Recent weeks have seen companies receiving backlash for their investment in NFTs and cryptocurrencies. The ventures into web3 have been met with annoyance, as employees and onlookers question the environmental impact of the move.
On top of that, further disgruntlement is being triggered by the hypocrisy of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) that are often promoted, being left at the wayside for profit.
Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has been one of the companies that have been seen as hypocritical in its ventures.
Despite promoting clean energy vehicles, the company also chose to purchase $1.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency.
The decision to accept Bitcoin was short-lived and controversial. Kimbal Musk has now spoken about the move.
In an interview with TechCrunch onstage at the Ethereum Denver conference, Musk commented: “When we invested in Bitcoin, we were very ignorant.”
He expanded: “We had no idea of the environmental impact, we literally didn’t know, we were like this seems like a good store of value and a good way to diversify assets.
“And of course, it didn’t take very long to get a million — I’m not kidding probably a million — messages telling us what we were doing to the environment.
“Our company is about creating alternative energy futures so we really were not informed enough when we made that decision.”
It is unclear whether the company followed the guidance of the crypto-enthusiast CEO, Elon Musk, without realizing that Bitcoin leads to nearly 37 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is more than the entirety of emissions produced by New Zealand.
In May 2021, Elon Musk wrote: “Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at a great cost to the environment.
“Tesla will not be selling any bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy.
Kimbal Musk offered a more conservative backing of the currency: “I really do not agree with the environmental impact of crypto, but I love what it does.”
The board member seemingly doesn’t regret the decision, but it may damage the reputation of the company in the long run.
LEWIS found that only 19% of GenZers would consider a company that they did not ethically align with. Given Tesla’s recent history with lawsuits around racial discrimination and accusations of a lack of consideration for the environment, the company may be damaging its future.
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