Volvo Cars has announced plans to become the first auto maker to enable global traceability of the cobalt used in its batteries through the application of blockchain technology. This significantly boosts transparency of the raw material supply chain as the information about the material’s origin cannot be changed undetected.
As part of this commitment, the OEM has now reached an agreement with its two global battery suppliers, CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea, and leading global blockchain technology firms to implement traceability of cobalt this year.
“We have always been committed to an ethical supply chain for our raw materials,” said Martina Buchhauser, head of procurement at Volvo Cars. “With blockchain technology we can take the next step toward ensuring full traceability of our supply chain and minimizing any related risks.”
Technology firms Circulor and Oracle operate the blockchain technology across CATL’s supply chain following a successful pilot earlier this summer, while the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), along with RCS Global and IBM, is rolling out the technology in LG Chem’s supply chain.
In the case of Volvo, data in the blockchain will include the cobalt’s origin, attributes such as weight and size, the chain of custody and information establishing that participants’ behavior is consistent with OECD supply chain guidelines.