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Working with SQM and Volvo Cars, Circulor makes available digital proof of SQM’s IRMA 75 lithium to downstream customers

December 6, 2023

Circulor recognizes the powerful combination that results when third-party audits and material traceability come together.

Today, Circulor confirms end-to-end supply chain traceability for SQM’s lithium operation at Salar de Atacama that has achieved IRMA 75 in an audit by The Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) to downstream customer Volvo Cars.

Through its PROVE platform, combining its Compliance and Material Traceability solutions, Circulor is able to authenticate the lithium as IRMA 75, connecting the IRMA audit report of SQM’s Salar de Atacama operation with the flow of material and assuring its incorporation into specific battery cells and packs that are delivered downstream.

SQM’s Salar de Atacama operation became the world’s first lithium mining operation to achieve IRMA 75. IRMA is the most comprehensive, rigorous, and transparent mining standard in the world, developed over more than 10 years with input from numerous stakeholders. The IRMA audit approach evaluates operations across 26 areas, including water management, human rights, greenhouse gas emission, and fair labor, among others.

In connecting SQM’s IRMA audit and performance metrics with their flow of materials, SQM’s investment and commitment to sustainable, responsible, and transparent production is differentiated within supply chains and with downstream customers.

“This is a first-ever for the industry,” said Circulor CEO Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, “and the coming together of credible third-party audits with material traceability will change the game in terms of how we evaluate the responsibility and sustainability of our supply chains and products.”

“SQM’s commitment to transparency is evident both in their IRMA audit results and in the leadership role they are taking here to share the sustainability and responsibility of their product all the way through to downstream customers,” continued Johnson-Poensgen.

“Our decision to commit our lithium mining operation to an IRMA audit and to transparently share the audit results reflects our desire to constantly improve and to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders, both inside and outside the Salar de Atacama region,” said Carlos Díaz, Executive VP Lithium SQM.

“Our supply chain transparency journey started five years ago when we became the first automotive OEM to deploy blockchain technology through our partnership with Circulor,” said Ann-Sofie Ekberg, CEO of Volvo Cars Tech Fund. “In working with SQM and Circulor, we’re proud to say we are sourcing sustainable, responsible, and transparent lithium, as audited by IRMA, and this is an important milestone for Circulor and Volvo Cars. We are looking forward to continuing the expansion of our blockchain technology cooperation going forward.”

With Circulor’s PROVE platform, customers can set requirements for suppliers and upload pre-defined documents and data. They can also track updates, completion, renewals, and certification processes via automated notifications, and manage a growing library of compliance documentation. Taken together, the platform creates a streamlined compliance workflow, that reduces risk and ensures greater accuracy and efficiency as companies respond to a growing number of sustainability and responsibility requirements.


Circulor gives organizations full visibility of their supply chains. The London-based company offers the most mature, proven, and complete technology software solution available to track materials with high environmental and human rights impacts as they change state within manufacturing and recycling supply chains. With Circulor, businesses can follow the physical flow of critical materials from extraction to final production, as well as associated ESG characteristics and embedded carbon across Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. The tech company was founded in 2017 in the UK, with offices in the US, Germany, Singapore, Ireland, and Australia. The company has been named a  Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, Global Cleantech 100, and won DIGITALEUROPE’s 2022 Future Unicorn Award

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