2024: The demand for supply chain traceability shows no signs of slowing
Welcome to the Circulor monthly newsletter, where we highlight the progress toward more resilient, transparent, and responsible global supply chains.
Industry trends for 2024 have a clear theme – the need for responsible and sustainable supply chains is paramount.
According to both KPMG and Forbes rapid advancements in technologies, including blockchain, are revolutionizing the supply chain landscape and will continue to drive the transition towards 'smart' supply chains over the course of 2024.
They recognize that the lack of visibility beyond direct suppliers has major implications for organizations, particularly when it comes to meeting regulatory requirements, and identifying and mitigating supply chain risks. Adopting a granular data-driven material traceability approach, tracking materials across the entire supply chain, from source to final product, is high on the agenda. Those organizations already embracing a more collective and data-driven approach by using technology solutions are reaping the rewards, while also accelerating progress toward more circular value chains—another industry theme for 2024.
With an increasing number of businesses setting ambitious goals to become carbon neutral and achieve net-zero, they must ensure change becomes engrained across the entire value chain. And this requires end-to-end data-driven proof, that stands up to scrutiny from regulators and investors and assures consumers that they are getting what they hope to be getting—sustainable responsible products.
On this note, earlier this month, the European Parliament voted to adopt a new anti-greenwashing law to ban some commercial practices including the use of unproven generic product claims such as “environmentally friendly,” or “climate neutral.” The new law includes rules aimed at making product labels clearer, only allowing those based on proof. You can read more on this topic in a recent blog post.
In summary, 2024 will see even more from consumers questioning product content, and businesses evaluating the risks associated with their supply chains. This dynamic will continue to drive businesses such as Polestar, and regulators alike, to ensure that the supply chains of the future adhere to principles of sustainability, ethics, and visibility.
What we’re reading
US EPA’s new climate damage metric
Politico reports that the U.S. government, the world's largest spender on goods and services, could undergo significant changes to its $630+ billion annual spending by incorporating policies that consider the impact of global warming. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has raised its estimates on the social cost of greenhouse gases, and in 2024, federal agencies plan to apply these metrics--not just for rulemaking but also potentially for budgeting, procurement, and penalty assessments.
A green price premium for Australian produced nickel
Australian Mining shares that Australian Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King expressed support for implementing a green price premium for nickel produced in Australia. This pricing structure aims to distinguish between ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) compliant nickel produced in Australia and less sustainable nickel from other sources as she believes incentives are necessary for battery and car manufacturers to choose ethically produced nickel.
Global passenger EV sales to increase 21% in 2024 to 16.7 million
Bloomberg predicts that in 2024, globally, EVs (electric vehicles) are projected to represent 20% of vehicle sales, with China leading at 38%. European EV sales are expected to reach 3.4 million, up 8%. The U.S. market is uncertain, with conflicting views, but EV sales are predicted to be just under 1.9 million, constituting 13% of new-car purchases. Emerging economies also show increased EV adoption.
The role of graphite in EV battery recycling
In the U.S., automakers and the US Department of Energy are pouring billions of dollars into battery recycling including graphite extraction from dead batteries. According to Grist, while it’s not widely done currently due to technical and economic hurdles, organizations are using innovative technologies to explore a range of graphite recycling processes, including recycling opportunities for anode material as well as cathode.
Greenwashing statistics: what they mean for businesses and customers
A market data report from Gitnux details that greenwashing is becoming a growing concern. As companies endeavor to appear more environmentally friendly, many are engaging in deceptive marketing practices to make their products seem more eco-friendly than they are. These marketing practices are becoming increasingly common, and the statistics surrounding greenwashing are alarming, with 68% of US executives admitting their companies are guilty of greenwashing, and two-thirds of executives globally questioned whether their company’s sustainability efforts were genuine.
What we’re sharing
ACC partners with Circulor to achieve supply chain transparency
Working with Circulor and their PROVE platform provides ACC with unprecedented supply chain visibility that accelerates proof of responsible sourcing and embedded carbon emissions in its battery cells. Subsequent compliance with global regulations will enable ACC to deliver additional value to its customers as the battery industry collaborates to build battery passports in accordance with the EU Battery Regulation. Read more.
Ethical sourcing in the age of electric vehicles
In a recent episode of the Digital Supply Chain Podcast, Circulor's Chief External Affairs Officer, Ellen Carey, discussed with host Tom Raftery how Circulor are transforming the way we manage complex industrial supply chains. The conversation highlighted the evolution of supply chain transparency that goes beyond claims and estimates, to granular proof, through end-to-end traceability, ensuring the sustainability of key minerals and materials. Read more.
Polestar and Circulor: Embracing a common vision
Through its collaboration with Circulor, Polestar has broadened its use of blockchain-traced minerals. Initially covering Cobalt and Mica in Polestar 2, the scope has expanded to include Lithium and Nickel for Polestar 3. This partnership is establishing a new standard for transparency in the automotive sector, promoting responsibility and transparency that could reshape industry norms and advance circular automotive value chains. Read more.
Tech Tour Growth50 List shows Europe’s sustained unicorn potential
Circulor has been recognized in Tech Tour's 2024 Growth50 List, identifying us as one of Europe's potential future unicorns. The list highlights high-growth European tech companies, and Circulor was specifically acknowledged as a leading innovator in sustainability by over 90 investors on the panel. Read more.
Electric vehicles will need 'battery passports' to enter EU
Autocar reports that battery passports will be mandatory for electric vehicles sold in the European Union from February 2027 to provide greater visibility of what has gone into them and where it has come from. The article cites Ellen Carey, Circulor’s Chief External Affairs Officer, who explains a battery passport is about creating accountability of that supply chain - who touched what, when and where – and alerting manufacturers to changes in their supply chains so they can “interrogate the activity.” Read more.
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