BCGX OpenSC Hero

Greener Supply Chains—Verified by AI and Blockchain

BCG brought BCG X to support the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and launch OpenSC—verifying low-carbon and sustainable food production at source

Global food supply chains drive one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions, with 80% of those emissions happening at source (on the farm or at sea, for example). But the sheer scale and fragmentation of these supply chains creates daunting challenges for the large food and beverage companies procuring the majority of food commodities year after year—and hinders their ability to create impact.

To help these companies achieve sustainability and net-zero goals in their supply chains, the world’s leading conservation organization, WWF, partnered with BCG’s functional practice areas and a BCG X team with the goal of creating new tools that could verify, incentivize, and reward producers at source and drive change for the benefit of people and the planet.

Together, we launched a technology platform called OpenSC (referring to open supply chains), designed to verify claims about low-carbon and responsible production automatically, continuously, and with the backing of granular and immutable data. This has already led to the development of multiple proven examples of Automated Claim Verification (ACV).

Two examples have been proven and launched—verifying and tracing products all the way to end consumers:

  • Verifying that fishing only happens where it is sustainable to do so: the OpenSC platform is already verifying the sustainable catch location of more than 15% of the global annual catch of Patagonian toothfish (Chilean sea bass) and then tracing it throughout the supply chain. 
  • Verifying payments to smallholder coffee farmers: launched with Nespresso, which started by using the OpenSC platform to trace every bag of coffee from the 1,185 smallholder farmers of the AMKA Cooperative in South Kivu (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The platform was also used to ensure that each farmer got the right Nespresso premium payment. This program is now being scaled to many of Nespresso’s sourcing regions globally.

The ability to verify specific claims about sustainable and ethical production, and then trace products throughout the supply chain, also enables companies to share their data and story with consumers (through engaging digital on-product experiences), business partners in the supply chain, investors, and regulators. OpenSC technology products are in commercial use, scaling across multiple seafood and coffee commodities, with new products in development for other high-impact commodities, such as rice and palm oil. OpenSC has a world-class team of 30+ globally.

Our Role

OpenSC is the result of a close partnership with the WWF. From the outset, BCG brought together a wide range of capabilities across business strategy, deep tech, and climate change and sustainability and provided guidance while designing, building, launching, and ultimately scaling the blockchain-based venture. This led to OpenSC receiving funding from leading impact investors and working with customers like Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company, along with Austral Fisheries, a subsidiary of Maruha Nichiro, one of the world’s largest seafood conglomerates.

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Ajay Chowdhury and Antoine Gourévitch, X. Deep Tech
Beth Viner, X. Ventures
Stefan Gross-Selbeck, X. Green Tech

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