Volkswagen Signs Up With IBM To Track Cobalt Supply Chains With Blockchain Platform
Volkswagen is participating in a transparent industry partnership for accountable procurement of strategic minerals using blockchain technology and to improve efficiency, conservation, and accountability in global supply chains of minerals. Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global revealed the partnership this year.
The company is signing up for a blockchain-driven program to guarantee responsible sourcing of cobalt utilized in lithium-rechargeable batteries for its electric vehicles.
By signing up to the joint effort, the Volkswagen Group will achieve more perspective into the origin of cobalt used in lithium-rechargeable batteries for electric powered vehicles, and other minerals utilized in automobile production.
The Germany-based company wishes the technology, developed on the IBM Blockchain Platform and powered by the Hyperledger Fabric of the Linux Foundation, will “increase efficiency, sustainability and transparency in global supply chains.”
Blockchain technology works very well with existing evaluation and audit processes and also supports accountable procurement norms created by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to assist in meeting regulatory requirements.
Cobalt has now turned out to be a critical element for consumer goods, from smartphones to cars, but as per IBM blog, two – thirds of global supply arrives from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a projected two million mine workers face “profound challenges including human rights violations.” In 2017, Reuters noted that a few cobalt mines use child labor and are run by rebel army.
Miners, smelters and consumer brands have traditionally had to depend on third-party audits and tedious manual procedures to comply with commonly agreed industry norms. The unique mineral traceability and authentication platform is engineered to offer convenient access to stakeholders of all sizes and roles in the distribution chain.
Network participants, verified by RCS Global Group for conformity with reponsible procurement norms, can make a contribution and connect directly to unalterable info in a safe and permitted way to track and record mineral flow across the logistics chain in almost real-time.
While explaining how a stable, safe record will assist Volkswagen meet dependable procuring criteria,the company further says:
“Traditionally, miners, smelters and consumer brands had to rely on third-party audits and laborious manual processes to establish compliance with generally accepted industry standards.”
The blockchain network comprises partakers from mine to end-user at every significant level of the supply chain. Work is anticipated to widen outside of cobalt to many other battery raw materials, such as as tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, occasionally called conflict minerals, and rare earth minerals. Premised on its transparent and democratic framework, the group will further broaden membership to concentrate on businesses like aerospace, consumer electronics, and mining.
LG Chem and Ford Motor Company have signed up with the platform so far, amongst other multinational companies. The group is expected to broaden in coming years to include aerospace, consumer electronics and mining companies. Developed in joint venture with MineHub Technologies, the blockchain alternative was revealed in January.