Mercedes-Benz hopes to burnish green credentials with blockchain tracking in drive to go carbon neutral before 2040

Blockchain pilot project will track materials and emissions in the company’s procurement of cobalt

Together with UK-based start-up Circulor, Mercedes-Benz is conducting a pilot project for transparency on CO2 emissions in the cobalt supply chain as part of its STARTUP AUTOBAHN program to carbon neutral.

The project uses blockchain technology to track the emissions of climate-relevant gases as well as the amount of secondary material along the complex supply chains of battery cell manufacturers. In addition, the data network documents whether the Daimler sustainability standards are passed on throughout the entire supply chain. 

The pilot is part of "Ambition2039", Mercedes-Benz Cars aims for a carbon neutral new passenger car fleet in less than 20 years.

The project partners first focus on cobalt, which enters the supply chain from recycling facilities. A blockchain-based system maps the production flow of the materials as well as the associated CO2 emissions.

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.

Mercedes-Benz said in a press release that its ultimate goal is a circular economy. For this purpose, the mapping of the material flow also records the amount of recycled material in the supply chain.

"With Ambition2039, Mercedes-Benz Cars has set itself high goals,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, Procurement and Supplier Quality. “We can only get there in close cooperation with our suppliers. The key is transparency: 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".

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