Sustainable Finance Group Looks for Results With Blockchain Tool

The Responsible Finance & Investment Foundation is collaborating with a wide array of partners on a plan to track sustainability efforts using the blockchain. More than two dozen organizations, spanning finance and the nonprofit sphere, have signed on.

Interest in the blockchain is picking up, as are some use cases that might be appealing to associations and nonprofits. In a recent example, one association is trying to build out its membership through the distribution of tokens.

In a similar vein, the Responsible Finance & Investment (RFI) Foundation is also getting into the blockchain. The U.K.-based foundation this week announced a new initiative to track member organizations’ commitments to sustainability, while making data available to the public. A total of 25 signatories—including development nonprofit Bioversity International, think tank European Partners for the Environment (EPE), investment firm Simply Ethical, and decentralized banking platform UnitedCoin—have signed on to partner with the foundation to get the tool off the ground over the next year.

“Financial institutions who have recently embraced responsible finance face large informational barriers in translating general responsible finance principles into concrete actions that have been shown to be successful,” the RFI Foundation said in  a press release. The initiative “aims to use the power of the blockchain and its ability to build trust within a decentralized network to promote greater trust between the financial sector and civil society. “

It is also intended to find collaboration opportunities among financial institutions and nonprofit organizations. “There is an opportunity for the financial industry to build trust with society through partnerships with civil society organizations who can confer greater legitimacy in the eyes of society than financial institutions can on their own,” EPE advisor Raymond Van Ermen said in the release.

In comments to Reuters, RFI Foundation CEO Blake Goud said the approach will allow observers to learn in real time where responsible-finance practices are succeeding and where more work needs to be done.

“The platform is designed to be revenue-generating as a social enterprise, funded by users in a way that will keep the data open and accessible as a public good,” Gould said.

Reuters, it should be noted, isn’t just reporting on the issue: The idea emerged during a roundtable presentation on blockchain issues at the RFI Summit 2018, which was hosted by Thomson Reuters.

(artJazz/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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