ESG reporting with blockchain

Published
, 9 minute read

Quick summary: ESG factors have gained significant importance as investors, customers and other stakeholders are increasingly looking out for businesses that prioritize sustainability and social responsibility. Blockchain technology has a tremendous potential to address ESG challenges. Blockchain’s distributed ledger technology can increase transparency, traceability, supply chain management and enable businesses to achieve ESG goals.

Learn how to build Sustainable Food Systems for the future.

Explore how Blockchain boosts transparency, saves money, and reduces waste in the food industry while enhancing compliance and brand trust.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) has become increasingly important for businesses today. ESG reporting factors have gained significant importance as investors, customers and other stakeholders are increasingly looking out for businesses that prioritize sustainability and social responsibility.

There are a number of organizations that claim to stand by sustainable practices, fairtrade and ethical sourcing. How true are these claims? Are the claims accountable? 

Do you know companies that fail to address ESG risks can face reputational damage, regulatory fines and other negative impacts? Businesses that prioritize ESG can benefit with improved risk management, enhanced brand reputation and more access to finance.  

Blockchain technology has a tremendous potential to address ESG challenges. Blockchain’s distributed ledger technology can increase transparency, traceability, supply chain management and enable businesses to achieve ESG goals. Blockchain increases trust between the parties, improves data collection and accelerates the monitoring, reporting and verification processes. Let us explore the ways in which blockchain addresses the challenges of ESG along with real-world examples and promotes sustainability. 

What is ESG? 

ESG refers to the three areas of sustainability that businesses need to consider. This goes beyond the financial performance. The environmental aspect relates to a company’s impact on the environment and how it manages its resources. The social aspect relates to how the company treats its employees, suppliers and customers while the governance covers the management, leadership and ethical practices of the company. It is necessary for businesses to integrate the ESG factors into their decision-making processes to develop sustainable strategies. It creates a long-term value for all stakeholders and contributes to a sustainable future. 

Reporting on ESG and adhering to the disclosures is critical to regulators, investors and consumers. The foundation of an ESG program is built on data. An organization that integrates ESG into its corporate strategy with a relationship between the normal activities and the ESG goals are at a stronger position. 

Do you know that only 9 % of the surveyed companies are actually using software that supports data collection, analysis and reporting on ESG? 

Challenges in ESG Reporting 

The several challenges faced are. 

  • Lack of standardization in reporting 

There is no standardized reporting framework which makes it tough for investors to assess a company’s performance. The ratings and methodologies adopted makes it difficult for investors to trust the data. 

  • Data Sourcing 

Data is integral to ESG reporting. The quality and availability of ESG data varies widely across companies. The data provided is not comprehensive and this makes it difficult for investors to evaluate the performance accurately. Organizations must ensure that the data reflects real-time risks and data remains relevant and timely. In an organization, the various business units should be aligned uniformly when it comes to monitoring and reporting on ESG. 

  • Lack of integration into decision making 

Integrating ESG data into their business goals is still a ‘nice to have’ and is not given the same importance as the financial information of a company. While mapping out the ESG goals, the leadership team should check how it trickles down into the organization and how they are incorporated into the day to day activities. 

  • Greenwashing 

There is always a risk of companies making false claims or misleading claims to attract investors and  enhance reputation. It refers to the sustainable practices or products that ignore their contribution to climate change and the sustainable development goals like pollution and biodiversity. In this scenario, evaluation and performance of companies becomes difficult. 

  • Lack of regulatory frameworks 

There is no global regulatory framework for ESG reporting and disclosure and this has resulted in a lack of transparency and consistency in ESG reporting. 

est reporting, esg with blockchain, esg, carbon accounting, carbon management

How Blockchain helps

Blockchain helps to address the ESG challenges through transparency, traceability and accountability. Blockchain uses distributed ledgers that hold transactional records of data that is secure and immutable. It is an interlinked expanding list of records that is stored across a peer- to -peer network. Every participant on the network can view the information with no single point of failure, thereby creating trust in the system.

In the blockchain network, each node maintains a copy of the ledger which is a record of transactions that have occurred in the network and these transactions are grouped into blocks and are added in a chronological order to the previous existing blocks. These blocks are linked through cryptographic algorithms. The decentralized and distributed ledger renders it difficult to manipulate data thereby assuring security and accuracy of the data captured. 

Verification of transactions is achieved by mutual confirmation among the participants, thereby avoiding the involvement of third parties. The decentralized consensus makes the blockchain immutable. Blockchains can be public or private. The public blockchains have no access control and transactions can be validated by anyone, quite unlike private blockchains that must be authorized by the owners. 

The smart contracts use digital protocols to automatically execute pre-defined processes without the involvement of a third party. 

Benefits 

  • Increased transparency and traceability 
  • Immutable and shareable ledger of transactions 
  • Reduced transaction costs. 
  • Decentralized peer-to-peer transactions 
  • Enables effective monitoring and reporting. 
  • Complies to audits and regulatory requirements. 

Maximize ESG Impact with Blockchain 

Blockchain helps in capturing accurate data, automates reporting and preserves records. It gives the investors, consumers and the other stakeholders more visibility into the company’s practices followed. Let us look into the specific use cases where blockchain makes an impact on the ESG. 

See-through Supply Chains with Traceability 

Blockchains can create transparency in supply chains. Recording of data at each stage in the supply chain on a real-time basis and establishing the immutable record of provenance offers farm to fork traceability. This optimizes supply demand management, enables sustainable production and consumption and builds resilience in the ecosystem

Sustainable Resource Management 

Blockchain platforms collate the data on the resources like water and energy management between the stakeholders helping in more informed decision making and management of resources. 

Increase Consumer Trust 

The tracking of products from source to consumption on the blockchain enables transparency in the entire journey thereby assuring consumers of a quality product. It also helps ESG managers to report on the environmental impact of production throughout the supply chain and share accurate data with the consumers.

Case Study – svojas millets

Showcasing the farm to fork journey of a product brings in transparency about the food supply chain and Svojas was able to build a trustworthy consumer brand

Learn More »

Track GHG emissions 

The tracking of greenhouse gas emissions at each stage of the product life cycle gives the organization an insight into where the emissions are generated and plan abatements  accordingly. Blockchain helps to capture granular data and provide accuracy in their measurement. It also facilitates easy reporting and gives the stakeholders full visibility on the environmental impact of the product. Automated data collection and management of GHG emissions could be realized through smart contracts in order to access real-time and trustworthy data and prevent greenwashing. 

Scale Carbon Markets 

Blockchain brings integrity into Carbon markets. Blockchain helps to track and verify the authenticity of carbon credits and make the trading process more efficient, secure and trustworthy. Blockchain technology can help to streamline and fast track the verification process of carbon credits, save verification related delay costs and make it easy for companies and project developers to participate in carbon markets and reduce their  emissions.

Meet Regulatory Compliance 

The distributed ledger enables all the stakeholders to track their practices and provide accuracy in reporting. The single source of truth provides easy audit trail and helps companies in complying to regulatory standards. Blockchain has the power to enhance corporate reporting by enabling independent sourcing and verification of company performance. 

Streamline finance. 

Blockchain enabled finance platforms can potentially revolutionize access to capital and unlock potential for new investors in environmental projects. Green bonds, carbon trading and other fintech solutions are possible on the distributed ledger. It can seamlessly manage complex finance environments and integrate a number of stakeholders making it easy for projects to crowdsource funds from a number of investors. 

TraceX’s blockchain powered solutions are a game changer in building sustainable food systems. The Farm Management solutions promote adoption and tracking of sustainable practices, end to end traceability brings visibility in the supply chain and  enhances brand trust. The blockchain solution provides a farm to fork story of the entire product from source to consumption, driving ethical practices and accountability. The Trace CO2 module helps companies to accelerate their decarbonization journey and build integrity into voluntary carbon markets. 

Conclusion 

As the world continues to grapple with environmental and social challenges, it is likely that blockchain applications in ESG reporting and investing will continue to grow. It can help companies to accurately report their sustainability practices and allow investors to make informed decisions. It can also facilitate creation of sustainable finance instruments which can help to mobilize capital towards sustainable projects. 

However, there are challenges that needs to be addressed with respect to reliable and accurate data and concerns around data privacy and  security and the need for a standardized framework for sustainable reporting. Nevertheless, in the realm of ESG, the power of blockchain cannot be ignored as it can transform the way we approach sustainability and responsible investing.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Hyperledger private permissioned blockchain.

Data is captured in digital immutable ledgers which provide security and accountability of data . The decentralized platform enables transparency among stakeholders

The end to end traceability builds trust and transparency in the product thereby assuring consumers of a quality product. The farm management solutions help in improving market linkages and demanding a premium for the product.
Start using TraceX
Transparency, Trust, & Success for your Climate Journey.
Get the demo

Download your ESG reporting with blockchain here

[hubspot type=form portal=8343454 id=304874ea-d4e0-4653-9825-707360746edb]
[hubspot type=form portal=8343454 id=b8321ac0-687a-4075-8035-ce57dd47662a]
food traceability, food supply chain

Please leave your details with us and we will connect with you for relevant positions.

[hubspot type=form portal=8343454 id=e6eb5c02-8b9e-4194-85cc-7fe3f41fe0f4]
food traceability, food supply chain

Please fill the form for all Media Enquiries, we will contact you shortly.

[hubspot type=form portal=8343454 id=a77c8d9d-0f99-4aba-9ea6-3b5c5d2f53dd]
food traceability, food supply chain

Kindly fill the form and our Partnership team will get in touch with you!

[hubspot type=form portal=8343454 id=b8cad09c-2e22-404d-acd4-659b965205ec]