Sustainability NNS Proposal

Thank you for making this proposal. I think making the network carbon neutral is a great first step. We have been dedicated to a similar cause at (the first self custody wallet for the IC), and recently partnered with klimadao (the largest crypto carbon credit dao) to make this a reality by offering users a way to purchase carbon credits to offset their txs.

What I would suggest is the IC does something similar to Polygon, where we can do a shared analysis on the network usage, then commit to purchasing enough klimadao credits to make the network carbon neutral.

As we proposed earlier in the year, this would also be a good strategy for the wrapped Bitcoin. But generally we are happy to support this initiative from a product/design/engineering standpoint if approved.

Hello! I recently read the internet computer footprint blog post on devpost.

Is that project part of this proposal, or independent of it? Unless I missed it, it doesn’t seem to account for scope 2/3 emissions.

So scope 1 would be how much energy the Internet Computer consumes directly. Scope 2 would also include the energy consumed by all the datacentres that connect to it (is this known?) and similar externalities, scope 3 would take account of the embodied carbon and full lifecycle of both what it takes to create and what it takes to consume the IC.

My other question is whether the roadmap includes emissions reductions as well as offsets? And do you take account of other impacts like water use in your servers, land use, etc?

Are these areas you’re exploring? Do you have a Chief Sustainability Officer or the like in the roadmap?

Green software and the sustainable web is my area of expertise, so I’d be happy to get more involved.

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Hi @Leamsi! Thanks a lot for the questions. We are still doing a lot of exploration on this topic, but let me try to answer as best I can for now.

The blogpost you mention is from Carbon Crowd. Originally they were not part of addressing the proposal, but since they made that post we’ve been working closely together, notably:

  • They share their knowledge and experience with us about industry standards and modeling estimations
  • We’ll share with them any public metrics that we can, and precise node measurements so that they (and we) can obtain more accurate estimations.

It’s been a super nice collaboration so far. Wrt the scope, we are still exploring how to get the best estimates, what information is publicly available, and what information can be made publicly available if we ask for/tune it.

I don’t want to speak on behalf of Carbon Crowd (but I’ll share your post with them so that they can respond) but wrt roadmap and emission reduction, this is also an ongoing conversation, and one which we are open and excited about, but again still trying to figure the scope of what can be done and how quickly.

Just yesterday we had a discussion about how to communicate updates and progress on this topic, so I’ll be sure to fill you in here as they come.

The main update so far has appeared in the wiki. I know these are not the most precise answers, but at least an update to let you know that we’re consistently working on this topic.


Thank you so much for a fantastic and encouraging response. It sounds like there are sincere efforts going on in the background. I’d share that there is a huge amount of experience built on tracking datacentre emissions, by people like the Green Web Foundation who have a directory of hosts in the millions, maybe even billions, which they rate as green or not in accordance with a methodology you can find on their site. There are also examples like cloud carbon footprint which focuses on the Big Three (AWS, GCP, Azure). Look at the appendix of their methodology to see the metrics they use.

Given the stated goal of ICP is to have tens of thousands of datacentres asap, this will prove to be, along with governance and wealth concentration, the strategic make or break for ICP in the next 3-5 years. Again, happy to help if you want a critical friend with expertise and networks in this area.

Last question! Are there any plans to create a C-level, or C-level reporting sustainability role at Dfinity? Without such strategic leadership, I think it will be hard to rise to the challenge, and by the time it is a pain point, it will likely be too late to course correct.

Again, thanks a lot for engaging!


I come bearing gifts: A report detailing the computation of the carbon footprint of the IC, and a nice summary blog on Medium. I will also keep part of my role on the topic, so there’ll be more to follow soon!


@icpjesse :point_up_2:t3::grin: and a few more characters…


There is a large conservative community of investors in ICP. I don’t think that ratifying beliefs, climate goals, ESG targets, or anything like this does anything but alienate a portion of the community in exchange for some “good guy” points in more liberal settings.

I want this project to make money for me. Convince me that this is good for my wallet, ceteris paribus. If your argument is that the “good guy” points will translate into profits, show me your calculations.

His rage passes description - the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but have never before used or wanted.

  • JRR Tolkien

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Absolutely love this!! Massive congrats on a job well done. Might want to look at the new Software Carbon Intensity Specification released by the Green Software Foundation and on track to become an ISO standard. I think it will become the main metric in the field, and is compatible with your research.



We continued work on this topic and next week will have a chat about things we feel address the requests in @icpjesse’s original proposal.

If you’re in Zürich, drop by and join us at the office to listen in and grab some snacks. RSVP on Eventbrite.

We’ll also be streaming online, so you can join us on Zoom.

It would be great to see you there. We feel that we’ve now set the foundations as a first step in starting a serious long-term conversation about this topic, and we’d love your input and expertise. :seedling: