February 17, 2022
Digital property metaverse Upland has moved another step closer to reaching its climate action goals by achieving historic zero for its AWS services. This status was reached by employing Carbonfuture’s high-quality carbon removal credits. While carbon removal enables net zero, it is possible to go one step further, removing more than you emit, leading to a climate positive impact. Reaching this status has enabled Upland to take care of the historic emissions of its cloud services usage, thereby reaching historic zero for this part of its operations.
Upland is a digital property metaverse where anyone across the world can buy, sell and trade virtual properties in over twenty cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Each property in the Upland metaverse is mapped to real-world addresses and is represented as a non-fungible token (NFT) on the EOS blockchain, ensuring true ownership to the player.
With the metaverse set to redefine the way in which we interact with each other, how we work, and the way in which the physical and digital world intersect (the metaverse can function in parallel with the real-world economy), it is also certain to have an impact on environmental sustainability. According to Greenpeace, aggregating the electricity use by data centers and the networks that connect to our devices, it would rank sixth among all countries, which is not necessarily bad, but it is significant, and bound to grow. The NFTs, so called Non-Fungible Tokens that use Blockchain technologies and are also employed by Upland’s model, enable trading of unique digital items and keep track of ownership whilst doing so. However, a single Etherum transaction emits large amounts of CO2 and each time an NFT is minted or transacted another block needs to be built on the blockchain.
For this reason, Upland chooses to operate on EOS, a high throughput blockchain software secured by Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) that emits a fraction of the emissions of Bitcoin or Ethereum. Prioritizing sustainability further, in 2021, Upland led a carbon offset of the entire EOS blockchain as part of their initial efforts to address the carbon impact of their metaverse.
For this new sustainability action, Upland’s community played a pivotal role, coming together in June 2021 to raise over $6,000 USD to support future carbon offset efforts. Individual donations were made in exchange for a sustainability badge that appears on in-game profiles. The UPX Podcast additionally contributed all proceeds from a special anniversary block explorer sale to the funds raised. Upland matched each dollar raised and the entire sum was utilized towards the current effort.
“At Upland, we are serious about sustainability being based on three pillars: timeliness, effectiveness and impactfulness. This is why we have chosen swift action, ambitious targets and trackable carbon removal methods,” says Hagan Dietz-Rosales, Special Alliances Lead at Upland.
Upland’s mission is to rebuild the world, but not without a focus on sustainability as a core value. As one of the largest, fastest growing, and most dynamic blockchain-based economies in existence, they understand it is their responsibility to rebuild it in a future-proof way.
“Partnering with Carbonfuture is one step in the direction of sustainability here at Upland.. But we are not done yet, and will continue our efforts until we reach our ambitious goal of becoming a carbon negative business in the near future. While we see the future of the internet as the metaverse, we see the future of the planet in climate action,”says Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Upland, Dirk Lueth.
As a part of their long-term mission to become a carbon negative business, Upland is partnering with Carbonfuture, to benefit from high-quality carbon removal solutions. With their initial purchase encompassing 115 tons of biochar-based credits from a strong variety of projects, the NFT metaverse trailblazer is able to move beyond the status of net zero, eliminating the entire carbon legacy of their AWS services.
“We are proud to be supporting Upland on their carbon negative journey and applaud the fact that they are taking crucial steps towards fulfilling their goal of a sustainable metaverse. At Carbonfuture, we share their conviction behind a tamper-proof, data-driven business model and are all the more excited to be offering our trusted and transparent carbon removal credits as the climate solution equivalent to this core value.” Hannes Junginger-Gestrich, CEO at Carbonfuture
With tamper-proof documentation at the core of their own business model, Carbonfuture’s science-based and transparent approach to carbon removal is what appealed to Upland from the start. Born as a response to the prevailing lack of trust in the carbon market, our concept offers solutions to the most pressing issues facing the evolving industry.
Poor measurement and inaccurate accounting of carbon has led to a lack of differentiation between short- and long-term forms of CO2 storage, as well as inconsistent delivery of supposed durable forms of carbon sequestration. Addressing measurement, Carbonfuture implements a conservatively quantified C-sink duration - the value which ultimately determines the core climate benefit behind a credit. One Carbonfuture certificate therefore guarantees the effective removal of one tonne of CO2 for a minimum of 100 years. Addressing accounting issues, all of our credits are third-party certified and traceable along a blockchain-based digital registry, where they are anonymized and publicly hosted, ruling out multiple claims.
The climate impact itself is achieved through investing in carbon removal credits from a variety of Carbonfuture’s projects - the highest percentage of which stem from an innovative triple-bottom-line project realized by our long-term partner Pacific Biochar in Sonoma County, California. Here, their circular approach to carbon sequestration with biochar, gives forest biomass a second life, reduces catastrophic wildfire risk, produces renewable energy, and helps the climate as well as local farmers. To achieve this multi beneficial effect, residue biomass from wildfire prevention practices is turned into a more stable form of carbon: biochar. Applying this valuable product to the abundant Californian farmlands sequesters the carbon while improving soil health and crop yield - with the benefits being realized for generations to come.
Upland has offset all carbon emissions of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) server usage by purchasing 115 tons of carbon credits. Historic Zero means that all past emissions of server usage have been offset as of Q4 2021. In addition, it means future emissions will be known and compensated permanently hereafter.