Mercedes-Benz looking to blockchain to provide transparency for CO2 emissions

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Mercedes-Benz is planning for a carbon neutral new passenger car fleet as part of its ‘Ambition2039’ initiative, which is part of the company’s proposed path to sustainable mobility. To achieve its goal, the luxury automobile manufacturer has started by piloting for transparency on CO2 emissions in the cobalt supply chain.

The organisation has collaborated with Circulor, a London-based startup which aims to use blockchain and AI technologies to establish a new global standard for ethical and sustainable materials, for the purpose to track the emissions of climate-relevant gases as well as the amount of secondary material along the complex supply chains of battery cell producers.

Initially, the project would focus on cobalt that enters the supply chain from recycling facilities. Circulor’s blockchain system then maps the flow of production of the materials and their CO2 emissions. This blockchain network also shows Daimler’s sustainability requirements regarding the working conditions, human rights, environmental protection, safety, business ethics and compliance are passed on to all companies involved.

The organisation then urges its direct suppliers to comply with these standards and requirements and carry the provisions into upstream value chains and to monitor their compliance.

Last December, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and mining firm Glencore joined the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), an industry collaboration that uses blockchain to support sustainable, responsible sourcing and production practices from mine to market. According to FCA, the company will jointly work with the network for the launch of a global audit and trace of cobalt in its supply chain. A month before, Volvo, among other companies such as Ford, VW, LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt, also joined the RSBN. It was the first company in the consortium to fully apply the RSBN solution in its LG Chem supply chain beginning in spring 2020.

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