Save the World: $300 million for environmental causes

Adoption by even a small number of clubs could see up to $300 million being given back to the environment for education and other schemes for the benefit of local communities.

In a small coastal town just north of Brisbane, Queensland, 20 members of the Coolum Surf Club have been participating in an initial trial of the Erth Point System, a crypto rewards platform from the Australian company Rewards4Earth.

Former CEO of Clubs Queensland, Doug Flockhart, told Cointelegraph about his plan to integrate the system through over 1,000 community clubs in Australia.

Flockhart said the National Rugby League (NRL) is “very keen” on the idea and for him, it "confirms the capacity" of this system to deliver. The Australian Football League (AFL) has also expressed interest he added.

The Coolum Surf Club is a small, community-based surf club that's part of an industry struggling with falling revenues. It's hoping the crypto-rewards platform will help the planet and also benefit its members and the club.

Rewards4Earth works by having users create a wallet on an app and link their payment card to use in paying for goods at participating retailers. The incentive for users is cashback rewards with the Erth Points cryptocurrency based on a percentage of the amount they spend. Users can nominate their local club or non-profit to receive the same amount of rewards, too.

With just 20 members chosen to try out the proof of concept, it’s early days for the app. "Out of the 20 people using the app in its first fortnight, $106 was generated in fees by them shopping at their local supermarket," he said. "That was without businesses having been signed up in that area."

Flockhart said that a small increase in the number of members using the Erth Point system could lead to a significant rise in its revenue.

“If just 1,000 of their members nominated that club as their chosen beneficiary, the forecasting suggests it would deliver approximately $150,000 in revenue annually to the club just as a consequence of them going about their everyday shopping.”

Businesses are encouraged to join the platform, as it allows them to use free marketing tools and can help them meet their environmental, social and governance (ESG) obligations. They can also accept Erth Points in exchange for fiat, which they can trade on exchanges.

With the Erth Point system, members and the club itself only benefit from reward systems when patrons are in the club's venue. It is "more global and more community focused" than other reward systems.

“They could be shopping at a participating retailer in New York and sending money as a consequence of that purchase back to a club here in Australia, in turn also helping to heal the planet.”

Rewards4Earth uses the rewards money to fund various environmental causes, including plastic and ocean cleanup, endangered species preservation, reforestation initiatives and environmental lobbying.

Flockhart believes that if the platform becomes widely adopted, it will have the capacity to assist in achieving its goals.

“13.2 million Australians are members of clubs, if just 15% of them or 2 million got involved, conservatively that could deliver $3 million a year in passive income to clubs, plus $300 million to the Rewards4Earth Foundation to do work in.”

According to Flockhart, the system stalled due to the fact that it only covered about half of Australia's population and 50% of club members were 45 years old or older. The initial trails revealed that it is “easy to onboard 25-40 year olds” and “the harder to get on board” are the older demographics.

"We will provide the right resources for clubs to be able to give induction to their members," he said. "There's a vested interest for clubs to do that as they are the beneficiaries. I think that will speed up uptake instead of waiting for it to happen."