page.php

CONFLICT FREE NATURAL RESOURCES

Technology is driving an opportunity to ensure that every physical product has a digital history, permitting consumers to trace and confirm its origins, attributes, and ownership to ensure conflict free natural resources. Blockchain technology is well-suited for tracking objects and transactions, making it possible for virtually anything of value to be traced. This opportunity is about creating transparency and product traceability in supply chains.

 

Attempts to control natural resources can cause and exacerbate bloody conflicts. In response, a conflict-free movement is gaining momentum, paving the way for a new market opportunity for conflict-free products. Technology is arriving as an important tool to do the tracking work. Blockchain has the potential to be a game-changer, as it is well-suited for tracking objects and transactions, making it possible for virtually anything of value to be tracked. Emerging products and services are making it possible to ensure that traded resources are not feeding a conflict.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Products and services in this opportunity space include entirely new products, such as Fairphone, whose business models are based on the sourcing of traced and transparent materials, but large established players are also tapping into the conflict-free opportunity space. For example, in 2014 Intel released the world’s first commercially accessible conflict-free microprocessor.

Other emerging products and services include certification and insurance services to trace the origin of materials in a product’s supply chain. These services allow users and companies to rest assured that their materials are conflict free. Through certification schemes to ensure conflict-free sourcing in the supply chain, companies outsource the reporting work to a third-party expert company that can investigate the supply chain and provide the assurance a company needs for reporting.

A potential element of this opportunity space is for the due diligence service provider to provide insurance with its report. This insurance gives companies peace of mind the reports are correct – but, if not, they will have insurance coverage. It helps support the move to create a market where consumers can actively avoid purchasing any conflict minerals.

A number of start-ups are frontrunners in this opportunity space working to combine data from insurance companies, police departments, and certification houses. In addition, a number of start-ups are working to use blockchain to trace minerals. It has taken off in tracing of diamonds, but will be applicable across minerals.

MARKET SIZE AND DEMAND DRIVERS
Regulation is an important driver of the conflict-free opportunity space. In the United States, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required manufacturers to audit their supply chains and report use of conflict minerals. The European Union has followed with regulation requiring companies that import minerals into the EU to carry out checks in their supply chains to see if they are funding armed groups.

Corporations are also increasingly setting goals to become conflict free. Another key demand driver is millennials entering the market. To help illustrate the myriad business benefits, Intel recently commissioned an online survey of 500 U.S. millennials, with Penn Schoen Berland, to assess millennials’ attitudes about conflict-free natural products. The survey found that millennials, who collectively possess billions of dollars in spending power, highly value social responsibility.

Key Numbers

84%

of consumers say they seek out responsible products whenever possible

93%

of most companies’ supply chains is invisible

$2.6bn

market size for traceability software in supply chains by 2019

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

SDGs - Conflict free natural resources

Solutions for this Opportunity

BLOCKCHAIN IMPROVES FLOW OF GOODS IN THE BALTIC REGION

SmartLog aims to reduce cargo transit times by applying blockchain technology to optimise data transfer in the logistic business.
Location: Baltic region See this solution

BLOCKCHAIN HELP SECURE SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSACTIONS

SkuChain developed Brackets, a blochain based platform that gives a real-time view of the flow of goods and money, and eliminates transaction fees between businesses partners.
Location:Global See this solution

DIGITAL TOOLS POWER TRANSPARENT BUSINESSES AND TRACEABLE PRODUCTS

Provenance is a traceability system using blockchains, that can be used to track the provenance of any product through labelling, smart tags, or embeds.
Location: Global See this solution

ANTI-COUNTERFEIT TOOL INCREASES SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSPARENCY

Blockverify is a blockchain enabled tool that stops counterfeits by validating and recording products along the supply chain.
Location: Global See this solution

BIG-DATA ENABLED FRAUD DETECTION SYSTEM

By using big data from law enforcement and insurance companies, Everledger helps detect fraud and provides a permanent ledger for diamond certification.
Location: Global See this solution

BLOCKCHAIN FOR GLOBAL FREIGHT

Blockfreight™ is an open network blockchain allowing stakeholders to have access to an advanced global ledger – a global trade optimisation technology.
Location: Global See this solution

UNIQUE DIGITAL IDENTITY HELPS TRACK AND VERIFY GOODS

With Cryptoseal, Chronicled, Inc aims to give products a unique digital identity via an embedded microchip, which will help authenticate goods and track their journey.
Location: Global See this solution

SUPPLY CHAIN MAPPING

Sourcemap uses proprietary visualization algorithms to visualize any supply chain. It helps companies spot where violations may occur.
Location: Global See this solution


SURVEY FINDINGS

HIGH BENEFITS FOR SOCIETY

Conflict-free natural resources did not score high on the overall opportunity ranking compared to other opportunities in the global survey, coming in second to last on the ranking by global business leaders. Leaders in Europe had the most positive outlook on this market opportunity, rating it 8th best out of 15.

Capacity to Grow the Market

Out of 15 opportunities, the leaders believe this is the opportunity for which there is the least political capacity to pursue. However, there are some regional differences between leaders in China, who are much more positive about the current political capacity to pursue this opportunity, and leaders in the MENA region, who are more positive their economic capacity is strong enough to develop this market.

Leaders in the MENA region rate the economic capacity of this opportunity at 5th place, while the world average puts it 12th.
Leaders with mid-level management responsibilities have a higher confidence in the technological capacity to pursue this opportunity than C-level management. This is not the case for most of the other opportunities.

Opportunity Business Case

Compared to the other 14 opportunities, respondents do not see a convincing business case in this opportunity, nor do they believe their own organisation will pursue it. However, most leaders in the survey believe it has high positive impacts on society.

Sector Impact

The manufacturing sector sees the best business case in this opportunity. However, the survey indicates it is not a market many actors will advocate actively for.

BENEFITS AND CAPACITY

Perceived benefits from pursuing this opportunity (x), and capacity to do so (y), World and geographic regions. Scale goes from -10 to +10.

NUMBER 14 ON THE OPPORTUNITY RANKING

LIKELIHOOD FOR PURSUING OPPORTUINTY AND POSITIVE IMPACT.

Across geographic regions. Scale goes from -10 to +10.

LIKELIHOOD FOR PURSUING OPPORTUINTY AND POSITIVE IMPACT

Across business sectors regions. Scale goes from -10 to +10.

Learn more about the Global Opportunity Report 2017

Learn more

Download the full Global Opportunity 2017 Report here!

Download the report

Contact

General Enquiries

Press Information

  • For press information, please see our: Press page

Newsletter

  • Sign up here to receive the monthly newsletter from the Global Opportunity Network
© 2013 - 2017 - DNV GL, Veritasveien 1, 1363 Høvik, Norway