Cardano & Sustainability

Cardano & Sustainability have a lot in common…

The UN defined sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Cardano’s blockchain technology has the ability to allow generations to strive and for every single individual to have a part in a global society. From the ground up Cardano is sustainable. Cardano’s core values are Scalability, Interoperability, and Sustainability. 

Cardano’s Sustainable Principles of Implementation

For Cardano, they thought carefully about what factors promote centralization and what techniques could be applied to encourage the protocol to gradually become a public infrastructure like the web. Cardano fully admits that total decentralization is both impossible and perhaps even counterproductive. Yet certain factors can be encouraged to produce a more balanced system.

First principle: have chosen to integrate a treasury system into Cardano. 

Second principle: will deploy a formal process to propose Cardano Improvement Proposals through a system coordinated by Cardano Settlement Layer (CSL) itself. 

Third principle: believe Ouroboros provides an elegant solution.

  • First, while centralized custodianship of crowd sale funds allows for agile and rapid development of the protocol during the early days, eventually funding has to diversify and the speed of development needs to retire to a more systematic and deliberate pace. Following this point, funding needs to avoid cultural, linguistic and geographic bias.
  • Second, as the community becomes more informed about the underlying nature of the cryptocurrency’s technology, decisions about the roadmap cannot be centralized to a set of core developers or foundation. There needs to be a blockchain based method for proposing, vetting, and enacting changes to the protocol.
  • Third, the incentives behind maintaining the Cardano Settlement Layer (SL) blockchain have to be directly aligned with the aggregate desires of all users. We cannot permit a cabal of specialized actors to emerge who are independent of the will of the greater community.

Proof of Stake & Ouroboros

Ouroboros is the first peer-reviewed, verifiably secure blockchain protocol, and Cardano is the first blockchain to implement it. Ouroboros enables the Cardano network’s decentralization, and allows it to sustainably scale to global requirements without, crucially, compromising security. 

The protocol is the culmination of tireless effort, building on foundational research, and is propelled by a vision for more secure and transparent global payment systems, and a means to redistribute, more fairly, power and control.

More about Ouroboros –

Cardano’s Five Principles

People – Working together, we achieve more for the many

Cardano is built by a decentralized community of scientists, engineers, and thought leaders united in a common purpose: to create a technology platform that will ignite the positive change the world needs. We believe the future should not be defined by the past, and that more is possible – and, through technology, can be made possible for all. We measure the worth of a task not by its challenge, but by its results.

Every ADA holder also holds a stake in the Cardano network. Ada stored in a wallet can be delegated to a stake pool to earn rewards – to participate in the successful running of the network – or pledged to a stake pool to increase the pool’s likelihood of receiving rewards. In time, ada will also be usable for a variety of applications and services on the Cardano platform.

Purpose – A platform built for a sustainable future, to help people work better together, trust one another, and build global solutions to global problems

From the incremental to global, Cardano improves how we interact, transact, and create – and ultimately operate as a global society.

Cardano is a fork in the road. It takes us from where we’ve been to where we’re destined to go: a global society that is secure, transparent, and fair, and which serves the many as well as the few. Like the technological revolutions that have come before, it offers a new template for how we work, interact, and create, as individuals, businesses, and societies.

Cardano began with a vision of a world without intermediaries, in which power is not controlled by an accountable few, but by the empowered many. In this world, individuals have control over their data and how they interact and transact. Businesses have the opportunity to grow independent of monopolistic and bureaucratic power structures. Societies are able to pursue true democracy: self-governing, fair, and accountable. It is a world made possible by Cardano.

Research – Pioneering tech begins with groundbreaking research

Cardano began with and has grown through research. Before any technology we integrate is developed, it is specified. And before it is specified, it is researched. That research is peer-reviewed – a unique achievement for a blockchain platform – so that our ideas may be challenged before they are validated.

To build a lasting future, we’ve ensured the durability and stability of every building block

The research – led by leading academics – explores philosophy, sociology, behavior, and game theory. To achieve each outcome, we consider the minutiae of possibilities: the variables that often go unconsidered, but which may ultimately impact the integrity and sustainability of a global, decentralized platform. We take nothing for granted.

Technology – Cardano brings a new standard in technology – open and inclusive – to challenge the old and activate a new age of sustainable, globally-distributed innovation.

“Technology realized through evidence-based science”

Cardano’s technology is underpinned by research. They have redefined what it means to create a global software platform through scientific methods. By not having to compromised on their belief, or in the approach.

To build a better future – secure, sustainable, and governable by the many – Cardano has taken the road less traveled. The result of this effort is a blockchain platform unparalleled in its capability and performance. Truly able to support global applications, systems, and real-life business use cases.

From the incremental to global, Cardano improves how we interact, transact, and create – and ultimately operate as a global society.

Cardano is a blockchain platform built on the groundbreaking Ouroboros proof-of-stake consensus protocol, and developed using the Haskell programming language: a functional programming language that enables Cardano to pursue evidence-based development, for unparalleled security and stability.

Opportunity – The staging point for every new opportunity. Empower your business through Cardano, and discover the future of technology

Cardano provides the template and toolset to a new age of innovation. It introduces leading-edge technologies, models, and methodologies to help individuals, developers, and enterprises discover a new possible, realize change, and enrich their lives. 

Blockchain technology holds the answer to a number of legacy challenges, whether financial, societal, or technological. It disintermediates essential relationships, and redistributes power to alleviate costly dependencies, restrictive paradigms, and inefficient systems of transaction and exchange. Cardano is a realization of this potential. It is a platform with the security, privacy sustainability, and performance standards required to accelerate the mass adoption of the technology, and support a lasting ecosystem. 

Cardano powers new, more secure, and globally scalable solutions. Its technology is continuously improved upon through evidence-based development methods, and guided by a democratic voting system, in which every member has a voice. The opportunity of Cardano is adaptable to your use case. It is an opportunity that creates other opportunities, continuously.

Cardano’s Links to Sustainable Development 

Digital identity- Atala Prism


  • Digital ID
  • Degrees
  • Certificates
  • Transcripts
  • Examinations
  • Badges


  • Digital ID
  • Job Reference
  • Certificates
  • Awards
  • Loyalty Program
  • Invoices


  • Digital ID
  • Civic Records
  • Licenses
  • Certificates
  • Records
  • Awards


  • Digital ID
  • Account Details
  • Asset Ownership
  • KYC Compliance
  • Statements
  • Agreements


  • Digital ID
  • Licenses
  • Certificates
  • Health Records
  • Vaccinations
  • Prescriptions


  • Car Sharing Membership
  • Bus, Train, Flight Tickets
  • Boarding Pass
  • Travel Card
  • Travel Insurance
  • Parking Permit


  • Gym Membership
  • Museum Pass
  • Concert Ticket
  • Movie Ticket
  • Library Pass
  • Zoo Annual Pass

Monetary circulation – Proof of Stake

Using proof of stake for a cryptocurrency is a hotly debated design choice, however because it adds a mechanism to introduce secure voting, has more capacity to scale, and permits more exotic incentive schemes, they have decided to embrace it.

Cardano’s proof of stake protocol is called Ouroboros and it has been designed by an extremely talented team of cryptographers from five academic institutions 2 led by Professor Aggelos Kiayias of the University of Edinburgh. The core innovation it brings beyond being proven secure using a rigorous cryptographic model is a modular and flexible design that allows for the composition of many protocols to enhance functionality.

This modularity allows for features such as delegation, sidechains, subscribable checkpoints, better data structures for light clients, different forms of random number generation and even different synchronization assumptions. As a network develops from having thousands to millions and even billions of users, the requirements of its consensus algorithm will also change. Thus, it is vital to have enough flexibility to accommodate these changes and thereby future-proof the heart of a cryptocurrency.

How Ouroboros Works?

Ouroboros processes transaction blocks by dividing chains into epochs, which are further divided into time slots. A slot leader is elected for each time slot and is responsible for adding a block to the chain. To protect against adversarial attempts to subvert the protocol, each new slot leader is required to consider the last few blocks of the received chain as transient: only the chain that precedes a prespecified number of transient blocks is considered settled. This is also referred to as the settlement delay, and is the mechanism through which the ledger is securely passed between participants.

Ouroboros is a meld of innovative technology and philosophy. Its research explores how we behave as a society, to discover an ideal balance – defined through game theory – between individual and collective interests. Ouroboros’ incentive mechanism rewards participants for their honest participation, and disincentivizes dishonest actors. It is a stable and sustainable foundation for permission networks that are built to endure: the infrastructure of the future.

Sustainable agriculture – EMURGO Trace

Many consumers are not aware of the origin of the products they consume. As health food stores gain traction and demand for fresh, healthy products, blockchain promises a way to help consumers enjoy and understand the farm-to-table journey.

In addition to providing a superior experience to end consumers, blockchain facilitates supply chain management and can increase efficiency and visibility in the product life cycle. Farmers, packagers, logistics providers and retailers can all benefit from increased transparency and communications. 

A few advantages of blockchain in agriculture include:

  • Increasing value of products by providing a superior customer experience
  • Real-time supply chain audits and insights
  • Increased efficiency with greater supply chain visibility
  • Integration with IoT devices to ensure quality control, compliance, and minimized recall damage

Access to health – EMURGO Trace

Securing Health Records with Blockchain

Healthcare records such as EMR (Electronic Medical Records) and EHR (Electronic Health Records) are often siloed in proprietary healthcare systems and are difficult to transfer to new health care providers. Healthcare providers lack a shared protocol for transferring data to other providers. In addition, patients are not in control of their data and often struggle to even access their own records.

Elimination of fake drugs and counterfeit equipment

Providing a way to prove the authenticity of prescription drugs and medications substantially reduces the risk of patients buying or receiving potentially dangerous substances. In many countries, the population does not trust the quality or authenticity of the drugs available on the market. Using blockchain-based signatures, companies can issue products marked with a tag that proves the origin of the product. When combined with analytics, alerts, and third-party verification, this offers a powerful solution to the problem of counterfeit substances.

Supply chain visibility and natural disasters:

Supply chain visibility is the key to maintaining the supply/demand balance under changing market conditions. When a significant event such as a natural disaster occurs, supply chain systems may be interrupted, and it is essential to know where and under what circumstances the interruption occurred. With a shared infrastructure on blockchain, supply chain systems can communicate efficiently and securely while conveying important information about supply and demand across the entire supply chain.

Blockchain as a solution to healthcare record management:

Blockchain-based systems provide a shared infrastructure where healthcare providers can adopt standard protocols for health records while benefiting from tools that streamline

  • Permission to access data & records
  • Record transfer requests
  • Record updates
  • Third-party access management
  • Patient control and access to their own health data

Renewable energy – EMURGO Trace

Benefits of Blockchain in the Energy Sector:

Blockchain offers unique advantages to the energy industry. Energy systems can be customized to provide a common infrastructure built on trust, with increased security and audibility.

There are multiple ways in which blockchain can be employed to facilitate energy the trading, sale, and bidding processes, including:

  • Using smart contracts to automate the real-time settlement of trades 
  • Automating compliance requirements 
  • Maintaining immutable records 
  • Providing real-time trade and marketplace audits 
  • Tokenizing energy, carbon credits, and other securities 
  • Increasing liquidity and market efficiency with fractional ownership

Tokenization of energy, carbon credits, and more:

Blockchain allows companies to tokenize securities and real-world assets, providing companies and investors with distinct advantages to traditional paper contracts.

  • Tokenization of carbon credits allows for built-in compliance and automation, allowing energy companies to trade while saving time on paperwork and manual compliance procedures.
  • Increased liquidity from grid and microgrid energy pricing increases market efficiency 
  • Tokenization of equipment and facilities allows for investments in single product or service lines (i.e. investing in the future revenue of a single geothermal plant)

The traceability of raw materials – EMURGO Trace

Companies across the globe are leveraging blockchain solutions to modernize their supply chains. Smart contracts and trustless automation allow for streamlined compliance, auditability, and cooperation between multiple supply chain participants, while end consumers benefit from increased trust in product safety and origin.

Logistics and procurement is a complex industry that includes the purchase, transport, and orchestration of the movement of goods. The typical supply chain involves many different participants, including financial institutions (supply chain finance), supply chain management professionals and service providers. 

The advent of blockchain technology provides a unique opportunity to improve the efficiency across all aspects of the supply chain. The ability to design a shared system where information can be trusted and shared securely between multiple participants allows for an alternative to siloed data systems where information is not easily transferred to other parties.

Logistics and procurement is a complex industry that includes the purchase, transport, and orchestration of the movement of goods. The typical supply chain involves many different participants, including financial institutions (supply chain finance), supply chain management professionals and service providers.

The advent of blockchain technology provides a unique opportunity to improve the efficiency across all aspects of the supply chain. The ability to design a shared system where information can be trusted and shared securely between multiple participants allows for an alternative to siloed data systems where information is not easily transferred to other parties.

Some areas where blockchain is being applied are:​

  • Automating Import/Export procedures and regulatory compliance 
  • Providing trustworthy tracking data on shipments of goods with blockchain-enabled IoT devices 
  • Improving logistics communication between participants 
  • Automating supply chain finance procedures and reducing settlement time

Luxury Brands

Blockchain is being used across many industries to validate the authenticity of products, track key events in the product life cycle, and improve trust between brands and consumers. The following industries are particularly well-suited to leverage blockchain to increase trust and value to consumers.

  • Designer and luxury brands 
  • Watches, handbags, and clothing lines 
  • Jewelry 
  • Diamonds and gemstones 
  • Liquor & consumables with international consumption 
  • Any product with possibility of counterfeit production

Operation of public administrations – Catalyst

Cardano is defined by its community. Its governance model shows that true democracy – in which individuals are incentivized to play a role and votes are immutably recorded – is possible. It is a way for token holders to decide the future of a platform, and for the community to dictate the use of Cardano’s treasury funds. 

This model and the pioneering technology that underpins it can be applied to any application, system, or even society. It is a blueprint for change that is decided by the many, as well as the few, and which will redistribute power, eliminating intermediaries, to improve the lives of all.

Why Voltaire?

Decentralization begins with the technology – with Shelley – but is only truly achieved when no single entity is in control. The governing principle of decentralization is the redistribution of control: global networks that are defined not from the middle, but by every participant. This is the purpose of Voltaire.  

Voltaire adds the ability for the Cardano community to make impactful decisions about software updates, technical improvements and funding decisions. Known as Cardano Improvement Proposals (CIPs) and Funding Proposals (FP’s) together, these allow the future of Cardano to be determined by its community and funded from the platform’s treasury. 

The era will also play host to a series of experiments, as we discuss topics such as decentralised governance, the dynamics of democracy and consent, evolving Voltaire from research to reality. If Shelley is the foundation of a globally coordinated network without a central authority, then Voltaire will explore the apparatus for shared decision making: the language of decentralization.

The IO Blockchain Sustainability Report


Learn the use cases and ways Cardano is being used on the ground to create a more sustainable and equitable world.