Finland-based Neste and Circularise, a young Dutch start-up, have announced a collaboration that will see the implementation of a blockchain-based digital solution that will create transparency along the polymer value chain.
Circularise is a supply chain traceability and transparency start-up that was founded in the Netherlands in 2016. Using blockchain technology, the company’s software aims to substantially enhance visibility and traceability within polymer supply chains, by creating a digital twin for the physical material. This twin stores information on the used materials throughout the value chain, enabling all value chain parties to keep track of the material, verify where the materials came 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.
This type of information is especially relevant when it comes to renewable and recycled material flows. 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.
Together with Neste, Circularise is working to establish a digital supply chain tracking system that enables the claims made throughout the value chain to be verified, promoting transparency and trust.
“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.
The transparency provided by the system will not affect the confidentiality of the information that is input into the system. While the solution is based on a public blockchain-based infrastructure, Circularise has developed proprietary Smart Questioning technology that enables trustworthy data and information to be shared between parties along the value chain without compromising on intellectual property or privacy.
“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,” said Mesbah Sabur, the founder of Circularise. “And 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.”