Ford partnered with LG Chem, a South Korean chemicals specialist, and Chinese mining firm Huayou Cobalt, on a blockchain-based system to track cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and used in the carmaker’s electric vehicle batteries. The initiative was trialed in December 2018. RCS Global oversees the initiative. IBM supports it with its blockchain protocol, which will be powered by technology from the Linux Foundation, according to wire reports. Leadership at Ford said the company is committed to transparency across the supply chain. “By collaborating with other leading industries in this network, our intent is to use state-of-the-art technology to ensure materials produced for our vehicles will help meet our commitment to protecting human rights and the environment,” Lisa Drake, vice president, global purchasing and powertrain operations, Ford, said, according to wire reports. Last year, cobalt mining in the region made mainstream news after child labor was exposed, triggering a public backlash.
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