Roland Berger selects Dfinity as blockchain partner for recycling standard

16 October 2023 4 min. read
More news on

Roland Berger has selected Switzerland-based Dfinity Foundation as the technology partner for the development of the ‘Voluntary Recycling Credits’ standard.

Announced in March last year, the Voluntary Recycling Credits (VRC) standard is centre stage of a collaborative partnership between Roland Berger, BEEAH Group, the International Solid Waste Association. Together, the three companies aim to develop a new standard – powered by the blockchain – that can help beef up recycling numbers in the waste sector.

Inspired by the Voluntary Emission Reduction (VER) model in the carbon market, Voluntary Recycling Credits represents a unit for a defined amount of recycled material, like aluminum or plastic. By making recycling credits and transactions transparent and auditable, the system will incentivize companies to invest in recycling.

Roland Berger selects Dfinity as blockchain partner for recycling standard

Businesses with sparse recycling infrastructure who are keen on aligning with Sustainable Development Goals can buy credits on the forthcoming marketplace. These credits are provided by companies with surplus recycling capabilities. Meanwhile, the flow of funds will free up more money to boost investment in further enhancement and emerging recycling technologies.

The innovative collaboration comes on the back of growing pressures from international organizations such as the United Nations to mitigate the detrimental effects of pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change. Greening the waste sector is a major opportunity – the sector produces 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste annually, and currently has a very low recycling rate of less than 10% for plastic waste.

“We have a unique opportunity to redefine waste management and make tangible strides in environmental stewardship,” said Hani Tohme, managing partner at Roland Berger in the Middle East.

Blockchain-backed technology

The Voluntary Recycling Credits standard is being built on blockchain technology. According to the initiators, blockchain is a “foundational element critical to the success” of the standard, guaranteeing a transparent, auditable, and secure record of recycling credits and transactions. “This transparency ensures that all parties – whether waste producers or recyclers – can trust in the veracity of the credits they purchase, sell, or trade.”

“Additionally, blockchain's immutable nature ensures that once a credit is recorded, it cannot be altered or duplicated, thereby ensuring the integrity of the entire Voluntary Recycling Credits system.”

“Selecting the right blockchain technology that harmoniously balances decentralization, security, usability and storage space is key for a project of this importance. We are happy to have selected Dfinity Foundation as our technology partner. The Internet Computer is one of the most advanced blockchains in the world, its efficacy and security make it the perfect platform to build this project on,” said Pierre Samaties, partner at Roland Berger.

The Internet Computer is a general-purpose, layer one blockchain that acts as a Cloud 3.0. The network has been operating for over two years, and has grown its daily transactions size to over 750 million, a 425% increase from its first year of operation. Notably, Dfinity Foundation asserts that its service has been provided with zero downtime.

On top of its cutting-edge technology advantage, the Internet Computer is also highly sustainable. According to Dfinity Foundation, its Internet Computer is “substantially” less energy intensive that competing blockchain projects and current Web2 technology (for example: a single online search is four times more energy intensive than a transaction on the Internet Computer).

“We are honored to have been selected by the Roland Berger team to collaborate on the Voluntary Recycling Credit. This initiative aligns with the core values of our team at Dfinity and Internet Computer, as we always look to ensure the blockchain remains at the forefront of sustainability and work with leading enterprises,” said Dominic Williams, Founder of Dfinity Foundation.

Through the partnership, Dfinity Foundation will develop the underlying technology for standard. The first milestone will take place at COP28 in Dubai, when the private-public coalition behind the standard will display the first-ever live recycling credits transaction.

Behind the scenes, Roland Berger, BEEAH Group, and the International Solid Waste Association are working well ahead. “We’re having active discussions with governments and industry-leading companies worldwide, advocating for the adoption of the VRC standard. By securing early commitments and fostering collaborations, we aim to create a broad ecosystem that champions the system, establishing it as the globally recognized benchmark in recycling incentives.”

“Addressing the global waste crisis requires not just innovation, but collaboration at an unprecedented scale. With the development of the VRC platform, we are bridging the realms of technology and sustainability to forge a cleaner future. I am immensely proud of our contribution to this pioneering initiative,” Tohme concluded.