Blockchain Tech Startup Offers New Path To Net-Zero Shipping: Carbon Insetting


  • A Dutch company called 123Carbon is making waves in the shipping industry with its innovative approach to reducing carbon emissions.
  • Founded less than two years ago, 123Carbon utilizes blockchain technology to create a “carbon insetting” service specifically designed for global shipping supply chains.

What is Carbon Insetting?

Insetting differs from the more familiar concept of carbon offsetting. Offsetting involves a company in one industry (e.g., steel production) paying for emission reductions in another sector (e.g., tree planting in South America). Critics argue that offsetting can be a form of “greenwashing” if the emission reductions aren’t rigorously verified.

Carbon insetting, on the other hand, focuses on reducing emissions within the same supply chain. It takes into account not just direct emissions from ships (like exhaust fumes) but also indirect emissions across the entire supply chain. For instance, this could include emissions generated during manufacturing, fuel production, and waste disposal.

123Carbon’s Platform

123Carbon’s platform leverages blockchain technology to provide transparency and track the entire insetting process. They issue blockchain-based “environmental attribute certificates” (EACs) that track emission reductions throughout the supply chain. These certificates are tamper-proof and ensure that reductions aren’t double-counted.

Benefits for Shipping Companies

The 123Carbon platform offers several advantages for shipping companies seeking to reduce their carbon footprint:

  • Reduced Decarbonization Costs: Companies can allocate emission reduction costs to other participants in the supply chain who are willing to pay for them.
  • Improved Transparency: Blockchain technology provides a transparent and verifiable record of emission reductions.
  • Focus on Supply Chain Efficiency: Insetting encourages collaboration and innovation within the shipping industry to find ways to reduce emissions across the entire supply chain.

Growing Interest

Since launching their program in January 2023, 123Carbon has received significant interest from companies across the shipping supply chain. They have a rigorous vetting process overseen by Verifavia, a leading environmental accreditation and verification firm. 123Carbon’s success highlights the potential of blockchain technology to play a major role in achieving net-zero emissions in the shipping industry.

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Source: Seatrade Maritime