Infrachain Summit 2021: Blockchain & the Circular Economy Report

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The afternoon session of the Infrachain Summit 2021 started with an opening speech by Gianluca Ortolani, CEO of Net Service SpA, explaining that, “Net Service is very proud to be an active member of Infrachain and to host for the second time their international summit. We have found in Infrachain a strong organization and a network of reliable partners.” Ortolani further talked about Etherna, a platform developed by Net Service that makes the use of Blockchain technology simple and transparent for any application and process integration.

The opening was followed by the Infrachain Summit 2021 Blockchain Leader sponsor Nomadic Labs featuring  Frédéric Hubin, Tech Lead at Green Earth Trading. He presented a use case on ensuring sustainability of commodities with the Tezos blockchain. Green Earth Trading is a sustainable palm oil producer based in Ghana and in operation for 5 years. “To produce provable sustainable products, Farm to Fork, bi-directional traceability and openness and temper-proof are required. This is why DLTs were the obvious choice,” Hubin explained.


Prof. Massimiliano Mazzanti from the University of Ferrara opened the circular economy track with a keynote speech on the first survey on circular innovation in Italian manufacturing enterprises. Prof. Mazzanti explored the challenges encountered in the circular economy and how eco-innovations are solving issues such as the reduction of water use, the reuse of waste, …

The first circular economy use case was presented by Antoine Le Feuvre, CEO Digital Solutions for Citizens, Consumers and Companies (3C) of SUEZ, Smart & Environmental Solutions. He introduced CircularChain: a concrete example of how blockchain can be used to support the circular economy. “CircularChain, the circular economy blockchain, is the solution to an increased need for trust in sludge sanitary and environmental quality,” Le Feuvre explained. CircularChain leverages blockchain to provide reporting on all wastewater treatment plant transactions.

The next use case on blockchain-based digital product passports (DPP) was presented by Lorenzo Zullo, Co-Founder & Managing Director of ChemChain. He revealed that the overall idea of ChemChain is to solve the problem of exchanging information along the supply chain. Zullo explained that “by embedding info about the different manufacturing steps into the product & collecting them, companies arrive to an article that embeds some information which enables to distinguish which product cannot be recycled.”

Lastly, Wilhelm Myrer, CEO & Founder of Empower introduced the digital infrastructure for the circular economy developed by Empower. “The Empower circular platform empowers collectors and aggregators to be a valuable part of the value chain and as a result making sourcing traceable, recycled plastics easy & efficient,” Myrer explained. The use case revealed a digital deposit system where the collected plastic waste is delivered in exchange of tokens which are then used or exchanged for local currency, thereby creating jobs.

The circular economy track was concluded by a panel discussion on “Blockchain: the missing link in the circular economy?” The panel comprised the use case presenters and Jérôme Petry, Projet Leader DG Industry, New Technologies and Research at the Ministry of the Economy – (LU). The discussion was moderated by Fabio Fabbi, Digital Pioneer at BIG BO – Boost Innovation Garage Bologna.

Read what happened in the Industry 4.0 panel and the creative industries panel.

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