Tata Steel, six other companies join hands with WEF for responsible sourcing

PTI New Delhi/Geneva | Updated on October 25, 2019

The initiative will work towards experimenting, designing and deploying blockchain solutions   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

The new initiative will explore the building of blockchain solutions

Seven mining and metals companies, including Tata Steel from India, have partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to accelerate responsible sourcing of raw materials.

Geneva-based WEF, which describes itself as a public-private partnership for international cooperation, said the new ‘Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative’ will explore the building of a blockchain platform to address transparency, the track and tracing of materials and the reporting of carbon emissions or increasing efficiency.

Besides Tata Steel, other founding members of the initiative are Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group Sarl, Glencore, Klockner & Co, Minsur SA and Anglo American/De Beers (Tracr).

The initiative will work towards experimenting, designing and deploying blockchain solutions that will accelerate responsible sourcing and sustainability practices.

These companies will pool resources and cost, increase speed-to-market and improve industry-wide trust that cannot be achieved by acting individually. It aims to be a neutral enabler for the industry, addressing the lack of standardisation and improving efficiency.

The intention is to send out a signal of inclusivity and collaboration across the industry. The group will look to develop joint proof-of-concepts for an inclusive blockchain platform. Over time, this could help the industry collectively increase transparency, efficiency or improve reporting of carbon emissions.

Potential of blockchain

The WEF has offered its platform and expertise to help industry leaders better understand the impact and potential of blockchain technology. It will provide guidance on governance issues related to the delivery of a neutral industry platform and the expansion of members.

Tata Steel CEO TV Narendran said, “Our heavy industries are responsible for about a third of global Co2 energy emissions today. To meet the Paris goals, we all have to contribute and joint action that focuses on driving down emissions is needed cross-industry, collaboration and scaling up technology can certainly accelerate this process.”

WEF’s Blockchain Project Lead Nadia Hewett said, “The distributed nature of blockchain technology makes it the ultimate networked technology. Forward-thinking organizations are starting to understand the disruptive potential of blockchain to solve pain points, but are now also recognising that industry-wide collaboration around blockchain is necessary.”

Competitors within the same industry who research and experiment with blockchain or distributed ledger technology are increasingly exploring consortium formation to strengthen blockchain technology knowledge and potential research and development.

This trend is reflected in the Deloitte Global Blockchain survey published in May, where the overwhelming majority (92 per cent) of respondents say they either belong to a consortium or plan to join one in the next 12 months.

Published on October 25, 2019

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