Are these chocolate really fair trade certified? How do I know this restaurant is really using responsibly-sourced seafood?
With a plethora of environmental and social problems today, a growing number of consumers are seeking out for more sustainable products that minimize negative impacts on people and the planet.
In March 2018, Starbucks faced criticism and mounting consumer pressure over whether its cups are made from sustainable or biodegradable materials — a petition with over 1 million signatures urging the coffee giant to honor the promise it made 10 years ago to develop recyclable cup. By July 2018, Starbucks announced that they are eliminating plastic straws from its stores worldwide by replacing them with fully recyclable sippy cups. This change will help eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws globally per year.
Research also shows that many shoppers rely heavily on labels and certifications as a quick and easy way to identify more responsibly made products without having to become supply chain experts.
A report by Business and Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) outlines how Asia will offer economic opportunities worth more than US$5 trillion by 2030 in the sustainability space, bringing momentous social and environmental benefits.
As sustainability goes mainstream, the number of different schemes and voluntary initiatives has grown exponentially in recent years. The Ecolabel Index, the largest global directory of ecolabels, currently lists over 460 labels in 25 different sectors. Most of these have emerged in the past two decades. But are they any good?
Transparency in our supply chains is no longer a choice but a corporate responsibility as the demand for fair trade, ethically sourced and sustainable materials continue to grow. Consumers know very little about the supply chain of the products that they consume as the products flow from producers to suppliers to retailers. Making informed purchasing decisions is difficult and few know how to actively support those working towards a world of sustainable trade. The status quo has problems such as lack of transparency and confidence in the information provided to consumers, plus consumers are unable to play an active role in shaping how businesses operate and ensuring higher standards of social responsibility.
Blockchain is shifting the relationship between consumer and business, as the former can now easily hold the latter accountable by interacting with the blockchain. Blockchain technology can be leveraged to decentralize trust in supply chains and bring measurable benefits and transparency of data across the public and private sectors, while at the same time encourage consumer participation in the supply chain. The distributed database holds records of digital certification data or events in a way that makes them tamper-resistant. While many users may access, inspect, or add to the data, they can’t change or delete it. The original information stays put, leaving a permanent and public information trail, or chain, of transactions for anyone around the world to verify.
GreenLink represents the digitization of certifications and relevant information about products and businesses in the sustainability space. Consumers can use the tokens in exchange for physical goods and services, provide feedback and ratings on sustainable businesses and obtain data about products via QR codes or a web interface. Businesses transact our token to create, access and validate data stored on the blockchain.
GreenLink is a Singapore-based technology company with over 3 years of track record and experience in the ethical and sustainability consumer space, having co-founded Boxgreen — a B-Corp certified, profitable and sustainable snack e-tailer that delivers healthier, portion-controlled snacks to homes and offices.
The GreenLink Protocol and its application solutions are currently being introduced and tested in the FMCG space. Future iterations will be designed to include more verticals such as beauty, fashion and/or the service industry. This initiative aims to ensure transparency, trust and reliability among the platform participants.
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