The World Economic Forum’s (WEF's) Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative (MMBI) has released a proof of concept that uses distributed ledger technology to track embedded greenhouse-gas emissions.
The successful completion of the proof of concept – the Carbon Tracing (COT) platform – will be critical in helping to ensure traceability of emissions from mine to the final product, says the WEF.
The founding members of the MMBI – Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group, Glencore, Klöckner & Co, Minsur and Tata Steel joined forces in October 2019 to design and explore blockchain solutions to accelerate responsible sourcing in the industry.
By pooling resources and costs, the mining and metals companies aim to accelerate the future adoption of a solution for supply chain visibility and environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements.
Developed in collaboration with industry experts and supported by the Dutch blockchain champion Kryha and consortium adviser Susan Joseph, it not only tests the technological feasibility of the solution, but also explores the complexities of the supply chain dynamics and sets requirements for future data use.
In doing so, the proof of concept responds to demands from stakeholders to create mine to market visibility and accountability, states the WEF.
“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," comments WEF Mining and Metals Industry head Jörgen Sandström.
This work lays the foundation for the next phase of the development and reinforces comprehensive feedback sessions with stakeholders. It also supports the MMBI vision to enable emissions traceability throughout complex supply chains and to create mine to market visibility and accountability.
"The distributed nature of blockchain technology enables cross-enterprise collaboration and makes it the ultimate networked technology.
"This opens exciting new possibilities that organisations otherwise would not have the capability to deliver on their own," says WEF Blockchain project lead Nadia Hewett.
Anglo American Marketing CEO Peter Whitcutt adds that, by leveraging cross-industry collaboration and the increasingly important role played by technology innovation, MMBI’s proof of concept can help to unlock the potential of blockchain to support a greater level of reporting transparency and drive responsible sourcing.
“This collaboration and practical development of the proof of concept shows us how we can collaborate through new technologies such as blockchain to increase value across the supply chain.
"Working within MMBI allows us to innovate together by creating the beginnings of a new technical foundation to meet consumer trust, reduce risk and offers new opportunities,” says Antofagasta CEO Ivan Arriagada.
Eurasian Resources Group CEO Benedikt Sobotka says enhanced collaboration around blockchain technology is necessary to improve supply chain transparency and reporting on carbon emissions.
"The MMBI’s custom-built blockchain solution will allow customers to verify the environmental impact of the products they use and we are excited to have entered the next phase of the platform’s development,” he notes.