Gaydon, UK 13 October 2021.
Jaguar Land Rover has trialled
the use of secure blockchain technology to ensure full transparency within a
sustainable leather supply chain.
In the world-first, Jaguar Land Rover partnered with supply chain
traceability provider Circulor, leading UK leather
manufacturer Bridge of Weir Leather Company and the University of Nottingham to
trial the use of traceability technology in the leather supply chain.
As well as tracking compliance, the digital process enabled Jaguar Land
Rover to assess the carbon footprint of its leather supply network, working
with UK-based Bridge of Weir Leather Company to trace its lowest carbon leather
from farm to finished article – all part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to
reducing the environmental and ethical impact of its products across their
Jaguar Land Rover is
committed to offering customers more sustainable and responsible material
choices for their vehicle interiors, such as Kvadrat – a refined high-quality
wool blend textile that's paired with a suede cloth made from 53 recycled
plastic bottles per vehicle – available
on Jaguar’s all-electric I-PACE.
As part of the Innovate UK-funded research, a ‘digital twin’ of
the raw material was created, allowing its progress to be tracked through the leather
supply chainsimultaneously in the real world and digitally. A combination of
GPS data, biometrics and QR codes was used to digitally verify the movement of
leather at every step of the process using blockchain technology.
Defining the verification processhas created a repeatable blueprint
for tracing a single piece of leather at every stage. It can be usedacross Jaguar
Land Rover’s global supply chain and by other industries that rely on leather,
such as fashion and footwear.
The project is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Reimagine strategy: a
sustainability-rich combination of modern luxury, unique customer experiences,
and positive societal impact.
Reimagine aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its
supply chain, products and operations by 2039. Jaguar Land Rover will work with
industry experts to improve sustainability, reduce emissions and collaborate on
next-generation technology, data and software development leadership.
Dave Owen, Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director of Supply Chain,
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 allowus 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.”
Through InMotion, its venture capital and mobility services arm,
Jaguar Land Rover previously announced an investment in Circulor, allowing the company to source premium materials with greater
transparency as to the provenance, welfare, and compliance of suppliers
throughout its networks.
The technology could be deployed to trace other commodities.Circuloris
already using blockchain to improve the traceability of minerals used for
electric vehicle batteries. Blockchain technology is impossible to modify or
tamper with, giving customers greater confidence that the sustainable supply
chain is authentic, and all materials have been sustainably sourced.
Dr Warren Bowden, Innovation and Sustainability Director of
Scottish Leather Group, said “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
“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.”