The COVID-19 pandemic badly affected businesses, societies and everything that is close to people’s lives. Lockdowns, travel restrictions and economic downturns have created many socio-economic problems such as higher unemployment rates, bankruptcy of small businesses and more. These problems are destabilizing for society, and it resulted in many people questioning, “how can we move forward in the best way possible?” while sustainability has become the buzzword.

Encouraging sustainable practices is not new. The Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) framework has been rolled out for years as a metric to measure firms’ sustainability. With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in increased awareness regarding sustainability amongst consumers, the ESG framework has taken on a newfound importance. According to a research done by Moody’s, inflow of institutional and retail investors to ESG products increased by 140% in 2020 compared to 2019. 

Most investors have yet to adopt the ESG criteria in their evaluation of blockchain projects or digital currencies, likely due to the relative infancy of the industry. Nevertheless, Binance tries to stay ahead of the market trend by ensuring that the organization fulfills the standards set out in all aspects of ESG. Binance believes that adopting ESG practices would ultimately benefit the users and the entire blockchain industry in the long term.

Existing ESG practices in Binance include:

  • Committing to environmental conservation and protection
  • Increasing women’s representation and empowerment
  • Facilitating financial inclusion
  • Leveraging blockchain technology for social responsibility
  • Zero-tolerance policy for any form of corruption, including insider trading

Commitment to the environment

There are concerns regarding the environmental impacts of Bitcoin mining. Binance recognizes the environmental problems and is actively seeking climate-friendly blockchain solutions. To reduce the consumption of energy, the Binance ecosystem created and uses one of the biggest green blockchains, the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).

Samy Karim, BSC Ecosystem Coordinator, said, “If the Bitcoin network consumes approximately 113.89 terawatts per hour per year (TWh/year) and the traditional banking systems consume 263.72 TWh/yr, Binance Smart Chain consumes less than 1% of it.”

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Binance has also been proactive when it comes to environmental conservation and protection. Binance Charity launched the Tree Millions Alliance in September 2021. It is an NFT tree planting project that aims to plant 10 million trees worldwide. 

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO of Binance, said, “Tree Millions is just one step towards mitigating our impact on the natural world; we’ll keep innovating and collaborating to reduce this further.”

Women empowerment

Women often face difficulties finding jobs in the blockchain industry for a number of reasons. Binance challenges the norms by providing ample employment and empowerment opportunities for women. In the past year alone, Binance’s female workforce has grown by 83%. Such efforts align with Binance’s strong belief in diversity and inclusivity. 

At the leadership level, female representation is also very promising. Currently, over 33% of Binance’s leadership team is women, with more women receiving promotions and leadership appointments on a regular basis. This is double the percentage recorded in FinTech companies, according to Deloitte.

Financial inclusion

Binance’s mission is to increase the freedom of money, regardless of one’s geographical location or social status, through the use of blockchain and crypto. To achieve this mission, Binance is dedicated to educating cryptocurrency users worldwide to drive blockchain adoption and enable greater accessibility. 

Binance Academy, the education arm of Binance, provides easy-to-understand content for free. It is accessible in 15 languages and caters to different experience levels by providing content that ranges from basic to advanced topics.

Binance’s free crypto education initiatives also include the Binance Masterclass. In the Africa region alone, Binance has provided more than 400,000 Africans with proper blockchain and cryptocurrency-related education lessons by running Masterclasses.

Blockchain for social responsibility

On the social responsibility front, Binance set up the Binance Charity Foundation (BCF), which is aimed at tackling the social issues plaguing the world. More specifically, the mission of BCF comes down to the advancement of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development goals. 

This mission led to the introduction of many philanthropic projects, including the Pink Care Token (PCAT). Through sponsoring feminine hygiene products in developing regions, PCAT intended to reduce the gender gap. To date, PCAT has helped over 10,000 young women, with Binance Charity planning to scale up these efforts to reach 5 million or more individuals in need.

Zero-tolerance for corruption

Last but not least, Binance has enlisted a strict zero-tolerance policy for corruption, which includes trading restrictions for the company’s employees. Strict internal policies against corruption align with most investors’ priorities. According to a survey from 2020, anti-corruption was found to be the utmost ESG priority for institutional investors.

Pioneering ESG practices

Binance continues to pride themselves as a pioneer in ESG practices, although they recognize that much more can be done. The team has resolved to deepen its existing efforts in environmental conservation, elimination of gender gap, facilitating financial inclusion and further improving its corporate governance policies.

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