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June 2023

Entering the next era of responsibility and sustainability 

Welcome to the Circulor monthly newsletter, where we aim to bring you the latest insights on progress toward more resilient, transparent, and responsible global supply chains.   

Recent trends indicate that we’re entering a new era of responsibility and sustainability—one that requires granular data from the deepest tiers of supply chain production and couples such data directly with information about the products we buy. 

This month’s approval by the European Parliament of the EU Battery Regulation makes more official a regulation that plays a lighthouse role in global initiatives. The regulation and its requirement for a digital product identifier per battery, sets a new precedent for what we'll come to expect to know about the products we buy. The Battery Regulation will be finalized next month, with its first requirements taking effect for 2025 and 2027. The EU’s Ecodesign for Sustainable Production Regulation, also requiring digital product identifiers, follows closely behind. 

The International Sustainability Standards Board is also raising the bar when it comes to transparency, issuing this week global standards for sustainability disclosures. The standards create, for the first time, a common language for disclosing the effects of climate-related risks and opportunities on a company’s prospects. The standards incorporate recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and are uniquely suited for use around the world, creating a global baseline.  

On the U.S. side and following last month’s Trade and Technology Council meetings with the EU, a bipartisan group of Senators is crafting a bill that would apply tariffs to products based on their embedded upstream emissions. With the importance of the EU market and Europe’s progress toward a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, the U.S. looks to take up its own effort to incorporate emissions into trade.  

Circulor is observing a growing number of companies who, like us, are witnessing these trends. Moreover, we’re seeing that first movers are starting to reap broader benefits to their business, like risk mitigation, supplier collaboration, and competitive advantage. We share more
on that trend here.

More detail on these trends, as well as a number of others, can be found below. We look forward to continuing to bring you these global insights both here, as well as on and LinkedIn. 

What we're reading...  

Boldly breaking barriers  
The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has unveiled ground-breaking sustainability disclosure standards that require businesses to provide transparent reporting of their climate-related risks and strategies. IFRS has more on how.

Record federal funding for Ford EV production 
A $9.2 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy to Ford Motor Co. marks the largest pool of federal funds to an automaker since the 2009 financial crisis. The U.S. Loan Program Office, originally built to fund futuristic projects, will support Ford’s build out of three battery factories, marking the office’s maturation from funding innovation to now also onshoring critical supply chains and production, as noted in Bloomberg.

$514 billion is the big number 
The electric vehicle revolution sparks a $514 billion battery arms race by 2030, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Critical raw material production will require the largest share of this amount at $220 billion with lithium alone needing $51 billion in investment. 

Accelerating policy action
While there are significant opportunities for EV battery recycling, there remain hurdles. The World Economic Forum highlights these challenges and discusses how although global policymakers aim to scale EV recycling through ambitious policy actions, they still need to collaborate to enable the safe, sustainable and efficient recycling of EV batteries globally. 

From Brussels to D.C: carbon border adjustment mechanism  
Will carbon tariffs be the next big step toward greater international synergy on trade and climate action? A bipartisan group of Senators in the U.S. are working on a bill that puts a price on imported products with certain levels of upstream emissions. So far, products of consideration include aluminium, iron, steel, plastic, crude oil, lithium-ion batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines. E&E News has more on the efforts within Congress.

What we're sharing...  

'The importance of material traceability data in meeting the EU Battery Regulation,' - Circulor  
The EU Battery Regulation will be enacted shortly. As companies look more closely at their requirements, we explain how Circulor’s material traceability technology can help.  Read more.

'EU Battery Regulations and the role of the economic operator,'- Circulor 
The EU Battery Regulation aims to minimize the negative impact of batteries on the environment, promote their efficient use and recycling, and safeguard consumer interests in an increasingly digital and electrified economy. Read more.

'Why start now? In your material traceability journey.' - Circulor 
The signal has been sent, but some key global regulations don’t take full effect for a few years. Why do manufacturers need to start deploying material traceability within their supply chains today? And those who do—what do they stand to gain? Read more.

'3 things policymakers need to collaborate on for a sustainable electric vehicle transition' - World Economic Forum 
While policy actions within markets are making strides to ensure a transparent and responsible EV transition, there is room for increased collaboration on the global regulatory landscape. The World Economic Forum explores three ideas to build global policy bridges. Read more.

'Regulation, blockchain and the traceability revolution,' - Mining Magazine 
The use of traceability solutions in the mining industry has the potential to improve sustainability and meet increasing demands for electric vehicle battery supply chains.  Read more.

'Blocking and tackling: keys to resiliency in recycling,' - Sustainability Speaking 
During a recent podcast hosted by America's Plastic Makers, Circular's CEO, Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, joined Stan Chen, CEO of RecycleGO, for an interview with Mia Quinn, Senior Director of Public Affairs at the American Chemistry Council. The three discussed blockchain's role in enabling greater circularity, especially through the traceability and transparency it provides. In terms of plastics recycling, traceability has proven its usefulness in improving sustainability and recycling rates and meeting customer and regulatory demands, while minimizing harm to the environment and society. Read more.

'Is traceability the secret to sustainable battery sourcing?' - Automotive World  
In a recent article published by Automotive World, Ellen Carey, Chief External Affairs Officer at Circulor, emphasized the critical role of traceability in achieving sustainable battery sourcing in the automotive industry. The article highlights the growing demand for transparency in supply chains, particularly concerning EV batteries. Read more.

'Battery Pass webinar series: Introduction to the Battery Passport' - Battery Pass  
As the EU prepares for the upcoming Battery Regulation, the need for a robust and secure system for sharing information across the battery value chain has become increasingly apparent.

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