Cobalt is a chemical element widely used in alloys for aircraft engine parts and in batteries and electroplating. Besides, cobalt salts are used to impart blue and green colours in glass and ceramics while the radioactive 60Co is used in the treatment of cancer.
There is 60% world supply of Cobalt being mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and there are an estimated of 35,000 children reportedly being laboured in the mining processes. Thus, carmakers are now struggling to keep a sufficient amount of the element without being unethical.
Volvo, for instance, has just revealed its first fully-electric car, the XC40 Recharge and the carmaker wants to ensure sure that the raw materials in its lithium-ion batteries are sourced responsibly. Volvo is leveraging on blockchain technology for that.
Martina Buchhauser, Volvo Car’s Head of Procurement said that they have always been committed on the ethical supply chain for their raw materials and blockchain technology comes in handy to ensure full traceability and in managing risks related to their suppliers.
The giant car company confirms that the blockchain traceability system will be used this year and that the chosen suppliers in collaboration are global battery suppliers, CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea.