Innovation That Matters

Single Earth has developed a platform that allows companies to own shares in land and use these to offset carbon – as long as the land remains undeveloped | Photo source Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash

World’s first nature-backed financial instrument

Computing & Tech

A startup has developed a way to tokenise shares in land, in exchange for carbon offsets

Spotted: Venture capital group Single Earth has developed a way for landowners to earn money for under-utilising their land. Their online platform allows forests, wetlands and other natural areas to generate income by being left alone – eliminating the need for their owners to sell their resources in order to turn a profit. Instead, owners are rewarded for preserving ecosystems.

Single Earth works by tokenising privately-owned natural resources and areas of ecological significance. Companies and organisations can then purchase the tokens and thus own fractional amounts of the lands and resources. Importantly, investors also receive carbon offsets on their token purchases. 

Interested owners can enter their land in the Single Earth marketplace, after which the company sends out biologists to assess the ecological value of the land, and then issues tokens based on this value. Investors buy the tokens and are given carbon offset credits. The tokens will increase or decrease in value over time, based on the value of the offsets, and can be traded like other commodities. Single Earth also monitors the land using satellite and sensor data, to ensure quality is maintained.

Single Earth Chief Executive Merit Valdsalu points out that, “Carbon offset and biodiversity offset are actually markets functioning today, but they are not accessible to most forest owners and landowners.” He added that the returns from offset projects could generate 5 per cent annual returns for landowner investors.

Single Earth is demonstrating a unique way of using blockchain to earn money and preserve nature at the same time. At Springwise, we have seen a number of other ways to tokenise social goods. These include a parking garage that rewards people for not driving and a marketplace that rescues fabric waste from landfill.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

Explore more: Computing & Tech Innovations | Financial Services

Website: single.earth

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