Accenture Introduces ‘Circular Supply Chain’ Capability

Accenture introduced a “circular supply chain” capability that leverages digital identity, payment, and blockchain allowing consumers to make more sustainable choices about what they buy. Accenture is collaborating with Mastercard, Amazon Web Services, Everledger, and Mercy Corps to provide solutions that empower consumers, enable transparency and promote financial inclusion for small-scale producers and suppliers.

Two-thirds of the consumer prefers sustainable brands. With this, the capability to promote more efficient and more eco-friendly practices across the supply chain has never been more important. But still, at the present consumers have only a few choices to connect with small-scale producers at the very base of the supply chain pyramid and constrained opportunities to support and incentivize sustainable practices.

To meet this need, the circular supply chain capability is created by fusing blockchain, digital identity, and payments technologies for customers to identify individual suppliers integrates sustainable methods and reward them financially with a ‘tip’ by direct payment. The capability is designed to enable producers to further empower customers and allowing them to connect with small-scale producers, manufacturers, and retailers to more efficiently manage their inventory and reduce waste. By doing so, it creates better transparency across the supply chain, ensures the authenticity of produce, and provides producers with more compensation for their produce by enabling consumers to reward them directly.

Accenture’s Managing Director David Treat said, “Our identity capabilities are already empowering millions of users across the globe to access essential services like healthcare, banking, and travel. The circular supply chain capability incorporates these components with blockchain and expands its application to places and things allowing us to rethink global supply chains. Through effective public and private partnerships, we can place sustainability and customer empowerment at the center of global business models and we invite more partners to join us.”

To realize the offering, Digital identity is an important component. Data of the “first mile” of the retailers produces is established and linked to their products as they move through the supply chain through the producer’s unique identifier. End consumers can access details of the product and be empowered to direct a secure ‘tip’ through a simple scan of a label.

Mastercard’s Executive Vice President of Humanitarian & Development Tara Nathan, said, “For the 3.4 billion people, almost half the world’s population,  that still struggle to meet basic needs, we believe that digital technologies are largely untapped. To put more people onto the pathway from poverty to prosperity, we need to establish an ecosystem that streamlines access to education, health, commerce, and more. Working with smallholder farmers in Kenya, India, Mexico and elsewhere, we have deployed digital solutions helping to drive commercially sustainable social impact and we understand that collaboration is essential for this journey.”

Influencing sustainability in global supply chains, this new collaboration uses blockchain to connect consumers directly to retailers.

The circular supply chain capability could benefit large global enterprises, with the use of distributed ledger solutions, governments and non-governmental organizations by providing a new mechanism for them to track complex supply chains to small producers and helping them manage issues involving accountability, waste, and information transparency.

Everledger’s founder & CEO Leanne Kemp said, “Our blockchain-enabled work aims to facilitate more connected, transparent and sustainable supply chains, which bring about trusted collaborations among stakeholders. Being a part of the circular supply chain capability with Accenture is an example of ‘conscious consumerism.’ Everledger’s derivation platform ensures supply chain integrity alongside a global movement to drive the agenda on sustainability and re-imagine tomorrow’s marketplaces.”

Senior Director of Technology for Development at Mercy Corps Alan Donald said, “One of today’s most critical challenges is strengthening the resilience of the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers that cooperatively feed one in three people on earth yet often have a hard time feeding their own families. Mercy Corps is excited to collaborate with Accenture and bring our experience implementing cutting-edge technology that improves agricultural livelihoods and deep local insights from 40+ countries to refine and test this capability to help smallholder farmers and retailers thrive.”

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