The World Economic Forum has teamed up with a range of “leading” companies within the mining and metals sector, establishing the ‘Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative’ as a means of supporting the “responsible sourcing” of raw materials.
According to the October 25th announcement, founding members are: Tata Steel Limited, Anglo American / De Beers (Tracr), Glencore, Eurasian Resources Group Sàrl, Minsur SA, Antofagasta.
Jörgen Sandström, Head of the ‘Mining and Metals Initiative’ at the World Economic Forum had the following to say:
“Material value chains are undergoing profound change and disruption…
The industry needs to respond to the increasing demands of minerals and materials while responding to increasing demands by consumers, shareholders and regulators for a higher degree of sustainability and traceability of the products.”
The ‘Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative’ will see members working together on the construction of a new blockchain platform, which will be designed to ensure a greater level of transparency in the mining and metals sector. It will also feature immutable storage, and immediate retrieval, of tracking and reporting data.
Most importantly, the announcement makes it clear that it is intended for the new platform to provide a uniform framework for companies that work together, improving efficiency through the standardization of different logistical systems.
Whilst not explicitly stated, it can be assumed that the model could potentially be transferred to other commodities based industries if successful.
“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.”World Economic Forum (press release)
Tata Steel is an India-based multinational producer of metals, with manufacturing operations in 26 countries worldwide. It has a reputation of investing into environmental responsibility projects such as ‘The Green School Project’, however the company has its share of critics as a result of job cuts.
On the ‘Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative’, CEO of Tata Steel T.V. Narendran said:
“As a responsible player in the mining and metals industry, we are committed to build[ing] a sustainable future…
leveraging technology to reduce emissions, and conserving the environment is imperative and critical in our journey towards attaining a carbon-neutral future.”