Locus 25th Anniversary

Locus at 25 Years: Blockchain for Emissions Management

From its founding, Locus recognized an opportunity to think bigger about managing the environmental data and squeezing more value. In 1999, Locus introduced the first cloud-based ecological data management software, EIM. In 2000 Locus offered the first generation of the Locus Platform to house EHS compliance apps. Over the last 25 years, Locus software has expanded to cover more and more aspects of environmental compliance, sustainability (ESG), energy and water quality management, air emissions, waste, mitigation, and stewardship for the companies that use it. We provided software that helped Locus’ customers be credible with their environmental and ESG reporting. 

Locus wants to give companies software tools that enable them to be proactive in their environmental stewardship; to date, most organizations have incorporated environmental policies reactively, primarily driven by regulations. Greenwashing, “a form of marketing spin in which green PR and green marketing are deceptively used to persuade the public that an organization’s products, aims, and policies are environmentally friendly,” seems commonplace. 

To paraphrase Sam Cooke, change is coming, and it can’t be stopped. Today, we are experiencing new environmental challenges. EHS compliance is being replaced by a much stronger driver–the existential threat to the planet Earth arising from climate change caused by human activity and the burning of fossil fuels. New tools are needed to help organizations comply with expanded governmental regulations and manage the growing avalanche of data to assess sustainability issues, calculate GHG emissions, etc. Locus’s ESG platform is well-positioned to meet this need and is used by many companies for these purposes.

Locus’ vision extends well beyond the current requirements that ESG is constructed to address.  Our company is looking at longer-term applications for its software by considering the role of technology in combatting the collective environmental challenges that beset us. Given the heavy and relentless toll of human activities on the planet, we need to address how we can gather and analyze sufficient data to accurately assess where we stand and what changes are required to alter our course? Collecting and tracking all these data, examining them in the aggregate, and understanding how all our activities are affecting climate change, habitat erosion, and public health issues can, in the end, help society address these challenges collectively. Without adequate data to measure emission levels and the rate of changes we see in the environment doing and at what rate, without a sound factual basis, it’s going to be impossible to mitigate the damage at the correct scale. 

At first glance, the convergence of Blockchain with ESG reporting might seem to be contradictory, but a more in-depth analysis of trends shows its value. Blockchain has rapidly transformed into a financial reporting and attestation tool that has caught the attention of many vital decision-makers and technology drivers. At the same time, the importance of ESG has never been more pronounced. Combining the two could be the key to making ESG reporting more straightforward and more meaningful. The broader trends are alike: each has been steadily making inroads into organizational management and the reporting landscape. The difference is that now, with accelerated digital transformation and automation, both broader trends have moved into a much sharper focus. 

Blockchain technology is ideally suited for the complexities of tracking a global supply chain. Improving the traceability of supply chains is old news in terms of goods, but supply chains are much bigger than that. Securing the information that drives business decision-making is where Blockchain can deliver significant value.  

Blockchain technology will allow companies to track resources from the first appearance in their supply chain, certifying their products’ compliance with regulations and their quality. Blockchain technology would enable government agencies to effectively aggregate emissions quantities and origins across geographies, industries, and other criteria. More importantly, all parties would need only one record software system to avoid constant synchronization, submittals, and reporting requirements.  

Though their data may be more transparent, corporations benefit considerably from adopting a technology in which all their emissions and other data reside in a single record system. Along the way, companies would undoubtedly lower their operating cost and, at the same time, reduce the dizzying number of unconnected, heavily supported, siloed software applications they currently operate to keep in compliance with existing environmental regulations. 

This is the fifth post highlighting the evolution of Locus Technologies over the past 25 years. The first four can be found here, here, here, and here. This series continues with Locus at 25 Years: A Unified Approach to EHS and ESG.