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Joining the blockchain revolution in circularity

Blog article

Written by
Andreas Gemes,
CES Strategic Initiative Leader

Borealis cutting-edge polyolefin plastic materials are used in a wide range of exterior, interior, and under-the-bonnet applications. These include bumpers, body panels, trims, dashboards, door claddings, climate control and cooling systems, air intake manifolds and battery cases. Proprietary Borealis technologies offer ideal replacement solutions for conventional materials like metal, rubber and engineering polymers. Borealis material solutions help facilitate lightweight construction, playing an important role in enhancing energy efficiency.

Over the lifespan of an automotive application like a bumper, for instance, eight kilogrammes of carbon emissions can be avoided by the use of one kilogramme (kg) of polypropylene (PP). Since Borealis is already offering Borcycle™ grades with post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics content, meeting growing industry and end-user demand for high quality materials that make better use of natural resources, it made sense to collaborate with automotive industry partners on blockchain.

© Porsche

We need to collaborate to overcome challenges to achieve circularity

Together with Circularise, Porsche, Covestro and Domo Chemicals we have been running a blockchain pilot that addresses a major challenge facing the automobile manufacturer. Customers, investors, and wider society now expect to know the provenance and make up of materials, and that expectation will only increase over time due to sustainability and human rights concerns. But as it stands, the provenance and detailed material content of automotive parts is not always clear, and there is limited interaction across the entire value chain.

In this pilot, Porsche offered its customers a look at the facts behind particular parts, using Circularise technology, Porsche’s app, and Borealis’ material information on specific grades. By scanning RFID tags integrated into various parts of the car, consumers could bring up a material’s sustainability credentials, provenance and ethical manufacture. This was done without giving away any confidential information that belongs to the respective suppliers, while providing a solution that our Tier 1 suppliers are self-motivated to use.

Proof-of-Concept

A Proof-of-Concept (PoC) has been presented at the Startup Autobahn Expo Day, and our work here was just the beginning. It opens the door to more supply chain tracking projects across a variety of industries and we can take the learnings when exploring blockchain’s role in addressing other hurdles to the circular economy. Ultimately, it’s this project and the ones to follow that will help usher in our vision of a true circular economy, one where wider value chain collaboration puts sustainability at the heart of every business.

Any thoughts or questions about blockchain’s role in the circular economy? Then please contact us and one of our colleagues will get back to you.

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