As corporate social responsibility (CSR) now often drives business as usual, corporations are under increasing pressure to clean up their operations from inside out. To maintain stakeholder trust, companies need to regain control of their supply chains, ensure their operations adhere to ESG (environmental, social and governance) standards, and become far more transparent than they had in the past.
The lack of resources, inability to track supplier activity, incomplete and inaccurate information, and inadequate cooperation from suppliers are some of the challenges corporations must tackle as they reexamine the impact of their core business.
How then can a company ensure its triple bottom line when its processes have so many gaps?
Blockchain technology might be the solution as it can help document and verify information and transactions for both internal and external purposes, forcing corporates to face their challenges, and becoming transparent and accountable for the commitments they make.
Blockchain allows users to record every transaction on a decentralized and encrypted ledger that is verified by the consensus of multiple people in the “chain,” making it immutable. Spend on blockchain for business is expected to hit $12 billion by 2022 as companies recognize the efficiencies it offers. According to World Economic Forum, 10 percent of global GDP will be stored on blockchain by 2027.
Large conglomerates are already piloting projects using blockchain to address their core business challenges and enhance their value creation model.
In the pharmaceutical industry, GlaxoSmithKline is working with blockchain startup Viant to ensure their products are produced, transported and stored in proper conditions. The tracking of products using blockchain technology offers a level of transparency that can prevent mislabeling of medications, the appearance of counterfeit drugs, and document regulatory compliance.
Other such examples include Nestle tracking Gerber baby food products on the blockchain, and Walmart’s Food Trust project, which the retailer says is the first attempt to build a global food supply chain on the blockchain.
Blockchain technology has the potential to radically transform the way we do business. It could help corporations enhance their value creation by being more in control of their business impact and facilitating genuine sustainability reporting. Large-scale adoption of this technology is imminent and will mandate companies to make the triple bottom line central to their business.
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Abha Malpani Naismith is a writer and communications professional who works towards helping businesses grow in Dubai. She is a strong believer in the triple bottom line and keen to make a difference. She is also a new mum, trying to work out a balance between thriving at work and being a mum. In her endeavor to do that, she founded the Working Mums Club, a newsletter for mums who want to build better careers and be better mums.