Professionals engaged in procurement jobs at Mercedes-Benz are pioneering a bold new initiative called ‘Ambition2039’ that is aimed at achieving a completely carbon-neutral passenger car fleet within the coming two decades.

The initiative will require procurement practitioners, both permanent employees and procurement and supply chain interims, to deliver total transparency across the company’s supply chain wherever climate-related issues are implicated.

To achieve the ultimate goal of a carbon-neutral passenger car fleet, the auto-manufacturing giant has partnered with blockchain start-up Circulor.

Both firms are currently collaborating on pilot projects to achieve complete CO2 transparency within the Mercedes-Benz cobalt supply chain using blockchain technology.

The digital ledger is being used to map the movement of materials, the quantity of CO2 released, and the quantity of recycled materials used in the supply chain.

The ultimate aim is to craft a circular economy in which material cycles are closed.

The new blockchain-based system, which links digital data together using cryptography so that it cannot be altered without being detected, goes beyond tracking recycled materials and CO2 emissions, however.

It also aims to track other sustainability values, such as working conditions, human rights, safety, commercial ethics and environmental protection, ensuring that all are met by all partners in the supply chain.

Declaring that the company had set itself “high goals” with Ambition2039, Markus Schäfer (who sits on the board of both Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG and holds responsibility for group research at Mercedes-Benz), said that they could only be attained via close cooperation with suppliers.

Key to the entire endeavour, he added, was transparency, which the firm intends to ensure for all its processes in order to provide full traceability.

He said that the company is the first to use blockchain technology in order to record CO2 emissions in the global battery cell supply chain, and that it is laying the cornerstone for improvements – both for the environment and businesses.

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