In an article on The Next Web (TNW), the electric vehicle manufacturer Polestar put forth its plan on how it will use Blockchain in an ethical way to produce its electric car batteries.
Most people would imagine that electric cars will bring sustainability and far less of an environmental carbon footprint. This certainly is the case but electric car manufacturers do have to tread carefully, especially where their batteries are concerned.
One of the raw materials needed for electric batteries is cobalt. It should be of real concern then to electric car manufacturers that cobalt mines present serious problems to the health of the miners that work in them.
A report published earlier last year highlighted the plight of children, particularly in the Republic of Congo. The report stated that 35,000 children were “mining cobalt in toxic conditions”.
Blockchain provides a perfect solution to this predicament. Given that it provides an immutable register of transactions on the supply chain, it can be used to track the source of materials and help to enforce regulation on extraction, processing, and transportation.
Frederika Klarén, Polestar’s Head of Sustainability said:
“It was important to us to start with cobalt when piloting this innovative technology. We need many tools to fight the cobalt supply chain risks relating to child- and human rights violations. Supporting communities through programs such as Better Mining, increasing the use of recycled content, and implementing responsible sourcing practices are some of them. And now we can also add blockchain to the list,”
Polstar has already signed an agreement with its 2 battery suppliers to secure all the data on Cobalt to the Blockchain, such as: “origin, size, weight, chain of custody, and information showing adherence to OECD supply chain guidelines”.
At present, Polestar gathers all its information from the International Material Data System. However, in order to further minimise the size of its carbon footprint in relation to battery components, Polestar is looking to obtain more accurate results from the suppliers themselves.
One of the major reasons for the purchase of an electric car is that it will drastically reduce the impact on our environment. Sourcing materials responsibly and ethically must also play an integral part in this, and therefore the Polestar initiative should be applauded.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.