Sustainability is the new black.
It’s possible to purchase a host of “sustainable” items today, from straws and water bottles to paper towels and produce bags. But do consumers really know whether something they buy is truly sustainably produced?
Mastercard Inc. and Accenture LLP have combined forces to address this question by developing a supply chain solution that rewards sustainability initiatives among small suppliers. For one Accenture executive, this means putting in place a system to make herself feel better about a favorite beverage: coffee.
“I’ve seen a statistic that says for every cup of coffee that we drink, a square inch of rainforest gets burned down,” said Christine Leong (pictured, left), managing director and global lead of blockchain identity and biometrics at Accenture. “I drink at least five cups of coffee a day. That’s not good!”
Leong spoke with Rebecca Knight (@knightrm), host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Accenture Executive Summit at the AWS re:Invent event in Las Vegas. She was joined by Leandro Nunes (pictured, right), vice president of product development and innovation of Mastercard Labs at Mastercard, and they discussed the technology behind the initiative, rewards for sustainable suppliers, and progress to date. (* Disclosure below.)
Circular supply-chain visibility
The initiative is being called a “circular supply chain” because consumers, through the use of blockchain and artificial intelligence, have full visibility of a product, from creation through to reuse. They can also connect with small suppliers by making a monetary “tip” through a mobile app based on demonstrated sustainability, such as the absence of toxic insecticides in farm-produced products.
“Brands have very good visibility from the distributor on, but they don’t know what’s going on behind that,” Nunes said. “You can create a premium price situation that will motivate other brands to do the same.”
In addition to Accenture and Mastercard, other participating companies include Everledger Ltd., Mercy Corps and Amazon Web Services Inc., which is providing its Managed Blockchain through cloud infrastructure.
“It’s really a concept that is embracing better business through better technology and innovation,” Leong said. “The traction has been great, and we have a number of pilots in the pipeline.”
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Accenture Executive Summit during the AWS re:Invent event. (* Disclosure: Accenture LLP sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Accenture nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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