Major car manufacturer Mercedes Benz and blockchain startup Circulor are jointly rolling out a pilot aimed at the tracing carbon emissions in the cobalt supply chain. Cobalt is an essential mineral used in the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries.
The blockchain-based pilot will also monitor if all involved companies meet the sustainability requirements of Daimler AG, Mercedes’ parent company, such as working conditions, human rights, environmental protection, safety, business ethics and compliance, are being met by all involved companies.
According to the announcement, the pilot comes as a result of Mercedes’ ambition to create a new carbon neutral passenger car fleet in the next 20 years, and is part of Daimler’s Startup Autobahn initiative.
Suppliers and partners play a key role in the implementation of the sustainability business strategy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to take into stronger consideration CO2 savings and the environmentally sustainable handling of resources as it pertains to procurement. In parallel with the recording of emissions data, Mercedes-Benz Cars is conducting workshops with suppliers in order to identify effective CO2 reduction measures. The focus of the commitment is initially on materials whose production is particularly CO2 intensive. In addition to battery cells, this also includes steel and aluminium. As a first milestone, Mercedes-Benz will source battery cells from carbon-neutral production for the first time as part of a sustainability partnership with a battery cell supplier.
“It is our aspiration to make all processes transparent and traceable. We are the first manufacturer to use blockchain technology to map CO2 emissions in the global battery cell supply chain. In doing so, we are laying the cornerstone for effective improvements – for the environment and for our businesses.”
– Markus Schäfer, member of Board of Management of Daimler and Mercedes
This partnership will purportedly help Mercedes determine whether its partner companies comply with its sustainability requirements, especially when it comes to human rights.
Meanwhile, the parent company Daimler has independent blockchain projects. In 2019, Daimler Trucks and Commerzbank ran a pilot to use the Daimler Truck Wallet to make payments with e-euros from Commerzbank. It is also working with startup Filament on a blockchain project for remanufactured components.