We’ve discussed the impacts that blockchain will have on supply chain and logistics day in and day out. It’s poised to revolutionize the industry. But let’s take a step back and analyze blockchain’s bigger picture impact and what global adoption could mean for the green movement. Blockchain and sustainability go hand in hand, and leveraging the technology can make all businesses more ethically and environmentally sound.
Do You Know What Type of Businesses You are Supporting?
Thanks to the internet, and especially social media, we are made aware of human rights violations and environmental concerns in record time. As a community of consumers, it is extremely important to know where our goods are coming from and what type of companies we are giving our business to. We see goods labeled with all types of promises and buzzwords, but can any of it be backed up? How do you know that the spinach in your salad is really locally-grown, or that a portion of your purchase is actually donated to charity? The most efficient way to ensure that you are supporting businesses that share your values about ethics is through the use of blockchain, and sustainability, in turn, will be improved.
Blockchain and Sustainability Measures Means More Transparency and Traceability
In today’s day and age, one of the quickest ways to lose customers is through shady business practices. Thankfully, blockchain can help make dishonest advertising a thing of the past.
Blockchain removes the smoke and mirrors and gives you an inside look at what is really going on behind the scenes. When there is more transparency, corporations no longer have the option to withhold information or bend the truth. One of the core benefits of blockchain and sustainability measures going hand in hand is the ability to see all aspects of a product’s history to ensure that your money is going to businesses that have earned it. As per Catherine Early at Ensia, “in the case of human rights and fair work, a clear record of product history helps product buyers to be confident that goods being purchased are coming only from sources that have been recognized as being ethically sound.”
Additionally, corporations will be more likely to implement eco-friendly and sustainable practices when the public can access that information. Being environmentally sound is very on-trend, and, according to research from Label Insights, “76% of shoppers go online to seek out information when they don’t find what they’re looking for on a product’s label. Additionally, 56% of millennials use their smartphone to look up product information while in the store. Why? Because they’re interested in what they eat, they want more information than ever before, and they value transparency.” Anyone not embracing the green movement will undoubtedly have to face public backlash.
Fewer Unethical Practices and Counterfeited Products for Sale
Additionally, added transparency means fewer unethical practices and counterfeit products on the market. The Global Brand Counterfeiting Report for 2018-2020 marked total losses due to counterfeiting at 1.2 Trillion dollars in 2017 and anticipates it will hit 1.82 trillion dollars by next year. The sale of counterfeit products is extremely costly in the financial sense, but the damages could be much worse depending on what is being counterfeited.
Consider the pharmaceutical industry. The impact of illegitimate products there could be more extreme, including patients not receiving the medication that they need in order to survive. According to Rick Leblanc at the Balance Small Business, blockchain and sustainability measures have the “potential to put an end to a counterfeit drug industry that generates an estimated $75 billion annually in sales while being responsible for the deaths of 100,000 people.”
Less Paper Wasted
One of blockchain’s biggest selling points is that it is 100% digital, immutable, and unhackable. That means that any transactions or deals that were previously done on pen and paper can now be executed as smart contracts. Smart contracts eliminate the need for middlemen, while also creating a permanent record of the transaction that is forever posted to the blockchain.
Let’s face it. The vast majority of the world is already digitized, but certain industries (think supply chain and logistics) are still a few years behind the times. Think about how much time, resources, and paper could be saved if they embraced the blockchain revolution.
More Businesses Incentivized to Join the Green Revolution
When it comes to blockchain and sustainability, I envision it spreading across the world in a domino effect. More companies embracing the movement will create urgency amongst their competitors to follow suit. No one wants to be the last to take action, especially in a world dominated by social media where any and all missteps can easily be broadcast to one’s entire customer base.
If you’re thinking about what the relationship between blockchain and sustainability could mean for your organization, get in touch with us to request a demo of our Trace and Trace platform. With blockchain and sustainability so directly correlated, together we can make the world a bit more eco-friendly, one business at a time.