During 2018, Volvo Group Trucks Purchasing organization did extensive pre-study work in the area of blockchain technology with the target to utilize the technology. Blockchain is a technology which could be used to trace the origin of e.g. a raw material.
“The Volvo Group has embarked on a journey when it comes to looking at specific raw materials used in our components and their impact on environmental, social and ethical aspects. In this case the target is to trace the origin of the cobalt used in our truck batteries i.e. our energy storage system.
This initiative is now a research pilot in GTP Innovative Purchasing where we look to develop and analyze the benefit of blockchain in our purchasing enterprise”, says George Fotopoulos, SVP Innovative Purchasing, Volvo Group Trucks Purchasing
“Tracking cobalt is as important as it is challenging. A significant portion of the world’s cobalt demand is mined using small scale mining methods, which are challenging to map and track. Therefore, I am looking forward to combining the expertise at RISE and Volvo Group to explore the possibilities and the limits of the technology, and to find ways to make the cobalt supply chain more sustainable.
The lessons learned will undoubtedly contribute to our ongoing mission to better understand the commercial and operational benefits of blockchain technology”, says Peter Altmann PhD, Senior Researcher & Blockchain expert at RISE.
“We are looking to explore and utilize a new technology to optimize the sustainability agenda in our supply chain. As Volvo Group does not buy cobalt directly, the blockchain data could provide us a good map of the entire supply chain all the way to the cobalt mines.
Through this we hope to achieve an even better risk identification overview, which is of great importance in the Volvo Group electromobility journey. Blockchain technology has great untapped potential for the future, but there is as well hype in the industry to consider.
For us to partner up with a neutral party like RISE during early technology phases will be very beneficial in this journey,” says Erik Ifwarsson, Director Business Intelligence & Greenhouse, Innovative Purchasing, Volvo Group Trucks Purchasing.