Volkswagen Group has begun a blockchain pilot with Minespider that is aimed at gaining greater transparency in its materials supply chain. Left and right carmakers have started to adopt the technology as a means to check whether suppliers are meeting contractual obligations on things such as working conditions, human rights, environmental protect and compliance within the supply chain.
The collaboration started earlier this month, tracing the supply of lead it uses in its car batteries. According to Automotive Logistics, the pilot will involve suppliers and sub-suppliers that deliver more than two-thirds of the company's total lead starter battery requirements.
In addition, Minespider has built a proprietary protocol on a public blockchain composed of three protective layers. By using a public blockchain, everyone within the supply chain is able to work on the same system.
“Digitalization provides important technological instruments that enable us to track the path of minerals and raw materials in cross-border supply chains in ever greater detail,” Marco Philippi, head of strategy group procurement at VW Group says in a statement. “Together with Minespider we will use the blockchain technology to make our processes more transparent and secure.”
The companies are using the pilot project as the first step into a broader collaboration and a planned expansion of the blockchain to monitor other raw material supply chains.