The founder of software engineering company Endjin has compared the data protocol required to meet sustainable goals in finance to open banking regulation in a recent interview with Finextra TV.
Matthew Adams believes that data needs to be available on the journeys of products and services, but there does not have to be an overly intrusive taxonomy for every element of the supply chain.
Comparing this to open banking regulation, Adams tells Finextra: "Initially it was imposed but now it is being seen as an opportunity to add the data that's needed to enrich and add value to those exchanges. We need the same kind of approach throughout value chains."
Similar to open banking, there would be scope for each participant in a supply chain to add their own commercial signature, which would be necessary to allow companies to see sustainability as something more than a regulatory or legal requirement.
"With open banking, there was push and pull. Governments mandated open banking but then created the space in which people can innovate and create commercial opportunities. I think sustainable finance will create the same environment.
"We need to identify key influencers in the value chain who are going to bring to bear the regulatory side of it, but within that space, we need to help people see what opportunities there are for innovation."
Asked why the gathering and harnessing of data to sustainable goals is more achievable than ever before, Adams describes the availability of data "at whatever security, whatever fidelity, whatever scale" as the "base line" to build on.
"We have the understanding within the technology industry that openness, APIs, data exchanges and connecting up multiple 3rd party systems is the way technology needs to interact. So the mindset is there and the technology is there. No we need to decide what to do with it."
Endjin is a Microsoft Most Valued Partner and has been closely involved in the work of Oceanmind, a company that uses satellite data to detect and track illegal fishing activity in the oceans and has developed a suite of services to help governments and the seafood supply chain to monitor compliance of fishing activities.
Oceanmind CEO Nick Wise was one of the speakers at the first Sustainable Finance Live workshop in December 2019, in which industry experts discussed the building and reporting of sustainibility in supply chains and green bonds in commercial banking.
The second workshop, focussing on investment and asset management, will take place in London on March 23rd.