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Cleaning up dirty supply chains

How blockchain-powered supply chains can facilitate carbon credit markets (Part II)

Did you know that fashion production releases 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, second only to the oil industry, and more than the impact of international flights and maritime shipping combined? The fashion industry is also the second biggest polluter of water globally. As such, it is an industry with one of the most detrimental ecological impacts in the world. The deleterious ecological impact of the fashion world is staggering, and that is without even beginning to delve into the human costs of unfair wages and unsafe labour conditions as well as the immense waste problem that the fast fashion industry inherently produces.

According to the World Economic Forum, if the fashion industry continues on its current path, it will produce 26% of the world’s carbon footprint by 2050.

Luckily, change is afoot. Research shows that 88% of consumers want brands to help them be more environmentally friendly and ethical in their daily lives. This new wave of consumer demand, wary of green-washing, is driving sustainability and transparency initiatives across supply chains. In order to remain competitive, eco-conscious fashion brands need to be able to prove their commitment to offsetting the industry’s negative ecological and social impacts.

The track and trace functionality of blockchain technology is empowering brands to transparently make provable claims about their carbon footprint like never before.

Carbon Positive Impact

For example, Topl’s blockchain infrastructure allows a fashion company to transparently track and measure their ecological impact, from water usage for crops, to pollution produced through the production line, to transportation emissions. The Topl blockchain can capture any impact, either positive or negative, along a product’s journey, and enable the unique tokenization of that impact.

Carbon Negative Impact

Likewise, Topl’s blockchain infrastructure enables companies (or individual farmers/farming co-operatives) using sustainable farming practices such as crop rotations, reduced tillage, green manure and agroforestry, to both record proof of these efforts and mechanize that impact.

An Integrative Impact Ecosystem

Both companies using Topl’s blockchain infrastructure will produce a unique carbon footprint, the sum total of their respective, unitized impact outputs. While the fashion company is likely to produce a carbon positive impact (a net effect that adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere rather than removing it), the farming co-operative employing sustainable farming practices may be producing a carbon negative impact (meaning the opposite, producing a net effect that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere rather than adding it). What blockchain technology does is enable both to track and uniquely tokenize their impacts. What Topl’s blockchain does, is present one ecosystem for these diverse actors to engage with each other, buying or selling those impact credits.

Topl’s vision is deeply rooted in the following analogy: We are building an entire impact highway system — a connective ecosystem that enables a diversity of vehicles carrying different types of impact to operate across one shared environment, offering a single, integrated infrastructure that enables them to track their impact, tokenize their impact outputs, and connect with each other to securely transact their tokenized, impact outputs.

Topl’s unique blockchain is specifically built for this purpose, with a cohesive, impact-market focus at its core. Already, there is a diverse portfolio of companies tracking and tracing their impact on Topl’s blockchain infrastructure. From agricultural products to diamonds, each asset that is tracked has a carbon footprint that can also be traced, recorded, and uniquely mechanised.

With a growing ecosystem, Topl is looking ahead toward building a marketplace, where these tokenized units of impact can be bought, sold and traded. This makes us well-placed to become the first end-to-end carbon credit ecosystem, encompassing the entire journey of impact from source to sale, where any standard of impact measurement can be mechanized.

Carbon markets, like any emerging markets, require infrastructure. Topl’s blockchain infrastructure is able to accommodate the whole-of-journey approach, from source to sale, of a broad diversity of carbon capture and credit initiatives. While offsetting is by no means the only solution required to tackle climate change, it can be a very powerful piece of the puzzle. Given the severity of the challenges we face in combatting climate change, there is an urgent need to enable the decarbonization of our global economy. All viable options are required to help solve this problem.

At Topl, our vision is set on empowering companies and communities to build a better future, and we’re building the infrastructure to enable them.

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Image Via Business of Fashion

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