The World Economic Forum, known as the WEF, is responsible for a variety of projects created with the goal of enhancing public-private cooperation.
One of these projects is the ‘Mining and Metals Blockchain’ initiative, a new project designed to “more accurately trace emissions across the value chain using distributed ledger technology” according to a WEF news release.
This new platform, known as the Carbon Tracing Platform (COT), is designed to trace carbon emissions from “mine to final product.”
The COT platform is still a proof of concept but is continuing to progress since its initial launch in October of 2019. COT is a collaborative effort between the WEF and seven large global companies to “accelerate an industry solution for supply chain visibility and ESG requirements.”
Blockchain and Supply Chain Go Hand-in-Hand
Supply chains can be one of the most important facets of managing a product. Making sure products safely and effectively arrive at the end-user can sometimes be taken advantage of by malicious parties.
In the example of carbon emissions, if the carbon tracing is done by the same organization that is not adhering to proper admissions rules, it would have incentives to lie or manipulate the data to their benefit. Also, there may not be a simple and collective way to efficiently organize all of this data into a singular form.
With blockchain technology, supply chain management can become much more transparent for consumers and regulators. All actions across the supply chain are measured and tracked by a third party before being immutable added to a decentralized ledger.
Using this method, it will be much harder for bad actors to take advantage of the system, as they have less access to inputting and managing data.
When inputs can be freely recorded, all stakeholders can get a truer and more accurate picture of the supply chain. This methodology can also be used to track data such as supply chain carbon emissions.
All stakeholders should welcome increased transparency, as now all parties will have a more accurate idea of what is going on behind the scenes while cutting down avenues of possible manipulation.
As the head of the World Economic Forum’s Mining and Metals Industry, Jorgen Sandstrom, puts it;
“There is an increasing demand for metals and minerals, and an increasing demand for sustainable and responsible and traceable supply chains […] There is a potential to create a full value chain view with downstream visibility, and in partnering with regulators and aligning our work with robust ESG standards, sustainability certification schemes and assurance frameworks”