwelle, President

Arkose Energy Corp:
“Arkose Energy is committed to full transparency of its greenhouse gas emissions down to the metric ton. It is vitally important that the data is trust-less and transparent in order to satisfy coming emissions reporting regulations. The Reveille Digital Asset MRV system accomplishes that for us through the utilization of Hedera’s Guardian.”
– Bo Ritz, CEO

ESG Impact:
“Hedera are helping organisations create cutting edge solutions at an enterprise scale, with environmental sustainability at its core. As a global ESG consultancy we have been looking for partner to not only help us with our technology, but our clients, who are governments, corporations and small-medium business – trust, efficiency and sustainability credentials are critical to every ESG solution. The guardian’s policy-driven platform for sustainability assets to me, is one of the most exciting advances in the space and signals a new era with technology driving real environmental impact, at scale.”
– James Cronan, Partner

"Hedera's Guardian enables decentralized, programmatic delivery of real-world data in real time with quality that is verifiable on-chain from source to sink. At BlockScience, we created cadCAD to help Data Scientists develop high fidelity digital twins of complex, dynamic systems. The integrity of these digital twins directly depends on the quality of data that they receive. Guardian, by providing trusted real world sensor data feeds as a service, opens IOT scenarios like sustainable energy markets to real-time simulation by cadCAD-based digital twins."
– David Sisson, Senior Engineer at BlockScience

"ValueNature is excited to be building our biodiversity credit solution on the Hedera open source Guardian. The level of flexibility from NFTs to FTs coupled with device-level edge monitoring, reporting, and verification enables us to trace verified data to a specific ESG asset. As a result the source data of our biodiversity tokens is auditable and discoverable on a public ledger. Implementing the InterWork Alliance metadata ensures that our unique NF assets can form part of the standard-aligned marketplace and creates a new level of granularity that proves the veracity of the data at scale."
– Gavin Erasmus, Co-Founder & CTO

"SUKU Sustain looks to empower brands and customers in the battle against climate change. We allow brands to calculate their CO2 footprint by tracing products from raw ingredients to finished good and, therefore offer differentiated green products with attributes that consumers can view and verify. The Guardian enables us to do this in a transparent, traceable, and discoverable way on Hedera. Additionally, we are looking for ways to empower consumers to participate in carbon offsetting for the products they are purchasing by allowing them to purchase carbon credits and support certified projects."
– Martin Kaczynski, Director of Product SUKU Sustain