Harvard University, US think-tank, New America and the clothing company, Levi Strauss & Co announced that they are collaborating to develop a blockchain-based system designed to assist auditors of factory health and safety with self-reporting by workers. New York-based ConsenSys will provide the project’s blockchain solution. The plan is to put an annual worker survey on the blockchain in order to achieve a transparent evaluation of working conditions in factories.
The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department with the aim of piloting a blockchain-powered solution for a social innovation challenge. The scheme will monitor the workforce across factories, tracking working conditions as well as the health and well-being of employees.
Levi-Strauss + Consensys Blockchain Solution To Be Tested In Q2 2019
The first pilot from Levi-Strauss will be tested in the second quarter of 2019, with another pilot slated in 2020. “Basing the pilot on Ethereum will create a transparent environment for workers to securely and anonymously share critical information”, said ConsenSys founder, Joe Lubin.
Three factories in Mexico will become the first locations to use this blockchain-based employee well-being system that will be developed by Consensys, which is being hailed as a “crucial first step” in a transparent evaluation of working conditions. These factories, who mass produce goods for Levi Strauss, employ 5000 workers.
Kim Almeida, director of worker well-being at Levi Strauss explained that it will ask some “very personal questions” not just about one’s health and family, but about one’s direct managers and the workplace.
“Some people are wary of speaking out, they don’t know if there could be recriminations for what they say,” she said. “For this reason, it’s critical that the survey results be anonymous, which is guaranteed in a blockchain platform. We expect that ensuring the anonymity of the results will give workers greater confidence to speak their minds, and thereby give researchers (and us) a better picture of conditions in these facilities”.
New America’s founder, Tomicah Tillemann, also founder of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator said: “Providing a secure, standardized, auditable, and transparent platform through which worker survey data can be aggregated and analyzed will be possible with this solution”.Director of Harvard’s Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise (SHINE), Dr Eileen McNeely, said: “For the last 25 years, work in supply chains has been monitored mainly by audits, a distributed system of inquiry on the blockchain that goes right to the source offers a new solution”.
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