Social Impact and Sustainability Working Group

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Joerg Walden


Mariana de la Roche



The Working Group leverages a variety of expertise to highlight the vast potential of Blockchain and other DLTs for social impact applications. The tools offered by DLT can be utilized to tackle some of today’s most pressing issues, including climate change, modern slavery, poverty, inequality, food waste, fraud, corruption, and other areas addressed by the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The WG has agreed on three objectives around which it will carry out its annual work:

  • - Mapping the blockchain ecosystem in the use of blockchain for social purposes
  • - Establishing relations and engagement with relevant bodies (EU or International)
  • - Enhancing education in blockchain


Among other goals, Members of the Working Group are launching the development of a framework to measure the impact of blockchain for social impact projects.

Work to date

As initial steps in their goal of mapping the "blockchain for good" ecosystem, the Working Group complied an internal list of 100+ projects using blockchain for social impact purposes and conducted a survey among those contacts and the broader industry.

In September 2021, the Working Group published its related report, "Blockchain for Social Impact." The Working Group has created highlights on this report and later host an event in cooperation with governmental bodies.

Why is it essential?

Statistics make it clear:

- 87% of millennials believe business success should be based on more than just profit – Deloitte Millennial Survey 2019
- 80% of global consumers agree that business must play a role in addressing societal issues –Edelman Trust Barometer 2016
- 75% agree that a company can take specific action that both increase profits and improve the economic and social conditions in the community in which it operates – Edelman Trust Barometer 2017
- 33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good – Unilever international study 2016
- 64% won’t take a job from a company that doesn’t have strong CSR practices – 2016 Cone Millennial Engagement study
- 75% say they would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company (vs. 55% U.S. average) – 2016 Cone Millennial Engagement study

These statistics demonstrate that social impact is becoming increasingly important and is shaping our behaviour and business perceptions.

However, the social impact market is suffering from several issues:

- Lack of consolidated frameworks to measure contributions globally of projects to social impact.
- Lack of tools for funds traceability and impact transparency.
- Lack of financial resources & support, especially to developing countries.
- Need to incentivise/inspire projects or individuals to contribute to social good.
- Need to tackle Modern Slavery, Conflict Mineral trade, Human Rights Violations present in global supply chains, and incentivize ethical and responsible supply chain practice.
- Lack of coordination of the existing programs.

Many of these issues can be solved (partially) with blockchain as it may bring a greater transparency and traceability of impact investments (funding, charity…) and impact measurement (proof of impact). It can also play an important role in incentivizing people to contribute to social good as well as organisations – through responsible, ethical, and transparent sourcing practices that can be verified back to the origin.

This Working Group will play an essential role in supporting the initiatives using blockchain for social impact and sustainability, build guidelines for impact measurement, and help matching project owners with investors.
The Social Impact WG, in collaboration with the Climate Action WG, will also act as the bridge and the link between all the other vertical working groups around social impact and sustainability issues.