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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles joins IBM responsible mineral sourcing blockchain

Wed, 11 Dec 2019, 06:55 am UTC

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the world’s eighth-largest automaker that counts Chrysler, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati among its brands, has joined the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN).

Built on the IBM Blockchain Platform and assured by RCS Global Group, the RSBN blockchain platform aims to provide traceability and verification of responsible sourcing practices of minerals – cobalt, mica and 3TG conflict minerals: tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold – from mine to market.

IBM first announced the initiative in January this year. Members include Ford, Volkswagen Group, LG Chem, Huayou Cobalt, and Volvo Cars among others. RSBN successfully completed a pilot project last month and is now targeting to go live in spring 2020.

In its press release, FCA said that it will work with RSBN to launch a global audit and trace of cobalt in its supply chain. The objective is to preemptively mitigate unethical practices that threaten the future for the communities where the raw materials are sourced.

"Our commitment to the responsible procurement of raw materials is vital to the integrity and sustainability of our supply chain, especially as our electrification strategy ramps up," said Carl Smiley, Chief Purchasing and Supply Chain Officer, FCA. "Embarking on this journey together with technology and industry leaders will propel our ability to have visibility into artisanal and small-scale mines, allowing us to better manage the social and environmental impacts of our business.”

FCA is joining the initiative as it plans to launch more than 30 electrified nameplates by 2022. Its Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is America’s first and only electrified minivan and is among the top five best-selling plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in the industry.

“[T]he consortium will help enable a responsible supply chain of cobalt, which is used in lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles,” FCA said.

Welcoming FCA to the RSBN, Dr. Nicholas Garrett, CEO, RCS Global Group, said, "The RSBN is expanding rapidly, connecting actors throughout the battery supply chain and beyond, all of whom have a focus on proving good practice in responsible sourcing and production."

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