Yesterday Norway’s Hydro announced it is piloting the DNV blockchain “Tag. Trace. Trust.” service to provide evidence of its sustainability claims for the aluminium it produces. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.7 billion and had revenues of $17.5 billion in 2019. One of the world’s largest mining firms, Rio Tinto, also launched a blockchain traceability solution for aluminium less than a month ago.
“The aim of the pilot is to test a platform that supports manufacturers and brands to back their sustainability claims with verified data. This will allow them to trace the metal from the factory gates until it reaches the customer,” said Bjørn Kjetil Mauritzen, Head of Sustainability in Hydro.
Hydro CIRCAL is its recycled aluminium brand made with a minimum of 75% recycled aluminium. The pilot involves Vestre, which uses Hydro CIRCAL to produce urban furniture such as benches, tables and litter bins with a commitment to sustainability. The aim is for someone to instantly see the traceability evidence of the aluminium used in a park bench and the CO2 emission from the raw material. Anyone can scan a barcode on the side of the bench to retrieve the blockchain data.
“Ultimately, this pilot is made possible through the work we have invested in our greener brands in recent years. As a result, we can now explore how new technology can provide the market and the conscious consumer with key data – presented in a way they understand and trust – as a part of our agenda of driving sustainability,” says Jørgen Hansson, project lead in Hydro.
Using blockchain, the data is stored on a distributed ledger and can’t be tampered with afterward. However, the technology itself doesn’t prevent false data from being added to the ledger in the first place. It just makes it immutable.
That’s where DNV comes in. As a quality assurance company, it can perform regular inspections to ensure the blockchain data matches reality. DNV had revenues of $2.5 billion in 2019 and uses the VeChainThor public blockchain. The quality assurance company was a major investor in VeChain in the early days.
DNV was an early blockchain adopter and launched its first blockchain sustainability initiative two years ago. China’s BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and batteries, used its solution to reward drivers based on their performance and carbon footprint.
Apart from Tag. Trace. Trust.” DNV has a MyStory solution that has a similar purpose and is targeted at tracing packaged goods’ contents. Another solution is MyCare which tracks a company’s risk management policies and compliance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols. This solution was used by some Chinese hotels, including the InterContinental in Shanghai.