What is blockchain? I thought that was for Crypto Currency?

GreenToken uses blockchain in two specific areas:asset ownership/transfer (in the form of tokens) and for auditing purposes. Blockchain seems complicated, and it definitely can be, but its core concept is really quite simple. A blockchain is a type of database. To be able to understand blockchain, it helps to first understand what a database actually is.

A database is a collection of information that is stored electronically on a computer system. Information, or data, in databases is typically structured in table format to allow for easier searching and filtering for specific information. What is the difference between someone using a spreadsheet to store information rather than a database? Spreadsheets are designed for one person, or a small group of people, to store and access limited amounts of information. In contrast, a database is designed to house significantly larger amounts of information that can be accessed, filtered, and manipulated quickly and easily by any number of users at once.

Large databases achieve this by housing data on servers that are made of powerful computers. These servers can sometimes be built using hundreds or thousands of computers in order to have the computational power and storage capacity necessary for many users to access the database simultaneously. While a spreadsheet or database may be accessible to any number of people, it is often owned by a business and managed by a single appointed individual that has complete control over how it works and the data within it.

So how does a blockchain differ from a database? One key difference between a typical database and a blockchain is the way the data is structured. A traditional database structures its data into tables whereas a blockchain, like its name implies, structures its data into chunks (blocks) that are chained together as a ledger. Paper based ledger used to be very common – for example logging hotel guest as they checked into their vacation, keeping financial records (book keeping) and recording truck movements in and out of a plant. The blockchain ledger system also inherently makes an irreversible timeline of data when implemented  - you can see that transactions have to follow each-other ( recording a truck leaving a plant has to happen AFTER the truck has arrived, so this events occurs further down the ledger) building up a chain of events or ‘chain of custody’ of what has happened over time.

Why do we and our customers need this?

Blockchain is a really good database design to bring trust to the information generated by a supply chain, that is to say blockchain is good at tracking data across a supply chain where many supply chain actors and companies are present who don’t necessarily know each other but want to be assured that information they are being passed about plastic waste inputs and circular polymer outputs transactions can be trusted.

It is therefore ideal for your business and your customer to use GreenToken to be completely assured that new circular polymer is being made from a high percentage of plastic waste especially as the end customer doesn’t have a relationship with the waste plastic supplier.

What does the GreenToken system look like? Does it look like a massive spreadsheet?

GreenToken is a web-based SaaS solution that runs in a browser – it is not a giant spreadsheet. The web page in the browser allows a user to interact with the blockchain and see interesting information about their raw materials and delivered circular polymer. Participants are expected to have access to a personal computer with an internet connection and an internet browser. NO software needs to be installed to participate in the trial.

What are the expectations of suppliers as participants of the trial?

Prior to the start of the trial, suppliers will be required to sign a Trial Agreement(TA agreement). Suppliers will be expected to perform the following activities:

1. Extract the delivery data from their current warehousing application and upload the same as specified CSV format.

2. This information will be used to enter volume information into GreenToken and generate requests to upstream partners to transfer GreenToken volumes.

3. Transform volumes in GreenToken from input commodities to refined/processed commodities.

4. Fulfill requests for volumes from downstream partners.

What can suppliers expect from participating in the trial?

Suppliers would gain efficiency by streamlining processes in providing relevant information to up takers. Automation of manual process will also lead to reduction in error and provide ability to supply relevant.

What are the technology pre-requisites for suppliers participating in the trial?

GreenToken is a web-based SaaS solution. Participants are expected to have access to a personal computer with an internet connection and an internet browser (Google Chrome is recommended to accommodate UI translation. Chrome version details will be provided). NO software needs to be installed by the suppliers in order to participate in the trial.

What trial information will SAP have access to that is not visible to participants?

SAP will not collect any personal data from the trials. As the administrator of the GreenToken application, SAP will be able to view the aggregated information available to the individual trial participants.

Will participants be able to account for their commodity’s yield when transforming volumes in GreenToken?

Commodity yield for processing steps will be configured as part of the trial environment setup. 

How will GreenToken facilitate multiple participants with private data participating in the trial?

Each participant will be given a unique GreenToken account. Data within a participant’s account remains private unless they wish to share it with their supply chain partners (such as a request for token transfer, token fulfillment) or specified as facts attached to tokens.

How is GreenToken different from similar sustainable tracing solutions?

GreenToken offers a distributed solution that enforces a system of trust among participants by using blockchain to prevent fraudulent claims. Furthermore, while most existing solutions only capture RSPO certification data, GreenToken allows a supply chain to capture any facts and associate them with tokens as they flow through the supply chain, even as commodities are refined or processed. This not only allows for an unbreakable, auditable chain of custody, but localized and auditable ownership of private data. GreenToken also offers the potential to associate facts and trace the origin on non-sustainable volumes in addition to sustainable volumes. By supporting both sustainable and non-sustainable volumes, GreenToken provides a virtual segregation of sustainable commodities.

Does an entire supply chain need to use GreenToken for it to work effectively?

GreenToken recommends starting with a small, defined subset of a supply chain to ensure the configuration and parameters of the deployed GreenToken network meet the needs of its users. All members of a supply chain do not have to join at once and can be phased in. Those who have joined will then be afforded the enforcement of their sustainability claims and visibility into volume origins while the remaining network can continue to use existing practices until onboarded.

What kind of traceability does GreenToken provide?

GreenToken allows specified information about raw commodities to be captured and forwarded through the supply chain. For example, the origin of a commodity (farm, region, zone) can be attached to a token and passed along with it as it transferred downstream. This allows each entity in the supply chain visibility into where their raw commodities are sourced. GreenToken also provides entities’ visibility into the flow of purchased sustainable and non-sustainable commodities across the supply chain. The specifics of the flow can be configured to ensure sensitive information is only shared with appropriate parties.