The acronym ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. It’s a criterion which is popular in the world of business and investing. ESG is used to identify risks that may be missed through traditional forms of analysis.
The history of ESG can be traced back to 2004. At that time, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan invited 50+ CEOs of major financial institutions to develop recommendations on how to integrate ESG elements into capital markets. Everyone involved benefited from the move toward ESG, due to its ability to uncover value in areas where analytical methods fall short.
An ESG Global Survey found that asset owners allocated 48% of their funds towards ESG in 2017. This number grew to 75% in 2019, and these numbers are projected to grow to 92% by the end of 2021. This proves that there is a ton of value in ESG investments, both from a socially conscious standpoint as well as a financial perspective.
One of the biggest growing pains for the blockchain sector has been society’s negative view towards the technology. There are many common misconceptions around the effects that this technology has on the world, and for good reason. With the potential to radically alter how our economies, businesses and relationships operate, there is a level of risk that comes with mass adoption, as with any major technological advancement.
Because of this, the technology will never be able to reach its full potential until a blockchain can champion all three areas of ESG criteria. Doing so will not only increase the likelihood of institutional investors, but also real-world user adoption.
This became most apparent after the price of Bitcoin fell following concerns around energy consumption. In during a webcast at the Consensus 2021, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary noted that “everybody’s got to wake up and realize there’s demand [for crypto], but it has to be done around ESG concerns.”
O’Leary noted that any large institution has ESG compliance committees that “have covenants around how assets are made, whether carbon is burned, whether human rights are involved.”
“Everybody’s got to wake up and realize there’s demand [for crypto], but it has to be done around ESG concerns.”
– Kevin O’Leary
Unfortunately, this problem will never be fully solved in the traditional blockchains, such as the Bitcoin network. This is because ESG was never a consideration in the design. However, Blockchain 3.0 has presented a unique opportunity for massive industry change and the solution to these problems is closer than many people realize.
Telos launched as a grassroots network in 2018, with no ICO or venture capital funding. So, Telos founders were never concerned with developing a traditional “sales pitch” for investors or users. Instead, the network sought to solve several major issues that hindered other blockchains. Although not identified at the time, many of these problems were ESG related.
The Telos network has worked to become the most accessible, equitable and efficient blockchain on the market. During this process, the network has naturally grown to become the world’s leading example of what it means to be an ESG blockchain. Whether you look at it through the lens of environmental impact, social responsibility or governance capabilities, Telos comes out on top every time.
Over the years, these characteristics have attracted over 100 projects, integrating the Telos network in a way that continues the mission of ESG initiatives. There are far too many to fit into one article, but we’ll be highlighting some relevant examples below. We encourage our community to check out the rest.
When Douglas Horn wrote The Telos Whitepaper in 2018, governance was the primary issue that Telos sought to solve. This is because the Telos blockchain operates on a protocol known as Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS). Without getting into the technical weeds, DPoS gives community members the power to vote for validators that they believe have a vested interest in the network.
Strong governance is integral for this protocol to succeed, and Telos has proven this with flying colors. Beyond voting on validators, this governance model can be found in every other area of the network’s operations, from funding proposals through Telos Works to protocol and governance amendments via Telos Amend. You can even see this in committee elections and community polls.
This is thanks to Telos Decide, a powerful governance engine that exceeds the capabilities of all other major blockchains. Community members have used Telos Decide to vote on changes in legislature, grant funds to community initiatives, modify network economics and much more.
The equitable nature of the tool ensures that all changes represent stakeholder sentiment in a truly democratic yet decentralized fashion. This tool is available to any developers who want to utilize it in their own projects, making honest governance easier to implement than ever before.
Governance Case Study: decide™ Enterprise
GoodBlock Technologies is a private business founded by Douglas Horn, Chief Architect of the Telos blockchain. They are currently improving the capabilities of blockchain governance with the development of Decide™ Enterprise and the Decide™ Voter Mobile App.
These two advanced user interfaces expand the capabilities of the Telos Decide engine even further. They also improve access for enterprise users and general users. With all of this considered, Decide™ Enterprise and Decide Voter are poised to revolutionize every area of corporate, public or private governance.
As Horn puts it, “Governance is the technology of allowing people to make decisions together. The broader and more inclusive the participation enabled by government, the more people will be able to guide their own government and build consensus about the operation of their societies, without depending on the threat or reality of violence to enforce compliance.”
“For the last two hundred and fifty years, advances in the technology of governance have all been about more efficiently exercising top-down control of the populace. Telos Decide is the first disruptive technology in participatory governance that empowers individuals to better organize themselves into groups that can manage their own governance, without the inherent threat of violence or removal of rights by a government’s existing powers.”
Additional Governance Examples
A recent analysis found that Telos’ energy consumption estimates are lower than any major competitor, even Visa! Beyond estimates, the community is currently auditing their energy consumption and CO2 generation based on detailed reports from all network validators.
This will allow users to accurately predict their energy usage and mitigate it through community approved carbon credit purchases and Telos-based initiatives such as SEEDS, LocalScale, and Corcocoin projects. All these efforts ensure Telos provides the gold standard of environmental transparency in the blockchain industry.
Even with these incredibly low energy statistics, the network is doing more. Members of the community and the Telos Foundation are working to make the network fully carbon neutral. This will be tackled in a unique way that no other blockchain can easily accomplish.
Thanks to the governance that Telos is built upon, carbon neutral funding does not have to come from a centralized body. Instead, community members can vote to release network funds to chain initiatives who will carry out the rest of the process. If the vote passes, Telos will be the only blockchain to go carbon neutral through fully decentralized and autonomous voting. In the meantime, the nature of DPoS lets the community vote for the ethical validators like TelosGreen, a popular network validator that focuses on sustainability.
Environmental Case Study: SEEDS
Consuming less energy or even going carbon neutral isn’t enough when it comes to having a positive environmental impact. Projects must actively find ways to foster environmental regeneration. With all the ESG tools available to developers, Telos has attracted many projects whose sole mission is improving and maintaining our natural resources. This has pushed Telos far ahead of competitors when it comes to environmental impact.
SEEDS is an innovative economic system and cryptocurrency that is championing these issues by using the Telos network.
SEEDS’ unique ecosystem offers tools that incentivize collaborative and regenerative behaviors for the wellbeing of the whole planet. In doing so, the SEEDS community has found a way to create monetary reward for regenerative tasks that are often undervalued in traditional economies.
With over 5000 users, 450 partners, and a presence in more than 88 countries, SEEDS has attracted passionate contributors from all backgrounds. Together they are working towards solving the most pressing issues that our natural ecosystems are facing. It’s no surprise that the project recently received an acknowledgement in Forbes for their dedicated work on protecting environmental assets.
Additional Environmental Examples
Both environmental and governance aspects feed into the socially conscious narratives that surround the Telos network. Many popular blockchains have been described as plutocracies. The criticism is largely due to centralized/elite control, high participation fees, exclusive governance practices and a slew of other barriers to entry. This has resulted is numerous ecosystems that cater to early adopters, making it difficult for socially conscious initiatives to thrive.
However, Telos is on a mission to keep the network and its resources as accessible as possible to any user. The Telos Resource Exchange and Telos Worker Proposal System are both examples of tools that developers can utilize to receive the resources needed to pursue any task. Additionally, The Telos Foundation is a body of individuals that are voted in and funded by the network to support developing projects.
All of this creates an equitable ecosystem that allows socially conscious initiatives to thrive in a way that would be impossible on any other blockchain.
Social Case Study: Lips
Lips is a recent addition to the Telos ecosystem with a powerful and timely social mission. Lips partnered with Telos after an exhaustive search of blockchain networks that could eliminate the risk of deplatforming.
The platform is reshaping the social media landscape in a way that empowers women, non-binary folks, and the LGBTQIA+ community. The creators of this platform set out to create an environment which combats the censorship, harassment and plagiarism that these marginalized communities face on major social media platforms. The platform also gathers data surrounding important social topics which can be integrated into other platforms, creating a more inclusive internet across the board.
The project has already raised over $62,000 in public funding and received features in Mashable, The Daily Beast, HuffPost and Forbes. Lips also won the LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Tech Award from WomenTech Network. Lips is one of the most recognized socially conscious projects in the blockchain space, and one of many being built on Telos.
Additional Social Examples
The 3 pillars that make up ESG initiatives are never going away and will only become more important as time passes. While the criteria from an investment standpoint is relatively new, the principles are not. Environmental impact, social responsibility and transparent governance offer the economic advantages and stability necessary for the world to thrive.
It makes sense that Telos, the most powerful, valuable and impactful blockchain would inherently advance in all three ESG strands. The fact that this happened organically, due to the missions of the community and the projects it attracted only strengthens this fact.
Telos didn’t set out to become the ESG blockchain in a contrived manner, instead, this evolved naturally due to its own intrinsic ESG qualities. Three years of dedicated development has led to over 100 integrations with projects that are reflective of the network’s own ESG characteristics. Without a doubt there are thousands more to come.
As the blockchain industry stands at a crossroads, the lack of ESG initiatives has been the primary roadblock halting mass adoption from institutional investors, major businesses and real-world users. However, this will never be a concern for Telos, the leading ESG blockchain. Developers, investors and community members can rest assured that the Telos blockchain will stand the tests of time, grow with the needs of humanity and accomplish things that haven’t even been imagined.