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Blockchain backs sustainable methods

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Plans to use blockchain technologies to reward sustainable practices by supply chain companies have been announced at today’s One Planet Summit.

Startups, banks and corporates have signed up to take part in the 12-month project, unveiled by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

Backed by £600,000 of public and private investment, the collaborative team will test different tech tools to assess how they complement each other in monitoring the journey of tea farmed in Malawi all the way to the supermarket shelf. By confirming claims that sustainable methods are being adhered to, financial incentives can be locked in to the process.

The system developed by fintech startups, is being led by Provenance, which digitally tracks food and drink products from ‘origin to supermarket’ on a blockchain. It is joined by HalotradeLandmappFOCAFET Foundation, banking giants, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered; as well as the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Unilever, Sainsbury’s supermarket, and Sappi, in delivering the platform.

“This technology has the real potential to help banks access more detailed and more reliable information about social and environmental impacts in a secure way, throughout the entire supply chain,” said Marguerite Burghardt, Head of the Trade Finance Competence Center, BNP Paribas, one of three banking partners involved.

“This will enable financial institutions to broaden the scope of their financing offers and to propose financial incentives to their customer clients, based on their environmental and social standards.”

Blockchain has been labelled the gatekeeper in the emerging trust economy. It is being used in a number of innovative ways to overcome major global challenges; from improving food safety to providing refugees in Jordan with an easy way to buy products.

Innovators Magazine will have all latest from the One Planet Summit on these pages today.

And you can follow all the events from Paris on social media using the hashtag #OnePlanet

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