Yesterday Diginex, a startup that uses blockchain to tackle ESG issues, launched its new ESG supply chain traceability tool – diginexLUMEN. The blockchain-based solution was developed in close partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and Reckitt, to help promote supply chain due diligence around working conditions.
The need for this tool stems from the increasingly worrying state of human rights and forced labor within global supply chains. A collaborative project between Diginex and the U.S. Department of Labor estimated that 160 million children globally are involved in child labor, with 25 million adults and children in situations of forced labor worldwide. Clearly, these terrible working conditions are not rare, and many companies are now looking for ways to monitor their supply chains in greater detail, to eradicate and further prevent them from happening.
This is where diginexLUMEN comes in. Its continuous method of data collection and emphasis on multi-stakeholder engagement aims to promote transparency in companies’ supply chains. The tool uses blockchain to link all of this information together, ready to report back potential risks and levels of ESG compliance to companies. It is hoped that continuous monitoring and blockchain technology will help reduce the harmful practice of forced labor and improve human rights conditions for workers.
“ESG products and services have primarily focused on the ‘environmental’ and ‘governance’ aspects to date – the ‘social’ aspect has been harder to address. diginexLUMEN is here to change that by setting a new standard for supply chain due diligence,” said Mark Blick, CEO of Diginex. “The granular insight that diginexLUMEN gives brands has the power to transform the lives of millions of people currently stripped of their employment rights and working in potentially harmful conditions.”
Issues of supply chain traceability are also essential to the continued improvement of the mining industry. Cobalt, in particular, is a topic of concern, with 70% of the mineral coming from the Congo. Artisanal mines, which often have dangerous working conditions and frequently use children, make up 20% of the production. Blockchain technology has been widely used to track the extraction process, such as a project by Polestar – an electric car company owned by Volvo – to trace cobalt in its car batteries. Tesla has also announced the use of blockchain to ensure that its cobalt and nickel supplies are sustainably sourced.