Data, once stored in a blockchain will likely be stored there forever. This is often cited as being a disadvantage of the technology, but NDI and Capgemini are now working on a database to measure, track and market the circularity of products, where the integrity of historical data in a blockchain enables to trace each product back to its original creation.
LOOKING A CIRCULARITY FROM A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
Imagine looking at a specific country on a map, where you see an icon that represents some raw material, say iron ore, being delved from the Earth. After initial processing, the material then gets shipped to a production site, an off-shore machine manufacturer, where the material is used during fabrication of a certain machine. This machine then is made operational on-site and after its lifecycle is complete, the machine is decommissioned. It’s safe to assume our collective circular mindset has gotten to a point where we naturally think it makes sense to re-use these materials. We can also assume there will be a need for raw or pre-processed materials (iron in this case) at pretty much any point in the foreseeable future.
Imagine the same map again, but this time you see all materials on Earth represented by icons at the same time, going through the process of being delved from the ground, to pre-processing, fabrication, utilization and finally decommissioning. We believe such a global repository is not only possible, combined with marketplace built on top it will unlock tremendous value that currently remains opaque and illiquid.
A whitepaper outlining the specification for this open source Circular Product Database is currently being drafted. Lead-Architect on the project is Michael Kolenbrander who also designed the blockchain-enabled Whiteflag Protocol, a Capgemini-Royal Dutch Air Force collaboration to create an open source network for secure and trustless communication in conflict and disaster areas.
Every organisation can Tokenize their products and materials to enable ecosystems based on circularity – Direct ownership – Tradeability. Free up value that is currently locked tight and not calculated within products such as Real-Estate portfolios, off-shore manufacturing sites etc. Tokenize this value that your product contains.
SUSTAINABLE GLOBALIZATION 18
At the international conference: Sustainable Globalization 18 that is organized by the NDI (the Dutch National Sustainability Institute) Michael Kolenbrander & Annelies Hermens from Capgemini & Kelly Ruigrok of the NDI are launching the global database masterplan. The conference is 9 October in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and in Singapore simultaneously. www.sustainableglobalization.com  for more information, program and tickets