WEF Introduces New Blockchain-based Track and Trace Platform

The World Economic Forum (WEF) announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind blockchain-based platform on Thursday, Day 4 of WEF’s Davos 2020 Annual Meeting.  The aim of the platform is to assist businesses, regardless of the industry they belong to, effectively address consumer concerns regarding the environmental sustainability of the products they purchase.

According to a survey by Futerra, almost 90 percent of consumers surveyed believe that their personal actions can make a big difference in the world and look towards the brands they use to help them be more ethical and environmentally friendly by improving their social footprints.

WEF’s new initiative offers the first-ever platform that can ingest blockchain-based supply chain data from several organizations and sources and visualize it on a neutral and publicly traceable site.

Francisco Betti, Head of the Platform for Shaping the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production at the WEF said:

“Transparent supply chains are happening… To help companies respond to consumer demands and not get left behind, we have built the first platform that works across industries to interpret data from different blockchain solution providers. We hope this will accelerate adoption and encourage more companies to join and co-design the technical scope as well as how we tackle tough questions around privacy and how we connect the physical and digital worlds.”

Up till now, supply chain data related to ethicality and eco-friendliness of products was self-published by companies or available from blockchain solution providers. However, these channels did not satisfy the rising consumer demands for transparency.

WEF’s self-service blockchain track and trace platform provides a much needed neutral and safe space for cross-industry collaboration by using both public and private sector inputs to shape the future of traceability, transparency, and sustainability in supply chain.

The platform was created in collaboration with Everledger, Lenzing Group, TextileGenesis, and the International Trade Center (ITC) – a UN organization. Since the platform will be hosted on the ITC’s Sustainability Map site, all participating parties can benefit from the UN’s neutrality, immunities, and privileges. They can share their data freely without worrying that sensitive information will be exposed to external entities.

ITC’s Executive Director, Dorothy Tembo, added that:

“Now more than ever, ensuring a sustainable future hinges on our ability to create reliable traceability and transparency across global supply chains. With many organizations committing to supporting such a future, this effort shows that a collaborative platform for digital traceability is technically possible and has the potential to transform how we think about transparency in supply chains.”

In 2020, the initiative will be moving to Phase 2 as companies like Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), EVRYTHNG and PlataformaVerde join the effort in response to an open call by WEF. They aim to work together to enhance the digital traceability and transparency of the global manufacturing and production ecosystem.

For a full copy of the report, see here.

Mahima Duggal

Mahima Duggal has completed her MA in International Security from the University of Warwick (UK) with distinction. She also holds a BSc (2:1 Honours) in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is a trained journalist who has completed an undergraduate degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Newcastle in Australia. Mahima's research interests involve technology, cyber security, human rights and international development. She follows all things crypto and strongly promotes the use of blockchain technology for social change.

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