Blockchain used to track metals manufacturing

A World Economic Forum initiative brings together mining companies and metal manufacturers to investigate the use of blockchain for sourcing and sustainability.

The seven companies will share the cost of utilising the blockchain technology, which hopes to find an industry-wide standard that is efficient for users.

The technology could be used to track the carbon emissions of products via transparency across the supply chain.

Material value chains are undergoing profound change and disruption”, said Jörgen Sandström, head of the mining and metals industry, World Economic Forum. “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.”

Collaborators in the project include large international industrial conglomerates, including Indian steel company Tata Steel.

As a responsible player in the mining and metals industry, we are committed to build a sustainable future,” said T.V. Narendran, CEO of Tata Steel Limited. “We believe enhanced collaboration across the industry to facilitate collective action, leveraging technology to reduce emissions, and conserving the environment is imperative and critical in our journey towards attaining a carbon-neutral future.”

Joining Tata is German steel and metal distributor Klöckner & Co.

“We need more collaboration in our industry to address supply chain transparency and inefficiencies,” said Gisbert Rühl, CEO of Klöckner & Co. “This blockchain consortium – with collaboration between forwarding thinking companies, and regulators, NGOs and technology providers – with blockchain and distributed ledger technology has a great potential for industry adoption and value creation.”

Minerals companies represented in the initiative include Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group, Glencore International, and Tracr.

Part of the nature of blockchain requires initiatives such as these to work across industry, highlighted Nadia Hewett, blockchain project lead at the World Economic Forum.

“Forward-thinking organizations are starting to understand the disruptive potential of blockchain to solve pain points, but are now also recognizing that industry-wide collaboration around blockchain is necessary,” said Hewett.