Volkswagen Group, a leading car manufacturing conglomerate has recently announced that it will employ blockchain technology for the tracking of its mineral supply chains.

Volkswagen Set to Build Responsibly

The car marker made it known that this move will aid its endeavours to “responsibly source” minerals such as cobalt (used in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles). The group has joined an open industry collaboration, to ensure the certainty of its agenda. The open industry collaboration is said to have Ford as a member.
Other members who are part of the collaboration according to Volkswagen’s announcement include: cobalt mining company Huayou, LG Chem (a unit of South Korean conglomerate LG Corp.) and raw materials supply chain auditing firm RCS Global.

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.”

Current Method of Tracking Not Transparent

Volkswagen said the current method of tracking 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.

Once blockchain technology is involved, in the tracking process, the firm will be certain it actually meets up with responsible sourcing standards set out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). This will be done 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.

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