Jaguar Land Rover trials use of blockchain in sustainable leather supply chain

Jaguar Land Rover trials use of blockchain in sustainable leather supply chain

MANILA: Jaguar Land Rover recently conducted a trial on the use of secure blockchain technology to provide full transparency in the sustainable leather supply chain.

Jaguar Land Rover teamed up with supply chain traceability provider Circulor, leading UK leather manufacturer Bridge of Weir Leather Company, and the University of Nottingham to perform the trial.

The process allowed Jaguar Land Rover to evaluate the carbon footprint of its leather supply network and work with Bridge of Weir Leather Company in order to trace its lowest carbon leather as part of their commitment to cut down the environmental and ethical impact of its products.

Jaguar Land Rover aims to offer customers more sustainable options for their vehicle interiors, such as the premium natural fiber Eucalyptus textile interior available on Range Rover Evoque and Kvadrat, a high-quality wool blend textile which is paired with a suede cloth made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle, available on Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar, and Jaguar I-Pace.

In this Innovate UK-funded project, a “digital twin” of the raw material was developed to allow the researchers track its progress through the leather supply chain. GPS data, biometrics, and QR codes were used to verify the movement of leather using blockchain technology.

The research project has also developed a repeatable blueprint for tracing a single piece of leather at every stage of the verification process. It can be used across Jaguar Land Rover’s global supply chain and by other industries that rely on leather.

Jaguar Land Rover conducted this project as part of its Reimagine strategy, which targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products, and operation by 2039. The company will collaborate with industry experts to develop ways to improve sustainability, reduce emissions, and establish next-generation technology, data, and software development leadership.

In a statement, Jaguar Land Rover Supply Chain Executive Director Dave Owen said, “We are currently restructuring our supply chain as part of Reimagine, with a focus on transparency and sustainability. The outcome from this world-first trial will allow us to further improve the sustainability of the leather supply chain around the globe, ensuring the complete traceability of raw materials from origin to vehicle. This is one step in our journey to net zero carbon emissions across our supply chain, products and operations by 2039, enabled by leading edge digital capabilities.”

InMotion, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital and mobility services arm, previously announced an investment in Circulor, allowing the company to source premium materials with better transparency in terms of origin, welfare, and compliance of suppliers throughout its network.

Circulor has already been using blockchain to improve the traceability of minerals used for electric vehicle batteries. Since blockchain technology cannot be modified or tampered with in any way, customers are guaranteed that the sustainable supply is genuine and all materials have been sustainably sourced.

Scottish Leather Group Innovation and Sustainability Director Dr. Warren Bowden stated, “In partnership with Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Nottingham, we believe there is a clear opportunity to implement blockchain technology to enhance the existing, world-leading standards of traceability and transparency that exist within UK agriculture and its Cattle Tracing Scheme. At Bridge of Weir, we see the potential to create carbon-positive leather — if we source from local farms where the livestock is grass fed, where there is no deforestation, and we couple this responsible approach to sourcing with ongoing innovation to create zero carbon and zero waste manufacturing processes. The blockchain technology developed in this trial will enable each stage in the process, and the entire leather supply chain, to be accurately tracked and measured.”

Image from Jaguar Land Rover

Also read: Coventry Motors Corp. has already sold 200 units of the Land Rover Defender

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