In a world where sustainability has become an overriding priority, organizations are adopting new ways to address the challenges of climate change and environmental conservation. With this in mind, Fundación Futuro has undertaken, through its Zero Carbon Program, an innovative project centered on blockchain technology that can offset carbon footprints and protect forests.

In 2019, Fundación Futuro launched its Zero Carbon Program with a clear focus: to counteract the impacts of climate change. This program was not only focused on decarbonizing the Futuro Group internally, a holding company for leading companies across various sectors, but also sought to finance the preservation of biodiversity and strengthen the resilience of its most vulnerable communities. There has been evident results from this program and its impact is undeniable.

In line with their vision for constant innovation, Fundación Futuro ventured into unexplored digital territory in 2021. Their first technological innovation was carried out in collaboration with Francisco Cuesta from the Universidad de las Américas, with whom they developed a Mechanism for the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of carbon sequestration in forests, by using AI, Big Data and Machine Learning. The next crucial step in implementing the newly developed roadmaps was the NFTree project, which took shape with the objective of connecting the demand for high-integrity carbon offset options and the supply of vulnerable bio-green ecosystems that require financing. The approach that solves several of the current “pain points” in the carbon offsetting arena is based on non fungible token technology (NFTs) supported by blockchain. Fundación Futuro has led Opinno Ecuador in the ideation of a platform that will change the way in which companies and individuals compensate their carbon footprint.

“NFTrees is not just about technology; it’s about making a fundamental change in how companies and individuals can take meaningful action to counteract their impact on the environment,” emphasizes Jose Sanchez, project leader for Opinno Ecuador. “Our partnership with Fundación Futuro has allowed us to merge a bold vision with technical expertise, creating a platform that not only mitigates carbon footprint, but also educates and inspires.”

Fundación Futuro’s vision and leadership at the hands of Carolina Proaño Castro, Director of the Foundation, and Moises Pascual, Director of IT and Digital Transformation at Grupo Futuro, were instrumental to the success of the project. “NFTree embodies our belief in sustainable innovation and shared value with the community,” shares Proaño-Castro. “Collaborating with Opinno Ecuador allowed us to build a digital platform with a real potential for change.”

A project with interconnected stages to ensure long-lasting impact

The NFTree project’s scope was deployed over a series of carefully designed stages to ensure its success and maximise its impact. The process began by identifying a sustainable business model, an approach that laid the groundwork to build the platform from.

Subsequently, intelligence was gathered to shape the desired business model and the technical architecture required to meet business and user needs. These definitions laid the foundation for the development phase, in which the NFTree marketing platform was created.

From a design perspective, graphic and functional standards and guidelines were established to create a uniform user experience and achieve greater impact and platform conversion.

The development phase ranged from building the platform to integrating key elements into the digital environment, certification, testing and going into production.

Creating value

NFTree utilises Web 3.0 and blockchain technology to calculate and offset individual and corporate carbon footprints in a traceable and transparent way.

The platform is designed to help users neutralise their CO2 emissions. For one year, NFTree helps to preserve a specified area of forest in the Mashpi-Tayra Wildlife Refuge in the Andean Chocó of Pichincha. This is where blockchain technology becomes a fundamental element in guaranteeing the transparency and traceability of the carbon and quantifying the impact of these offsetting actions. Once the token has been purchased, the user receives a certificate of digital ownership and authenticity over the area of forest they have decided to offset their footprint. Thanks to the technology, it is guaranteed that the carbon from that plot of land will not be offset by anyone else for a period of one year, and the individual or company can monitor the site in real time.

By incorporating blockchain technology with NFTs, we transform the intangible use of these tokens to adding tangible value: the protection of hectares of Amazonian forest.

“NFTree is not just a platform, it is a reflection of our commitment to a greener future. Using blockchain technology, we were able to map a path to transparency and trust, which is fundamental to an initiative of this kind,” says Moises Pascual.

With a potentially global reach, the project has its sights set on a wider and more sustainable future. “We can potentially include 195,000 hectares that we have mapped using our carbon sequestration capacity map, as well as expanding the platform to include reserves from other projects in Ecuador,” reveals Carolina Proaño-Castro. “And this is just the beginning; the vision is to expand internationally, seeking projects that meet our quality standards and contribute significantly to carbon sequestration.”

With Fundación Futuro’s bold vision, and Opinno Ecuador’s strategic leadership, NFTree has paved the way towards carbon neutralisation and environmental awareness at a local level and it is hoped that as the project continues to evolve and expand it will have a global impact.

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