Buying is caring

Buying is caring

We are empowering everyone to turn all purchases into climate action, Poseidon CEO Laszlo Giricz tells the Times of Malta.

Laszlo Giricz

Laszlo Giricz

Blockchain is traditionally discussed within the context of finance, law and commerce. How did you first think of using blockchain as a tool for positive climate action?

Blockchain is widely misunderstood as a miracle solution. It is important to understand that while it is a significant leap into the future, ultimately it is a technology that allows the storing, processing and distribution of data.

We evaluated a wide range of technology solutions for climate action and found that blockchain provides transparency and traceability at a speed and cost not possible before. It provided the perfect solution for our platform.

How does the Poseidon platform work?

In a nutshell, we empower everyone to turn all purchases into climate action.

Everything we consume has a negative impact on the environment. We allow everyone to turn this impact into a positive contribution towards protecting our planet. For example, you will go into a participating store and when you buy a pair of shoes, you will be able to pay a fraction more to support forest conservation – thereby avoiding more carbon emissions than the life cycle of your purchase has caused. In the case of a pair of shoes that is less than 30 cents.

In Malta, we found one of the most developed legal frameworks for blockchain technology

You are running your carbon credits pilot at Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Shop in London. What are your findings from this pilot to date?

What really took us by surprise is that customers not only loved the concept and gladly paid a penny more, but many went above and beyond and paid much more.

What is the money from carbon credits used for?

We use the money to enable those living in remote areas of rainforests to have a sustainable income stream. We channel funds from purchases of carbon credits to sustainable development projects that train local communities in sustainable business practices, like the growing of cocoa or coffee. The projects support indigenous populations so they can be completely self-sufficient going forward.

You have also partnered up with Liverpool City Council to mitigate the city’s climate impact. What initiatives are being taken to transform Liverpool into the world’s first climate-positive city by 2020?

We are working closely with Liverpool City Council to positively rebalance their carbon footprint by the end of 2018. With the help of the Liverpool mayor, we are already engaging with businesses in the city to integrate the Poseidon platform with the goal of enabling everyone to turn every purchase into climate action. The coming two years will be very exciting for Liverpool.

Poseidon markets itself as a leader in the field of ‘blockchain for good’. Are you developing other solutions outside the field of environmental action?

We are starting with the conservation of rainforests and are already looking at the conservation of coastal ecosystems as the next step. We have a research and development arm that will work on environmentally friendly technologies and philanthropy, like the building of medical facilities, will be a part of our mission. Already the carbon credits that we are purchasing address all the 17 sustainable development goals that the United Nations have set out, and we have a goal to do more as we grow.

Last April, the Poseidon Foundation domiciled to Malta. What attracted you to the island?

For any emerging technology, it is always difficult to find a government that fully understands and appreciates the requirements of a start-up in that field. Especially for a blockchain business, which has received bad press as the technology used by cryptocurrencies to transact money without oversight, it is a real challenge to select the right base of operations.

In Malta, we found one of the most developed legal frameworks for blockchain technology as well as a government that sees the true potential of the Poseidon platform and wants to run a pilot of our technology.

You recently spoke at the Delta Summit. What were the main reactions? 

It was wonderful to see that Malta managed to attract such a powerful range of speakers with its main blockchain event, the Delta Summit. It was clear that we had to speak at the Delta Summit and were not surprised to learn that over 3,000 people had registered.

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