Volvo sets up blockchain for tracing cobalt sources
Volvo wants to make the origin of cobalt traceable using blockchain technology. The carmaker has now reached agreements with its two battery suppliers CATL and LG Chem as well as blockchain companies.
With this step, Volvo wants to ensure “that customers can drive electrified Volvos knowing the material for the batteries has been sourced responsibly,” says the Swedish company.
The blockchain technology in use is designed to create a reliable, shared data network and thus significantly increase transparency in the supply chain, as information about the origin of the material cannot be changed unnoticed. Volvo Cars have now signed an agreement with its two global battery suppliers – CATL from China and LG Chem from South Korea – and leading blockchain technology companies to implement this cobalt traceability as of this year.
Technology companies Circulor and Oracle will operate the blockchain throughout CATL’s supply chain following a successful pilot project this summer. Moreover, the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), together with the specialists RCS Global and IBM, will implement the technology in LG Chem’s supply chain.
According to Volvo Cars press release, the Swedish manufacturer wants this transparency to underline its sustainability efforts and assume responsibility. “We have always been committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials,” explains Martina Buchhauser, Volvo Cars’ Procurement Director. “With blockchain technology, we can take the next step towards ensuring full traceability of our supply chain and minimising any related risks, in close collaboration with our suppliers”.
With the Volvo XC40 Recharge, the Swedish automobile manufacturer presented its first all-electric model in October 2019. The compact SUV is the prelude to an entire “Recharge” family: by 2025, the company intends to generate half of its worldwide sales with all-electric cars. Parallel to the vehicle, Volvo has also presented an ambitious climate plan, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 per cent by 2025 and also takes into account ethical responsibility in all business areas and the supply chain.
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