WEF tests tracking carbon emissions with blockchain technology

A new proof of concept shows how blockchain increases value across the supply chain.

The World Economic Forum is progressing with its blockchain-based project tracking of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a Dec. 15 announcement, the WEF’s Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative, or MMBI, has released a proof of concept to trace carbon emissions for mining and metals firms. The initiative is a collaboration between the WEF and seven industry companies: Anglo American, Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group, Glencore, Klöckner & Co, Minsur, and Tata Steel.

The project was initially announced in October 2019, intending to build responsible sourcing and sustainability practices using blockchain. The initiative aims to accelerate an industry solution for supply chain visibility and promote environmental, social, and governance requirements using blockchain.

As part of the successful completion of the proof of concept, the MMBI introduced a new carbon tracing platform known as the COT. The platform is using distributed ledger technology to track carbon emissions, ensuring traceability of emissions from the mine to the final product.

According to the announcement, the COT platform was developed in collaboration with industry experts like Dutch crypto startup Kryha and Susan Joseph, a consortium advisor at the MMBI.

Nadia Hewett, WEF’s blockchain project lead, outlined that blockchain has a crucial role in connecting industry companies:

“The distributed nature of blockchain technology enables cross-enterprise collaboration and makes it the ultimate networked technology […] This opens exciting new possibilities that organizations otherwise would not have the capability to deliver on their own.”

Ivan Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta Minerals, said that the new proof of concept demonstrates how companies can collaborate through blockchain to “increase value across the supply chain.”

A number of companies and organizations over the globe have been actively exploring the benefits of blockchain technology for carbon emissions tracking. In April 2020, the International Chamber of Commerce launched its new Carbon Council initiative, using blockchain to create higher liquidity for the carbon market. In October 2019, digital carbon exchange AirCarbon launched a tokenized carbon credits trading platform for airlines and the aviation industry in Singapore.

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