Circularise and Porsche collaborate with Borealis, Covestro and Domo Chemicals to enable the traceability of plastics in the automotive sector

  • Circularise and Porsche together with the pioneering material suppliers Borealis,  Covestro and Domo Chemicals launched a blockchain traceability project as part  of the Startup Autobahn program  
  • By digitizing materials Circularise was able to create a digital thread through the  whole supply chain leading to tracing materials and CO2 footprints.

Stuttgart/The Hague/Vienna/Leverkusen/Ghent, November 3, 2020 - Circularise, the blockchain  supply chain transparency provider, as part of the Startup Autobahn innovation program, recently launched a project with Porsche and its pioneering material suppliers – Borealis,  Covestro and Domo Chemicals – to enable the traceability of plastics on blockchain and to  ensure that the use of sustainable materials in Porsche cars can be proven. By digitizing  materials Circularise was able to create a digital thread through the whole supply chain,  enabling material traceability, tracking the CO2 footprint and other sustainability metrics like  water savings. 

Getting information from supply chains has always been a challenge. Not only because of the  inherent complexity of the supply chains and the multitude of suppliers, but also due to concerns  around trust, privacy and confidentiality. That is why blockchain is offering such a fitting solution to transparency challenges in supply chains. “We believe transparency should not come at the  cost of reduced privacy and confidentiality. That is why we developed our patent pending  technology for creating verified statements on public blockchains without revealing any  underlying sensitive data. While this raw data is very valuable in a B2B setting, consumers  demand a more distilled and interactive version. We are proud to present exactly that in  collaboration with Porsche and some of their pioneering suppliers,” says Mesbah Sabur.  

Porsche has a large number of suppliers providing parts to its cars but it doesn’t stop the  company looking for more information about the materials that go into its cars. According to  Antoon Versteeg, Project Lead Innovation Research at Porsche, “We need to know more details  on the parts and materials being used in our products, that means information on production  processes deep down the supply chain, statements of recycled content and more. With the help  of Circularise, as well as with the help of their partners we were able to trace for a number of  specific cases plastics from raw material production to the final car.”

A number of suppliers who can deliver sustainably produced materials for the automotive  industry were involved in this project to realise the final outcome. Each batch of material was  digitized on the blockchain receiving a digital copy called digital twin. The digital twin carries all  relevant information regarding the batch, such as its environmental footprint and origin. This  digital thread created transparency between project partners leading to an improved supply  chain collaboration.  

This also offers great advantages to the material manufacturers. According to Thomas Nuyts,  Director of Global Product Management at Domo Chemicals, “as leader in the production of  sustainable polyamides, we at Domo can only gain by making the supply chain more  transparent. By tracking our materials, we will make a huge step ahead in supporting the  automotive industry in its sustainability challenges. Besides providing recycled solutions from  current sources we also aim to enlarge this loop and find new raw materials for our products to  meet the mobility needs of today and tomorrow.” 

However, the companies cannot simply create a digital twin. First, the batch of materials needs  to be audited by an independent third party to verify that the material and related claims are  true. “Verification is essential. Even with a supply chain involving blockchains we want  independent auditors for our system. And this is how we gain the trust and confidence of all our  value chain members. Several years from now, after these systems are in place on a wider  scale, things will have been standardized. For now, it’s still early days. Auditors and  certifications are essential to ensure that no one can engage in greenwashing. But we really  need to pick up the pace as we keep moving towards more circularity,” says Christopher  McArdle, Borealis Vice President Polyolefin Strategy and New Business Development. 

Once the materials are digitized, the parties along the supply chain can now update the digital  twin mimicking the physical supply chain and reflecting the manufacturing processes along the  lifecycle of the product. Due to Circularise’s “Smart Questioning” technology this process can  happen while preserving everyone’s privacy regarding their identity and business relations and  protecting confidential information.  

Burkhard Zimmermann, Head of Resin, Digital Transformation & Sustainability at Covestro’s  Polycarbonates segment: “For us, it is really important to share information and be more  transparent while maintaining confidentiality. For instance, the material composition is of  competitive advantage so we would never share that openly. Here, Circularise helps us to  maintain this confidentiality and only disclose the information needed from raw material  producer to recycler. And with that, we can close the loop.” 

Not only this approach helps car manufacturers to make better decisions for the next  generations of vehicles and support end-of-life recycling approaches, it also helps final  consumers to learn more about their vehicle and its origins, enabling them to make more  sustainable choices. Ultimately reducing the environmental impact across the whole value  chain.

About Porsche AG 

Porsche AG is a German automobile manufacturer specializing in high-performance sports cars,  SUVs and sedans. The headquarters of Porsche AG is in Stuttgart, and the company is owned  by Volkswagen AG, a controlling stake of which is owned by Porsche Automobil Holding SE. 

About Circularise 

Circularise founded in 2016 and based in The Netherlands helps plastic manufacturers, brands  and OEMs to trace raw materials from source, into parts and ultimately to end products. The  company uses blockchain and other emerging technologies to enable companies share data  about their products while retaining privacy over sensitive information. 

About Borealis: 

Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and  a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and the mechanical recycling of plastics.  We leverage our polymers expertise and decades of experience to offer value adding,  innovative and circular material solutions for key industries. In re-inventing for more sustainable  living, we build on our commitment to safety, our people and excellence as we accelerate the  transformation to a circular economy and expand our geographical footprint. 

With head offices in Vienna, Austria, Borealis employs 6,900 employees and operates in over  120 countries. In 2019, Borealis generated EUR 8.1 billion in sales revenue and a net profit of  EUR 872 million. OMV, the Austria-based international oil and gas company, owns 75% of  Borealis, while the remaining 25% is owned by a holding company of the Abu-Dhabi based  Mubadala. We supply services and products to customers around the globe through Borealis  and two important joint ventures: Borouge (with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or  ADNOC, based in UAE); and Baystar™ (with Total, based in the US). 

About Domo Chemicals 

DOMO Chemicals is a leading producer of high-quality engineering nylon materials for a diverse  range of markets, including the automotive, food, medical, pharmaceutical, chemicals and  electronics industries. The company offers a complete portfolio of integrated nylon 6 and 66  products, including intermediates, resins, engineering plastics, performance fibres, packaging  film and distribution of petrochemical products. Headquartered in Germany, the family- owned  company leverages advanced technology and consumer insights to deliver sustainable &  innovative solutions. DOMO generated 2019 sales over EUR 900 million and employs in 2020  approximately 2200 employees worldwide. 

About Covestro 

With 2019 sales of EUR 12.4 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies.  Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the 

development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main  segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical  and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the  chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately  17,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2019.