In a recent press release, Fiat Chrysler (FCA) announced that it would join the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN). IBM created RSBN in partnership with RCS Global. Its goal is to help companies better track sources of raw materials used in their supply chain. This is a significant development since Chrysler is one of the top automobile companies in the world.
Thus far, Volvo, Ford, Volkswagen, LG Chem, Huayou Cobalt, and now Chrysler have signed up to the consortium. They intend to use the network to help track the source of cobalt used in the electric components of the cars they manufacture. Chrysler believes in sourcing the materials for its cars responsibly and sustainably.
RSBN plans to launch in spring 2020. It uses the blockchain to help with the mapping and traceability of raw materials to help eliminate unethical practices that negatively affect the communities where they are sourced. FCA is betting big on electric and hybrid vehicles in the next two years and it believes RSBN will play a crucial role in helping it ensure the cobalt it uses is sourced responsibly. RSBN intends to create an industry-wide platform that will be powered by the blockchain to trace the origin of all minerals used in the sector. To assess how well a firm is performing, it will rely on the standards set by the OECD.
What RCS Global and IBM Had to Say
According to an official from RCS Global, they were excited that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had signed up to RSBN. The official added that this was an indication that the company was serious about the responsible sourcing of materials in its supply chain. An official from IBM also expressed similar positive sentiments. He added that they work looking to more participants joining the network in the future.
The FCA is also an active contributor to the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Foundation Upstream Due Diligence Smelter Fund. This fund helps refiners and smelters offset some of the costs of their due diligence activities in line with the recommendations of the OECD.
The Blockchain Could Help Make the World a Better Place
The immutable nature of the blockchain could play an important role in helping to transform poor communities around the world. Today, a huge chunk of the cobalt used in modern devices is sourced from impoverished communities. At some mines, child labor is utilized and it usually leads to environmental degradation for affected communities.
In the recent past, there has been growing awareness about these illegal activities. Various news organizations have covered these practices, including a report by CBS. While many customers want to be able to use vehicles with zero carbon emissions, they also want to ensure the cars are manufactured responsibly.
An initiative such as the RSBN could help to promote the blockchain technology as a useful tool for some of the issues plaguing the modern world. This will encourage even more governments and organizations to make serious investments in the technology due to its capacity for positive social change.
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