PwC, a leading professional services networks in the world has released a research as a part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth series. The research named “Building block(chain)s for a better planet”, was published by the World Economic Forum in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Stanford Woods Institute for the environment says that blockchain could solve planet’s environmental issues. This report emphasized the use of proof-of-work blockchains and it is hopeful about blockchain technology’s impact on the environmental issues.
This study was released at the Global Climate Action Summit held in San Francisco. It is a part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth series, a project by the World Economic Forum. It has also highlighted 65 various ways that blockchain can address global environmental challenges. PwC has offices in 158 countries and more than 236,000 people, and it is one of the leading professional services networks in the world.
Celine Herweijer, Partner, PwC UK, said :
Blockchain applications to transform finance and commerce have been front of mind for business and investors to date. But there is an opportunity for fresh ideas to harness this nascent technology to help deliver big gains for our environment. From transparent and trusted clean and ethical supply chains, to incentivising sustainable consumption and production, or underpinning the much needed transition to low carbon decentralised energy, water and mobility systems.
Researchers identified more than 65 blockchain use cases for the environment by using desk-based research. They also interviewed various stakeholders at the forefront of applying blockchain across the industry, big tech, entrepreneurs, research and government. They also concluded that blockchain technology has huge potential to create blockchain-enabled “game changers” that have the capability to give revolutionary solutions to environmental challenges. These game changers have the potential to optimize, the systems that are crucial for solving many environmental challenges.
Summary of Building block(chain)s for a better planet:
- See-through supply chains: Blockchain can create immense transparency in supply chains.
- Decentralized: It can be used to create decentralized and sustainable resource management. This includes peer-to-peer transactions, dynamic pricing and optimal demand-supply balancing.
- Earth-management platforms: The new blockchain based geospatial platforms will allow a range of value-based transactions and could monitor, manage and protect the global environmental commons such as from life on land to ocean health.
- Automatic disaster preparedness and humanitarian relief: Blockchain could be used to underpin a new shared system for various organizations involved in disaster preparedness and relief to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, coordination, and trust of resources.
Celine Herweijer further said that,
It is important for anyone thinking about developing or investing in a blockchain application for the environment to take a step back and ask three essential questions: will blockchain solve the actual problem, can downside risks or unintended consequences be acceptably managed, and has the right ecosystem of stakeholders been built?
This is not the first time WEF is involved in a blockchain research. A few days ago, WEF and Bain & Company had released a new study which says that blockchain could increase trade finance by $1 Trillion. The study also said that distributed ledger technology is good enough for reducing some inefficiencies in trade and supply chains.
Research further predicted that distributed ledger technology, if implemented properly by all contributors trade ecosystem, could decrease trade finance operating costs by 50-70% and improve turnaround times three- to fourfold, depending on the trade finance product involved. The potential for greater efficiencies afforded by blockchain distributed ledger and other technologies have prompted various financial institutions and corporate enterprises to launch proof-of-concept.
Dominic Waughray, Head of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Global Public Goods said that,
If history has taught us anything, it is that these transformative changes will not happen automatically. They will require deliberate collaboration between diverse stakeholders ranging from technology industries through to environmental policy-makers, and will need to be underpinned by new platforms that can support these stakeholders to advance not just a technology application, but the systems shift that will enable it to truly take hold.
The blockchain based innovation will benefit humankind and planet’s environment but the technology is still at a relatively early stage. This gives an important opportunity for stakeholders to completely ensure the creation of a responsible blockchain. If this is achieved, blockchain can play an important role in allowing new technological solutions to pressing environmental challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity, ocean health, water management, air pollution, resilience and waste reduction.
About the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth
It is a publication series emphasizing opportunities to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental challenges by exploiting technological innovations supported by new and effective strategies to governance, financing and multistakeholder collaboration.