One of the most notable use cases of blockchain tech these days is its role in helping the transition towards green energy-based systems. Blockchain being one of the most disruptive and innovative technologies of this generation is being leveraged in several sectors and is also helping with this transition.
However, a recent announcement from Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company owning brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Pears, Q-tips, and Vaseline, among many others is also set to use blockchain technology to create a deforestation-free supply chain by 2023 also leveraging other traceability solutions that use satellite monitoring and geolocation tracking.
The company has announced some new measures ad guidelines that would help achieve the target of a deforestation-free supply chain along with reducing its carbon footprint and achieve net-zero emissions. In doing so, the company has announced a €1 billion Climate & Nature Fund that will be invested over the next ten years.
Deforestation is another major concern these days along with the harmful impacts of using fossil fuels. Covering around 30% of the world’s landmass, a study suggests that each year a forest half the size of the UK is lost.
According to Unilever, this profoundly rooted problem can be addressed with the use of blockchain technology by recording protected land documentation. Besides this, Satellite imagery can help monitor forest areas and prevent the illegal cutting of trees.
“In most parts of the world, the economic and social inclusion of farmers and smallholders in sustainable agricultural production is the single most important driver of change for halting deforestation,” added Marc Engel, Unilever Chief Supply Chain Officer.
Apart from using traceability and transparency in its supply chain to tackle deforestation, the billion-dollar company will also introduce a regenerative agriculture code for its suppliers and will also initiate water stewardship programs for local communities in the near future.
On this matter, Engel added:
“In the end, they are the stewards of the land. We must, therefore, empower and work with a new generation of farmers and smallholders in order to make a step change in regenerating nature.”
Unilever’s history with Blockchain tech
This isn’t Unilever’s first venture into blockchain, the industry giant had previously collaborated with IBM over the past years on a project that helped Unilever to save almost 2-3% money in ad reconciliation.
Back in 2017, the company launched a pilot program that leveraged blockchain technology to manage transactions in its tea supply chain by increasing the efficiency and accuracy of tracking tea from farm to store.
The popular ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, one of the many companies owned by Unilever, also piloted a blockchain-based retail platform in 2018 that allowed consumers to contribute to carbon credits for a forest conservation project in Peru.