Ben & Jerry’s has launched a blockchain climate change initiative in partnership with Poseidon, that is the world’s first digital retail platform connecting consumers with their own carbon footprint.
The ice cream company, acquired by Unilever in 2000, built it’s brand by making social consciousness central to its strategy. Poseidon Foundation founder, Laszlo Giricz selected Ben & Jerry’s to bring the initiative to the consumer market. He said:
“The carbon market has a high barrier to entry, is inaccessible for the majority of us and is currently not properly managed, so we’re taking that market and making it accessible and transparent,”
Carbon credits is one of the world’s biggest markets, worth €49 billion ($54.7 billion) in Europe alone.
Until now, they could only be bought in bulk by large companies. The tradeable tokens, linked to projects like building new wind farms or planting new forests, enables these companies to offset the greenhouse gases created by their operations.
The pilot with Ben and Jerry’s will be conducted from their newest ice cream ‘Scoop Shop’ in Wardour Street, London. The technology will break carbon credits into microtransactions, allowing every scoop of ice cream to be accounted for.
Utilising the carbon credits issued on the blockchain, the pilot will help to support a forest conservation project in Peru. Poseidon’s white paper states:
“Consumers, led by socially conscious millennials with increasing buying power, want to purchase greener products and invest in sustainable projects.”
Ben and Jerry’s will use the technology to offset the carbon footprint of each product sold, and offer the customer the opportunity to join the company in taking action at the point of each sale. Giricz research has shown that:
“72% of people between the ages of 15 and 20 are willing to pay extra for environmentally and socially responsible products and services”
Poseidon is also developing an app which will help consumers keep track of the carbon offsets they’re buying from retailers such as Ben & Jerry’s, as well as enabling them to calculate and buy their own offsets directly from Poseidon.
On a $3 cup of coffee the carbon offset would cost less than two cents.