Harvard University’s public health graduate school, American apparel company Levi Strauss & Co, and American think-tank New America are investigating to improve labor welfare using the blockchain technology.
On Thursday 24 January, New America announced that the U.S. Department of State has granted $800,000 for a pilot project that will develop a blockchain-based system designed to track the health and safety conditions of factory workers.
This project will be launched in the second quarter of this year. As a first step, it will help to “anonymously and securely” track three factories in Mexico which are producing goods for Levi Strauss and employing around 5,000 workers. The scheme will monitor the workforce across the factories, tracking conditions and individuals’ health and well-being.
New York-based Ethereum development studio, Consensys, will provide the project’s blockchain solution, based on a well-being index from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s – the Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise (SHINE).
According to ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin, the fact that the pilot is on Ethereum will create a “transparent environment for workers to securely and anonymously share critical information,”.
“Our goal is to develop, test, and scale a system that could empower employees, suppliers, and consumers to make informed decisions about factories, products, and brands,” he said.
In addition, Tomicah Tillemann, founder of the Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA) at New America said in a recent statement “Providing a secure, standardized, auditable, and transparent platform through which worker survey data can be aggregated and analyzed will be possible with this solution,”.
SHINE director Dr. Eileen McNeely declared that most blockchain supply chain used cases revolve around tracking materials, hence, building a solution for tracking human health and safety conditions is an “exciting innovation with broad potential for positive impact on worker well-being worldwide.”
This new partnership with one of the world’s most prestigious universities, a major U.S. clothing brand, and funding from the U.S. State Department announces a big milestone for Ethereum as a trustworthy blockchain technology.