TU.1.E || Digital Technologies for a Circular Economy

Walden, Gunther; Adam, Kathrin; Prox, Martina

Going from 51 billion tons of greenhouse gas to zero – consumers demand sustainable products, governments prepare legislation to mandate companies to measure and reduce their carbon footprints and corporates globally face the challenge of doing so. According to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), on average 80% of the product carbon footprint comes from supply chains, also referred to as Scope 3 emissions. This makes collaboration of all participants key to measure and substantially reduce emissions. Measuring carbon footprints along global supply chains is mainly challenged by lack of trust, transparency and standardization. CircularTree’s CarbonBlock is the first solution which helps companies to measure the real carbon footprint of their supply chain. With Blockchain technology, the biggest challenges can be overcome and ambiguity between trade partners is removed. Companies can get accurate, granular, and verified primary carbon footprint data of their purchased materials and products. This transparency enables companies to provide real product carbon footprint information to their customers. It furthermore allows companies to reduce their carbon footprint by e.g. making agreements with their supplier for yearly reduction targets or by choosing suppliers with lower product carbon footprints. Once the technology is integrated into business processes, the architecture allows for automated output updates whenever input is changed. Since all information is stored in a standardized format in the CarbonBlock Blockchain, it significantly reduces the effort between suppliers and customers. The contribution will give insights to the successful pilot project of CarbonBlock with BASF, Porsche and Motherson, winning the Innovation Award from Startup Autobahn. And provide an outlook on the current developments together with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) working on an open, standardized, global framework which can be applied cross-industry.