How can blockchain drive the circular economy?

There is less and less doubt about the damage we are causing to Planet , and without quantifying our lack of responsibility, the truth is that we are increasingly more committed to being better citizens adapting a sustainable lifestyle .

There is no day that we have no evidence of the climate crisis , whose consequences we are beginning to suffer. Given this scenario, the pressure to innovate and move towards a circular economy grows , which seems to be a viable alternative to the addictive linear model established.

Although more and more companies and brands are committed to sustainability and are preparing plans to start in the circular paradigm, tools are needed to support and accelerate this change . Unfortunately, we don’t have much time to waste …

The Circular Economy is to erase from our minds and our vocabulary the concept of waste, scrap or waste and think only resource

As part of the tactics that we can implement in a circular strategy, we find what is known as Multi-R Hierarchy .

The simplest expression of this hierarchy is what is known as the Rule of the three errs of ecology , with its Reduce, Reuse and Recycle , that is, reduction of consumption of raw materials and waste generation, reuse of products and Material recycling

In this way, we can propose a first scenario where products and services are marketed in (closed) cycles . To begin in the design and implementation of these cycles we can use the resources that the Ellen MacArthur Foundation makes available to us .

Another growing trend is that customers currently require brands greater transparency about their products . Approximately 60% of these are inclined to acquire products and services that have a clearly defined sustainability policy , as evidenced by the success of fashion brands such as Ecoalf or Kimoa .

Thus, how companies handle the disposal of their waste or the reuse of their products takes an important role . These must adapt and innovate quickly, using circular business models and disruptive tools to support the transition.

And it is precisely at this point that blockchain technology emerges , which can be applied on multiple fronts to design solutions in line with the circular economy .

As we know, it blockchain burst into our lives with the rise of bitcoin and criptomonedas , but now is widely used in applications  as interesting as the digital identity , the traceability of goods and intelligent contracts (smart contracts) .

In relation to the aforementioned multi-R hierarchy , blockchain technology , for example, can reduce resource consumption by providing transparency and traceability in the efficient management of the origin of articles.

Blockchain can help combat documentary forgery and the significant negative environmental and social impacts that may result from improper use of used materials or violated human rights. In addition, consumers will be able to make more informed purchasing decisions , which will allow them to consume truly sustainable and circular products and services.

Part of the complexity of the circular economy comes from the large number of participants and the global nature of supply chains , so developing this circular model is everyone’s job, not just a few pioneers.

This is the reason why blockchain is a critical digital enabling technology : it provides an ecosystem based on a reliable set of data and transactions in which all its members can make collective decisions.

To understand a little of what we are talking about, let’s see some examples of how companies are driving the circular economy with blockchain-based solutions :

MonoChain

This company uses blockchain to keep around 460,000 million dollars annually in clothes outside the dumps . The solution blockchain of MonoChain connects major markets and second hand, which facilitates the reuse of products and helps extend the life of products .

End customers can see in real time the origin of the items , their original value and their resale value, while they can discover the best places to sell them when they want to stop using them. This gives customers security in a simple and affordable way for them.

Remedichain

In the United States , 100,000 million dollars in medicines are destroyed annually , while approximately 32 million US citizens cannot afford the medicines they need.

Remedichain has decided to organize this business by providing a solution that redistributes non-expired medications  among patients in need. This initiative helps both people who need medicines and to reduce pharmaceutical waste , very polluting, by the way.

Bext360

It is a startup in the field of agriculture that is using blockchain to track, verify and authenticate the supply chain of organic cotton or coffee .

To favor this transparency and provide a better understanding of this market, Bext360  , in addition to being company B , has partnered with the C&A Foundation , Fashion For Good and Organic Cotton Accelerator  (OCA) .

Finally, we would like to highlight that the circular economy and future cases of blockchain use will help, for many companies, the adoption of the circular economy is much simpler and according to their activities.

It is up to organizations to take advantage of emerging technologies to improve their operations by making them compatible with the Planet!

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