Our new partnership will accelerate the responsible sourcing of raw materials via blockchain

The impact.

Seven leading global mining and metals companies have partnered with the World Economic Forum to design and deploy blockchain technology solutions to accelerate the responsible sourcing and sustainability of raw minerals and materials.

Our Mining and Metals Blockchain Initiative, including founding partners Antofagasta Minerals, Eurasian Resources Group Sàrl, Glencore, Klöckner & Co, Minsur SA, Tata Steel Limited and Anglo American/De Beers (Tracr), are designing a blockchain platform to address transparency issues, track and trace materials, report on carbon emissions and increase efficiency.

By bringing together leaders to pool resources and cost, the initiative will increase speed-to-market and improve industry-wide trust.

What’s the challenge?

Rising demand for minerals and materials brings increasing pressure from stakeholders and shareholders for transparent records of the sustainability and traceability of the raw products.

To date, blockchain projects to support responsible sourcing have been limited, often operating bilaterally. The result has been a fractured system that leaves behind parts of the ecosystem and lacks interoperability. With blockchain, a trusted central authority is no longer needed, fostering peer-to-peer networks.

Our new initiative is owned and driven by the industry, for the industry. As this technology is not yet easily implemented, there is a need to focus on creating an industry ecosystem, implementation, common standards, scalability and regulatory processes. Members are examining developing case studies and establishing a working group. The initiative will develop joint proof-of-concepts for an inclusive blockchain platform.

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.

Jörgen Sandström, Head of the Mining and Metals Industry, World Economic Forum

Our approach.

The World Economic Forum, through this initiative, has offered its platform and expertise to help industry leaders better understand the impact and potential of blockchain technology. Our initiative responds to a need throughout the industry for collaboration to develop solutions from which all parties can benefit.

Key areas of collaboration and development within the initiative are set to include carbon emissions tracking and supply chain transparency. Our members will work to use blockchain technology to increase trust between upstream and downstream partners, address the lack of industry standardization and track provenance, chain of custody and production methods.

This initiative responds to a cross-industry desire to collaborate around blockchain technology in efforts to enhance responsible sourcing. By working together, our goal is to develop solutions that can be adopted across the industry and value chain.

Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group

How can you get involved?

The World Economic Forum’s Mining and Metals community is a high-level group of peers dedicated to ensuring the long-term sustainability of their industry and society. Part of the Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of Energy and Materials, the industry community comprises chief executives and chairs from partner organizations. Read more about the community’s top three industry priorities and join their work.

Already a partner or member?

Find out more on TopLink.

Author: Katie Clift, Marketing Communications Lead, World Economic Forum.