How is Creol decarbonizing buildings through blockchain tech?

This Q&A is brought to you by Joshua Bijak, CTO at Creol, which enables any building to become carbon-neutral.

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Here's more about Joshua Bijak, the star of this Q&A: 

My name is Joshua Bijak and I am an electrical/environmental engineer by trade but somehow ended up in the blockchain space 5 years ago. I've built prototypes to MVPs to production grade products of all sorts ranging from High Frequency RADAR, blockchain based gambling, and artwork provenance verification. Now I have been working at Creol as the CTO since 2018 where I build tech that enables any building to become carbon neutral — all verified and backed by the blockchain.

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  1. What is Creol?

    Creol is a company that creates carbon neutral places, people, and products. We offer two products: Carbon offset subscriptions for individuals and businesses to offset their emissions all backed and verified by carbon offsets that are on the blockchain.

    We also have created IoT based hardware for building control that allows buildings to seamlessly and automatically carbon offset their footprints in real time. Not only does it manage its own carbon footprint but its one of the most secure lighting control systems for buildings out there. Did I mention the hardware is free with any subscription? 🙂

  2. Tell us why you decided to tackle building control.

    Building control is something we know quite well, but many products today on the market don't do anything to address their emissions, let alone begin to understand it. And forget about proving or certifying any of it.

    We built Creol to tackle 3 problems at once: bad building control interfaces, insecure IoT, and verifiable carbon emissions reduction. All in one single product. Everyone talks about the aviation industry but buildings make up 30% of emissions worldwide, and there's virtually no legislation requiring that we address these emissions in any way at all. For an interesting figure, it's about 11x the aviation industry in size and NO ONE is talking about it as seriously.

  3. You talked about the drawbacks of today's building control and management. What's your approach to doing it better?

    Our approach at Creol is quite simple: control what you own, reduce what you can, offset the rest. Offsetting should be the last thing you do after you reduce all you can via traditional methods. Our system handles all three for you in a single subscription. No more fancy consultants, no more annoying reports, just realtime proof at all times.

  4. Many people see sustainability as a trade-off with profit. I can imagine this is a significant part of corporate-owned buildings. What do you say to that?

    This is simply untrue in this space as we have started to see in building valuations. Studies from 2019/2020 have shown that IoT based buildings command a premium of around 14%, and "sustainable, eco" buildings are similar ranging 5-15%. This means that not only is green profitable; it can actually increase the value of your portfolio. If you still think sustainability eats into your profits, you just aren't thinking creatively enough.

  5. What are some limitations and challenges with using Creol?

    Big challenges at Creol are, and always will be, carbon offset sourcing. We always want top grade, but more importantly verifiably top grade. Plenty of companies are selling "top grade" offsets. But few can prove it and even fewer still can offer any sort of guarantee. So we work extra hard to make sure we can get our hands on those, so much so that we have gone and started an open organization called COSCA DANGO.

    COSCA stands for Carbon Offset Supply Chain Association, and DANGO is Decentralized Autonomous Non Governmental Organization. It contains 15+ organizations with big names in the consumer markets, governments and high tech eco startups working together to create a completely verifiably carbon offset supply chain.

  6. There are so many companies that claim to provide sustainable building management solutions — why should we trust yours?

    Well that's the best part. You don't have to trust or even believe anything we say. You can just verify it all on the Ethereum blockchain yourself! No need to even believe anything I say as a sales person when you can just verify it.

    Any other offering requires that you trust the entity you are working with to do what they claim they are like procuring offsets, retiring them, etc. Another added benefit of running our entire system on chain is that if Creol flops as a business tomorrow, you'll still have your offsets and you can still prove you own them! Whereas, with any other business, you'll be at the complete mercy of their systems to prove or demonstrate anything to your clients!

  7. Other than Creol, what are some of your favorite tools and resources for fighting climate change?

    Some of my favorites are all stats based (I'm a numbers nerd). Information is Beautiful is one of them. Electricity Map is another to see real-time grid intensities around the world. Work on Climate is pretty cool too.

  8. Any advice for people who are new to the fight against climate change or aren't sure what their place is?

    Read lots and read often; the science is never settled and we discover new things everyday. There is always some way anyone can get involved and there's always something you can do about your own footprint. It may be overwhelming but even small efforts are always appreciated.

Fight climate change in a way that works for you.

💌 Thinking about sustainability can be overwhelming after a busy workday, so we're here to help. Join over 4,000 other busy people and subscribe to Changeletter, a bite-sized action plan that'll take you 3 minutes or less to read every week.
Take action
Headshot of Ash Borkar (a woman with glasses and a cardigan)
"The info is always timely, actionable, and never stale." - Aishwarya Borkar, Change.org
Headshot of Meghan Mehta speaking at Google with a microphone in her hand
"Making social change always felt so overwhelming until I started reading this newsletter." - Meghan Mehta, Google