Global Blockchain Business Council’s 2021 Annual Report highlights two areas where blockchain technology could make a difference: building a blockchain platform to track supply chain emissions, and using blockchain-backed recycling processes to reduce ocean plastics. 

Launched in Davos in 2017, the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) brings together innovators and thought-leaders from over 50 countries to further adoption of blockchain technology by engaging and educating regulators, business leaders, and lawmakers on the benefits and applications of this groundbreaking technology. GBBC focuses on the blockchain technology’s ability to create more secure, equitable, and functional societies around the globe.

“The acceleration of innovation over the past 10 months has been staggering”, says David Treat, GBBC Board Chair; Head of Blockchain and Multi-party systems at Accenture. “Moving consumer sentiment and behaviour to a digital, work-anywhere mindset and remote collaboration, typically a multi-year strategy, was achieved in weeks. The legacy debts of our current infrastructures were laid bare and came due as unprecedented scale and performance were required to handle the record volumes of financial transactions, the record numbers of digital communications, the massive challenges to our global supply chains, and the rapid changes to our modes of education, shopping, and healthcare, among other areas.”

Tracking supply chain emissions with the help of blockchain technology

GBBC’s Annual Report, which can be consulted in full here, reads: “Climate change is a global challenge: unless we can slow the pace of change, rising temperatures will have a catastrophic impact on our planet. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a dramatic fall in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020; the challenge now is to maintain this positive momentum. As we rebuild from the pandemic, we have the unprecedented opportunity to build back better. As a result of this global imperative, pressure on businesses to decarbonise is building – from regulators, investors, and consumers. Thus, the need to track carbon and have reliable reporting tools is also gaining traction.”

Known for their focus on safety, performance, but also care for the environment, Volvo and Polestar have begun mapping the wider battery supply chain to understand the embedded carbon footprint relating to the actual flow of raw materials that go into their products. Building on its ability to digitally trace materials and their properties along supply chains using blockchain and other technologies, Circulor is working with Volvo and Polestar to “accurately account for their product carbon footprint using accumulative tracking, as well as accounting for and reporting on carbon offsetting”. Circulor is also working with one of the largest global upstream actors to track CO2 emissions from the upstream end of their nickel supply chain.

Blockchain-backed recycling to reduce ocean plastics

As per the report, “the global pandemic exposed weaknesses in the world’s supply chains, and blockchain solutions became increasingly relevant as consumers demanded more information about where and how the products they purchase were made. In many industries, this type of transparency has become a requirement, with consumers actively rewarding companies that provide visibility into their supply chains and punishing companies that do not. Importantly, creating transparency requires companies to not only determine what information to disclose to consumers, but also to gain visibility into their supply chains.”

Plastics polluting oceans and rivers is regarded as one of the most pressing environmental issues around the world. Given the rising number of spillages, the need for a scalable and decentralized solution – suited especially for developing countries which lack centralized municipal waste collection systems – is more acute than ever. “Using this blockchain-backed chain of custody tracking, plastics manufacturers can utilize postconsumer feedstock in a mass-balanced production process to produce recycled plastic, marketable at a pricing premium above virgin plastic prices. In terms of environmental impact, by creating recapture value for recycled plastics, the system facilitates the removal of recyclable materials from waste streams that contribute to ocean plastics and environmental pollution”, states GBBC’s Annual Report.

One company that aims to tackle this issue head-on is RecycleGO, which is using distributed ledger technology to promote a decentralized waste removal system. The blockchain system has the potential for a compensation mechanism to incentivize individuals to collect and remove post-consumer plastic from waste streams, at which point the material can be aggregated and incorporated into recycled plastic supply chains.

Implementing Modex BCDB in a customizable way

In order to efficiently meet their business needs, companies can pilot a blockchain project with the same ease as if they were buying a SaaS by implementing Modex Blockchain Database (BCDB) into their infrastructures. Regardless of the implementation type chosen, one major advantage of Modex BCDB is that it seamlessly integrates with existing data systems while maintaining business and operational continuity. Another advantage of Modex’s easy-to-use solution, which is seen as a smart approach towards blockchain technology: it doesn’t require the mastery of new technological infrastructures.

Modex BCDB is a patented software solution that appeared at a turning point in the evolution of the data management market to propose a new approach to existing data management mechanisms based on a fusion between traditional database systems and innovative technologies. Modex facilitates the integration of blockchain technology into existing data management systems without requiring a complete infrastructure overhaul, major investments, and lengthy implementation projects. From an integration standpoint, Modex BCDB has been designed with customization in mind, which allows each integration to have a gradual and flexible flow, the course of which is dictated by the client’s specific objective and business requirements. Read more about this here.