jaguar and land rover ltd., Subsidiary of Tata Motors, has piloted the use of blockchain technology to ensure transparency in the leather supply chain. According to the car manufacturer, the research on the new technology is pursuing several goals at the same time: no more carbon emissions in the entire supply chain, in the products and at the locations by 2039 and on the other hand the ecological and ethical effects over the entire life cycle to reduce.
In order to test the use of this world‘s first digital supply chain management for leather and to ensure complete traceability, the company has teamed up with the supplier “Circulor”, which specializes in tracking raw materials, the British leather manufacturer “Bridge of Weir Leather Company” and the University of Nottingham joined forces. The process not only allows Jaguar and Land Rover to track compliance, but also to assess the carbon footprint of its leather supplier network. In cooperation with the “Bridge of Weir Leather Company”, the leather with the lowest carbon footprint can be traced back from the farm to the finished article. The carmaker strives to offer its customers a more sustainable and responsible choice of materials for the interiors of its vehicles. Examples of this are already the textile interior available in the Range Rover Evoque made of natural eucalyptus fibers and Kvadrat – a refined wool blend fabric paired with a suede fabric made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle – and in addition to the Evoque and Range Rover Velar also in the all-electric Jaguar I -PACE is used.
The goal: net-zero emissions by 2039
Research funded by Innovate UK created a digital twin of the raw material so its journey through the leather supply chain can be tracked simultaneously in the real world and digitally. A combination of GPS data, biometric data and QR codes is used to digitally verify the status of the leather at each step of the process using blockchain technology. By defining the verification process, a repeatable blueprint has been created for tracing a single piece of leather at every stage. This process can be used throughout Jaguar Land Rover’s global supply chain, as well as in other industries that rely on leather, such as fashion and footwear. The project is part of the “Reimagine” strategy: “a sustainability-oriented combination of modern luxury, unique customer experiences and positive impact on society,” it says.
Reimagine aims to achieve net-zero emissions across the company by 2039.
Jaguar Land Rover will work together with industry experts to improve sustainability, further reduce emissions and to take a leader in the development of technologies, data and software for the next generation. “In the context of Reimagine, we are currently structuring our supply chain, focusing on transparency and sustainability. The results of this world‘s first experiment will enable us to further improve the sustainability of leather-delivered around the globe and ensure complete traceability of raw materials from the origin to the vehicle. (…) It is another step on our way to get along by 2039 completely without carbon dioxide emissions “, says Dave Owen, Executive Director of Supply Chain.
Previously, Jaguar Land Rover had announced an investment in “Circulor” via his risk capital and mobility services branch called “Inmotion”. This involvement allows the company to source materials from suppliers across its networks with greater transparency in terms of provenance, worker welfare and compliance. Incidentally, the technology could also be used to trace other raw materials. Circulor is already using blockchain to improve traceability of minerals used in electric vehicle batteries. Key benefit: Blockchain technology cannot be altered or tampered with, giving customers confidence that the supply chain is authentic and all materials are from sustainable sources. The blockchain technology developed in this experiment will make it possible to precisely track and measure each phase of the process and the entire leather supply chain.
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