Putting an end to Greenwashing:
Validating Carbon Footprint Calculations
in Public Blockchain

Global leaders have agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the global annual temperature increase to 1.5-2.0 C compared to pre-industrial levels. Still, consumers are demanding more transparency and information about how the products they consume are made. This paper explains how a carbon footprint calculation based on blockchain technology can be adapted to meet this demand. Blockchain-based carbon tracking can help companies share their carbon tracking targets with stakeholders and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. It offers cost savings, transparency and traceability, immutable record-keeping, automation and efficiency, decentralization, and smart contracts. Blockchain technology is tamper-proof and decentralized, making it easier for auditors to verify a company’s carbon emissions data and offset efforts. Kantala, a Sri Lankan-based brand, approached Tracified to develop a blockchain-enabled supply chain transparency and traceability tool. Kantala aimed to get a head start on emerging regulatory requirements in its export markets while also overcoming the challenges posed by large brands greenwashing.

Tracified’s blockchain solution tracks data in units called TDPs and hashes them into the public blockchain. Kantala’s carbon footprint is calculated using three steps: identifying consumption data, deriving associated GHG emission factors, and multiplying consumption data by the relevant emission factor. Data will be supplemented by data collected from peer-reviewed journals, other scientific reports, and historical records maintained by Kantala. The objective is to transition to a level where all the data required to determine consumption levels is collected, including date, time, and location information; material usage quantities; secondary supply material usage; transportation data and vehicle type; quality check and packaging; carbon emission and absorption factors; carbon emission factors and carbon footprints of external suppliers; fuel type and consumption for different vehicles in operation; and a carbon emission factor for additional packaging types. Real-time outputs can be shown on a dashboard, and consumers can be provided with product-wise carbon emissions. A full report on carbon emission impact with evidence can be shared with stakeholders to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to sustainability.

This article contains a complete account of using public blockchain to authenticate carbon footprint calculation, development, and implementation of the novel blockchain-based approach for transparent and reliable carbon tracking. We express our sincere gratitude to Kantala (Private) Limited who worked together with Tracified to develop and design the conceptual framework for blockchain-based carbon tracking and assisted with valuable research, feedback, and support in conducting the pilot project for the blockchain-based carbon tracking solution.