Proof of Concept: Blockchain Traces Emissions for Mining, Metals Companies – World Economic Forum

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The World Economic Forum’s Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative (“MMBI”), released a proof of concept that uses distributed ledger technology to track embedded greenhouse gas emissions.

A collaboration between seven leading industry players and the World Economic Forum, the initiative has hit an important stage of development following its launch in October 2019.

The successful completion of the proof of concept, named the COT, a Carbon Tracing Platform will be critical in helping to ensure traceability of emissions from mine to the final product. With a focus on end-to-end traceability, the COT platform uses distributed ledger technology to track CO2 emissions.

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 future adoption of a solution for supply chain visibility and ESG requirements.

Developed in collaboration with industry experts, supported by the Dutch blockchain champion Kryha and Consortium Advisor 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 utilization. In doing so, the proof of concept responds to demands from stakeholders to create “mine to market” visibility and accountability.

“There is an increasing demand for metals and minerals, and an increasing demand for sustainable and responsible and traceable supply chains, said Jörgen Sandström, Head of Mining and Metals Industry, World Economic Forum.  “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.”
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, said Nadia Hewett, Blockchain Project Lead, World Economic Forum. “This opens exciting new possibilities that organizations otherwise would not have the capability to deliver on their own.”

Quotes from the industry:

Anglo American:
“We are committed to solving the physical challenges of mining and creating value for all stakeholders as defined in our sustainable mining plan” said Peter Whitcutt, Marketing CEO of Anglo American  “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.”

Antofagasta Minerals:
“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”, said Ivan Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta Minerals.

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG):
Commenting on the announcement, Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group and Co-Chair of the Global Battery Alliance, said: “We believe that 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.”

Klöckner & Co:
“We are seeing collaboration in action by MMBI creating the first Proof of Concept using blockchain technology to help securely track, record and monitor emissions data throughout value chains. This is a great step for forward thinking companies to practically address a sustainable future,” said Gisbert Rühl, CEO of Klöckner & Co.

Tata Steel Limited:
“As a responsible corporate, Tata Steel welcomes the opportunity to collaborate and create a sustainable future. MMBI’s Proof of Concept is a first practical step to create a solution facilitated by blockchain technology to reduce emissions and conserve the environment,” said T V Narendran, CEO & MD of Tata Steel Limited.


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