Blockchain and Greentech: a New Era for Sustainability - Interview with Carlos Gonzalez and Natalia Ruiz

In collaboration with Carlos Gonzalez and Natalia Ruiz, Investment Manager and Managing Partner of Net Zero Ventures
December 15, 2022

We are delighted to have two guest bloggers today: Natalia Ruiz, Managing Partner and Carlos Gonzalez, Investment Manager of Net Zero Ventures

Net Zero Ventures is a new venture fund that focuses on global decarbonisation opportunities and is highly committed to and focused on matters relating to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) – i.e. measuring a business's impact on society.

What is your connection with Finboot? 

Finboot was one of the companies selected by the Repsol Entrepreneurs Fund in its annual accelerator programme. From there, as Corporate Venturing at Repsol we had the opportunity to mentor Finboot, helping to develop its low code / no code blockchain platform, MARCO. 

After that, we decided to become an investor and strategic partner to Finboot.. In fact, we were so invested in Finboot’s solution that we  decided to contract Finboot to provide a blockchain solution for Repsol Technology Lab. The partnership will help us  improve the traceability of samples, which we have now rolled out across many of our facilities in Spain.  

So Repsol is both an investor in Finboot and one of its customers!


Is climate change the biggest challenge the energy sector and indeed the world is facing today?  

Without a doubt, it is the biggest challenge affecting us all!  Climate change matters so much, at so many levels, not just because of the suffering and injustice it is already causing, but also because it will  affect future generations. 

Companies are reluctant to shift to green tech due to a belief that its infrastructure cost is expensive. What can blockchain and companies like Finboot do to change this mindset? 

Energy companies are recognising the transformative impact of blockchain technology. For example, the World Economic Forum, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and PwC released a joint report identifying more than 65 ways we can disrupt how we  manage environmental resources, helping to drive sustainable growth and value creation. It also argues that new global platforms are urgently needed to incubate a responsible blockchain ecosystem rather than specific projects.  

For example  blockchain technology has the potential to improve efficiencies for utility providers by tracking the custody of grid materials. Beyond provenance tracking, blockchain offers solutions for renewable energy distribution.

It is clear we need companies such as Finboot to implement and roll out this innovative technology.

As the world goes digital, reliance on electricity has soared significantly. Meanwhile, electricity production generates the second-largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. 

If adopting green tech is not yet affordable, what initiatives can companies adopt to balance their use of electricity? 

Combining green technology solutions and strategies to decrease energy demand seems to offer the highest likelihood of long-term carbon reductions. Energy efficiency opportunities, such as lighting upgrades, HVAC improvements, on-site energy generation, controls and demand management strategies have the potential to deliver the most positive impact. 

What next-gen green technologies, relatively low in terms of cost, can be adopted?

To name a few: 

- Recycling and waste management, using smart containers, automated food waste tracking systems and automated optical scanning technologies can help sort mixed plastics by separating them from others. 

- Waste-to-Energy. The generation of energy from waste such as material placed in rubbish bins and sewerage.   

- Vertical gardens and farms. The installation of vertical gardens in buildings also helps save energy and creates oxygen from CO2 and new ecosystems for animals, birds and insects. Due to their installation along walls, vertical gardens reduce the intense noise pollution that comes from outside. They also help mitigate the high summer temperatures that come with climate change, resulting in significant savings in energy, heating and air conditioning. 

- Net zero energy buildings. Buildings with net zero energy consumption, mean the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on site or in other definitions by renewable energy sources offsite, using technology such as heat pumps, high efficiency windows and insulation, and solar panels.  

Reskilling can be a great way to get non-STEM professionals involved in climate change initiatives, but what skills are actually in demand within renewable energy companies? What role can blockchain play in this? 

With the transition to net zero underway, more and more companies will need a workforce with green skills, which will require support across a variety of industries. Two main green skillsets are required: 

- Engineering skills for the design and production of technology 

- Managerial skills for implementing and monitoring environmental organisational practices

One of the most relevant skills will be digital literacy. Executives, managers and leaders must have a comprehensive understanding of digital and a fluid digital mindset. They must understand data analytics, software development, cloud computing, blockchain, SaaS platforms, intelligent automation and cyber security. 

Acquiring and pushing these skills will help shape a business strategy that will work towards the digital fabric of the future.

Natalia Ruiz and Carlos Gonzalez from Net Zero Ventures