Exploring the potential of blockchain technology to improve transparency and traceability within the pulp and paper industry

Detta är en Master-uppsats från

Sammanfattning: The pulp and paper industry is currently facing major challenges. Owing to the substitution of fossil-dependent products with recyclable and biodegradable ones, there is an immense demand for fibre-based products. As a result, there is an urgent need to streamline the supply chain. Additionally, consumers are increasingly pressuring businesses within the industry to improve supply chain transparency as the importance of responsible sourcing of forest-based products are gaining increased attention. To mitigate these issues, a high level of transparency and traceability throughout the entire supply chain, incorruptible tracking systems and secure forest certification systems is of utmost importance within the industry. In recent years, a distributed ledger technology, referred to as blockchain has emerged as a promising technology for improving supply chain transparency and traceability owing to its unique characteristics of storing information in a decentralized and immutable manner. However, due to the novelty of this technology within a supply chain context, a comprehensive assessment is crucial in order to understand how the technology could be leveraged. In this regard, this thesis aims to explore the potential of blockchain technology to improve transparency and traceability within the pulp and paper industry. Owing to the inherent explorative nature of this research, a qualitative approach has been adopted. Through semi-structured interviews with different actors within the supply chain of pulp- and paper products, as well as blockchain experts within the field of supply chain management, cross-sections between the two fields are drawn. In addition, based on the expert interviews, a general blueprint for companies considering implementing blockchain technology is developed. The results of the study indicate several potential use-cases where blockchain technology could bring value to the pulp and paper industry. For instance, the results show that the technology could be harnessed to streamline the supply chain, improve the chain of custody of certified products, support sustainability reporting and improve the quality of products. Lastly, as pioneering research within the field, this thesis opens up a series of directions for future research.

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