It was recently announced by the Volkswagen Group, a leading car manufacturing conglomerate that they will now start using blockchain technology in order to track their mineral supply chains.
The car makers also noted that this move will help their attempts to “responsibly source” minerals such as cobalt which is used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. The group has also announced that they are be joining an open industry collaboration, so as to ascertain the merit of the agenda. Ford is said to be one of the members of the open industry collaboration. As per the press release, cobalt mining company Huayou, LG Chem (a unit of South Korean conglomerate LG Corp.) and raw materials supply chain auditing firm RCS Global are some of the other collaborators.
The announcement confirming this said:
“Participants in the network, validated by RCS Global Group for compliance with responsible sourcing standards, can contribute and access immutable data in a secure and permissioned way to trace and record the flow of minerals across the supply chain in near real-time.”
Volkswagen said the method of tracking that is used currently has miners and consumer brands relying on third-party audits and “laborious” manual processes to ensure it complies with widely accepted industry standards for sourcing their minerals. If and when blockchain technology is used in the tracking process, the firm will be sure it meets up with responsible sourcing standards set out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This will be ensured through the provision of a permanent record of mineral movements to aid the compliance process.
To start with, the German Automaker will make use of a new permissioned platform, developed by the group on IBM Blockchain. The platform which is developed using Hyperledger Fabric is designed to enable the tracking of minerals across the global supply chain.
The success of this collaboration is expected to open its membership for other industry such as aerospace, consumer electronics and mining operations.