Neste and Netherlands-based startup Circularise have announced a partnership to bring Circularise’s traceability software into circular polymers and chemicals supply chains. The companies are collaborating in establishing digital solutions to trace renewable and recycled material flows, providing increased transparency along the value chain.
The companies will use Circularise’s blockchain-based supply chain traceability software, which creates a digital twin for the physical material. The twin stores information on the used materials throughout the value chain, enabling all value chain parties to keep track of the material. This allows them to verify where materials come from and how and where they were processed. The digital twin can also provide information on sustainability data such as the carbon footprint of the materials or products made from them.
Solutions to increase visibility into supply chains become particularly valuable in the polymers and chemicals industry as materials undergo several processing steps and often get blended and co-processed with other materials. Especially in the ramp-up phase of more sustainable and circular value chains, renewable or recycled materials may be processed together with fossil materials – making it difficult to verifiably link end products with a much lower carbon footprint and the renewable or recycled materials they were produced with. As long as there is a mix of raw materials, a large share of renewable or recycled products will rely on a mass balancing allocation method as a way to link the end products to their raw materials.
With a digital supply chain tracking system, Neste and Circularise intend to enable value chain players to still make verifiable claims about such products. At the same time, it will allow parties along the value chain to better understand their supply chains, leading to improved transparency when it comes to life cycle emissions of products or other sustainability factors such as biodiversity and human rights.
“It’s usually very easy to claim sustainability, but very often, it’s not easy at all to back these claims,” says Isabella Tonaco, Vice President Strategy Execution & Marketing at Neste Renewable Polymers and Chemicals. “Yet, trust and credibility are crucial factors when it comes to sustainability. Being able to track and trace all the materials going into a product provides a solid basis for gaining that trust and credibility. We are looking forward to working with Circularise to provide the polymers and chemicals industry with a traceability solution to bring the necessary transparency into the value chains.”
While the purpose of the collaboration is increasing visibility and trust, Circularise also puts priority on confidentiality. Using a public blockchain-based infrastructure and Circularise’s proprietary Smart Questioning technology allows combining these two targets into one solution, enabling the sharing of trustworthy data and information between parties along the value chain without compromising on intellectual property or privacy.
“We want to really break the communication barriers that limit supply chain traceability,” says Mesbah Sabur, the founder of Circularise. “And we’ve been working with suppliers that truly want to create circular operations, that want to cooperate with their clients and regulators, that want to share insights into their products, but at the same time don’t want to risk their sensitive data. Neste is one of the frontrunners in this space and we are excited to work with them to make supply chains more transparent and the world more circular.”