Can distributed ledgers technologies help you decarbonise your business?

By Jack Krutak*
Friday, 26 July, 2019

Can distributed ledgers technologies help you decarbonise your business?

Digital ledger technologies such as blockchain are decentralised and distributed digital ledgers of transactions or contracts, providing an unparalleled ability for secure record keeping and giving full transparency to all stakeholders. Distributed ledgers are harder to attack than centralised ledgers because data is maintained in a decentralised form across different locations, making it secure and resilient to retrospective changes.

Digital ledgers and sustainability

There are a number of ways in which digital ledger technology can provide transparency and sustainability. In terms of the potential of blockchain to support environmental sustainability, it comes down to one key feature: the ability to provide a verifiable record of who exchanges what with whom. The Internet of Things (IoT) plays a crucial role, in that it provides the data that needs to be associated to the transaction. An example is peer to-peer energy trading from solar panels — blockchain enables people to trade excess energy with their suppliers as well as their neighbours, while the IoT allows the necessary data to be cheaply and reliably obtained. This is becoming more important as businesses are being held to account on all of their dealings, including reaching far into the supply chain to maintain sustainability and fairness.

Steps towards decarbonisation

Decarbonising your business just makes sense. Not only as a moral imperative, but as a cost-control strategy. The Global Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Protocol is a good place to start. The protocol sets standards to measure and manage emissions, classifying emissions into three ‘scopes’: scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources; scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy; and scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions (not included in scope 2) that occur in the value chain or supply chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

By embracing all three scope levels, companies can better understand their full value chain emissions and then tailor their efforts to the greatest GHG reduction opportunities. It enables companies to enforce the principles of sustainability throughout their supply chain by looking at where materials are coming from, whether they are sourced responsibly, whether people are being paid fairly, how the raw materials are transported and what level of emissions are involved in the process. It gives companies a much broader and deeper look at their actual carbon footprint.

This approach is also good for a company’s brand. We know that more consumers are looking holistically at brands and their values, and will often make purchasing decisions based on these factors. You can create a competitive advantage by showing that your company is tracking emissions and working to decarbonise throughout the supply chain in a transparent and secure way.

Strategic objectives to decarbonise

All decarbonisation initiatives should begin with the company’s strategic objectives in mind. If one of the company objectives is to decarbonise, then the company can investigate what enabling technologies are available (such as distributed technology ledgers), start engaging vendor ecosystems, look at developing hypotheses that can be pilot tested and running those tests. Ultimately, it’s about taking the opportunity to look at things more broadly, extending horizons to include scopes 2 and 3 of the GHG Protocol, and realising that you can influence the whole supply chain in a positive and sustainable way.

People who want to learn more and be at the forefront of these new and emerging technologies have the opportunity to engage with vendors, partners, thought leaders and end users at IoT Impact 2019, a conference organised by IoT Australian Association (IoTAA), to be held in October. The event will allow people to engage with companies experienced in applications of digital ledger technology and decarbonisation, and will help to demystify some preconceptions about new technologies. Further information is available at

About IoT Impact

IoT Impact 2019 conference brings together top technologies, strategies and case studies for the key industries implementing IoT.

IoT Impact is unique because it is brought to you by IoTAA, an Australian IoT and Advanced Data Industry body, representing over 450 organisations and 900 participants. IoTAA builds and nurtures the Australian IoT ecosystem, highlights and develops good practice, advocates better regulation to support innovation and showcases excellence.

Over two days, you will meet 1000+ business and technology leaders interested in propelling IoT adoption globally and specifically in Australia. The ultimate opportunity is for delegates to get out of the office and build fruitful connections on one floor at the Hyatt Regency, Sydney.

The conference includes keynotes, sessions, awards and workshops covering industry sectors and technology-focused sessions. The content is designed for those considering or scaling IoT projects. The ultimate take home is to leave with a ‘can do’ approach to IoT implementation and ensure organisations are IoT ready.

Our awards ceremony at IoT Impact is not to be missed and will reward visionary individuals and businesses who are revolutionising the IoT.

Key conference themes include:
  • Smart grids
  • Smart water
  • Smart cities and prop tech
  • Advanced manufacturing and robotics
  • Next-generation mobility and connected vehicles
  • AgTech and supply chains
  • Circular economy
  • HealthTech
  • Cybersecurity
  • Blockchain
  • Data use
  • AI and 5G.

What: IoT Impact 2019 Conference & Exhibition

When: 15–16 October 2019

Where: Hyatt Regency, Sydney


*Jack Krutak is a member of the IoTAA Executive Council and Digital Services Director, Industry Business, Pacific, Schneider Electric.

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