Web 3.0 and the metaverse + ESG and sustainability

The emergence of Web 3.0 and the metaverse has created an pportunity for businesses to reinvigorate and harden ESG and sustainability efforts. From greater governance practices to energy savings, Web 3.0 and sustainability can help organizations better align business goals with environmental, societal, and governance goals.

Web 3.0 isn’t immune to bad actors, but it makes efforts to protect against them. Similarly, the metaverse forces organizations to reimagine the rules of engagement for users, including how they collect taxes, govern data, and comply with regulations. A decentralized digital world requires robust security while keeping authenticity at the forefront to minimize the spread of fake information—a problem that’s plagued Web 2.0 since its inception.

A decentralized approach enables distributed ledgers and smart contracts, eliminating the need for negotiations, manual intervention, and mediation. This strategy eliminates power centralization while reducing cost. Additional benefits include enabling multi-dimensional inclusion, reinforcing reliability and traceability, and ensuring the highest level of governance. In addition, having the ability to monitor improvements in energy efficiency is critical to sustaining Web 3.0 and the metaverse.

Another way Web 3.0 and the metaverse impact sustainability is by considerably reducing the need for human travel. As a result, we’ll see less traffic, fewer accidents, and less pollution, consequently reducing global warming. The metaverse will also help reduce pollution caused by job-related activities. For example, governments might conduct military training activities, such as pilots flying warplanes, in the virtual world in the metaverse, lowering emissions.

Reducing the impact of metaverse-powering datacenters is a priority for top companies, including Google and Microsoft, that commit to carbon reduction targets. For example, Google aims to operate on carbon-free energy across its data centers by 2030. And Microsoft will be carbon-negative by the same year and is committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2025 to power its operations. Turning to blockchain, energy efficient alternatives to proof of work (PoW) are gaining momentum.

Ethereum 2.0 will eliminate PoW in favor of proof of stake (PoS), using approximately 99.95% less energy than the current standard.

As organizations rush to Web 3.0 and the metaverse, it’s critical to understand the potential impact on ESG and sustainability efforts and recognize this opportunity to get it right for good.

Web 3.0 and the metaverse + ESG and sustainability

Use case in action

Teach a man to fish

Fishcoin is a peer-to-peer network that enables independent industry stakeholders to use the power of blockchain. It works as a decentralized ecosystem that incentivizes data capture. This way, an ecosystem of companies and third-party developers benefit by adding value to the network.

Using an incentivization model, Fishcoin encourages seafood supply chain takeholders to exchange data from the point of harvest to consumption. This business model increases revenue for fishers, but it fosters sustainability through biodiversity protection and food waste reduction. Along with connecting fragmented seafood supply chains, the network stakeholders access a shared protocol with secure, authentic, and trusted data.

Web 3.0 and the metaverse + ESG and sustainability

Use case in action

Deliver ESG goals with decentralized programs

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is a humanitarian organization that delivers food and nutrition assistance to communities in times of emergency. To streamline distribution and secure money transfer, it uses DeFi protocols to eliminate the need for cash and empower refugees who often have no access to financial institutions. DeFi enables financial applications built on blockchain technology to design smart contracts, eliminating intermediaries. The WFP uses it to create custodian wallets on behalf of the beneficiary to enable the transfer of digital vouchers between the beneficiary and merchant, reducing transaction fees by 98%.