Q&A Session 7 - Circulor
Updated: Jul 4
Welcome to our Q&A Session with Veera Johnson, Co-founder of Circulor, provider of traceability services for the extractive, recycling, agriculture and forestry industries. Within supply chains, Circulor's technologies verify claims of responsible sourcing and sustainable production.
The Q&A will cover:
How Circulor’s traceability system works
How Circulor is helping Companies work towards United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Veera’s vision for the future of traceability in mining and recycling
Circulor enables suppliers and buyers to follow raw materials through the production process. Materials like cobalt, tantalum and mica are associated with issues such as child labour, slavery, theft of natural resources, environmental damage and human rights abuses, which are common but often not seen by consumers and manufacturers. Traceability requires reaching far upstream and being able to track material flows through refining, amalgamation and manufacture.
1. CMA: What inspired you to start Circulor – why the extractive and recycling industries?
Veera: Supply chains are global and complex. They are also huge emitters of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, often lacking in transparency for raw materials and product sourcing. Without knowing the provenance of goods or materials, it is difficult to ensure social and environmental standards are effectively applied across complex and global supply chains. This traceability data enables organisations to make informed decisions to reduce their carbon footprint and drive improvements with suppliers. It is with this in mind that Circulor was founded to enable companies globally to gain visibility into their supply chains as well as prove and improve their ESG performance. Our mission is to make the world’s most complex supply chains more transparent to help prevent the exploitation of people and our planet.
Our platform enables our customers to halve the impact of their supply chains and eradicate human exploitation within the supply chains we serve, focusing on EV battery materials to support the energy transition and achieving net zero.
2. CMA: How does Circulor’s traceability system work – what are the advantages and how is it helping the mining industry and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)?
Veera: Circulor’s software is a private, permissioned system built on distributed ledger technology (blockchain). We map the supply chain and collect data at key points in the manufacturing and recycling processes to track the provenance of materials such as cobalt, mica, nickel, copper from mine to end product. We track the actual raw material itself, as it changes state within manufacturing processes in order to create an immutable digital chain of custody record for materials or battery components in the supply chain.
Our proprietary Circulor Protocol, embedded within the system, verifies data entered onto the system and enforces common rules on all ecosystem participants. These rules include segregation of materials, proof of elapsed time, proof of location and mass balance (the mass of material entering and leaving a particular part of the manufacturing process) that between them establish that input material and output product from each processing or production step are legitimately connected.
Alongside this, the system provides materials with a unique identity and then tracks the flow of this material, even as it changes state through processing and manufacture. The system uses Internet of Things (IoT) and tags to create “digital twins”, and machine learning to identify anomalies or combat fraud and identify supply chain weaknesses to target due diligence and compliance activity.
The key benefit of this that our system creates a previously unavailable data pool about the entire supply chain, ready to be analysed to aide identification of opportunities to create efficiencies, reduce cost, demonstrate the provenance of the raw materials in their supply chains for example from miner to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and to make informed decisions to reduce their carbon footprint.
3. CMA: How do you help companies work towards United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals?
Veera: Climate change is a global crisis and manufacturing supply chains are one of the biggest contributors due to high GHG emissions, environmental destruction and human rights concerns of forced or child labour. Because of this, the spotlight on materials traceability and circular economy solutions is increasing.
Circulor enables companies to achieve sustainable supply chains and achieve their SDG ambitions through providing data about the provenance of the raw materials in their supply chains. This data enables them to make informed decisions to reduce their carbon footprint, contribute to net zero targets and reduce their impact on people and our planet.
As an example, using Circulor can help companies to underpin their sustainability claims, with clear proof points to drive competitive advantage and achieve greater resilience against uncertainty.
4. CMA: What is Circulor’s biggest success story to date?
Veera: There have been so many success stories. A few that are notable are that Circulor has become the leader in the ESG traceability space, particularly for electric vehicle (EV) battery materials and has been recognised by leading industry analysts Gartner, Forrester, IDC and named by Business Insider as a key climate change technology-start-up.
Volvo and Polestar are great success stories too. Polestar, for example the electric performance car brand, is spearheading a movement for transparency throughout the automotive industry, to accelerate the shift to a climate-neutral future. In April 2021, the company announced plans for a climate neutral car by 2030. Polestar announced that it has taken its first step on its transparency journey, by announcing a partnership with blockchain provider Circulor. Jointly we have set a progressive scope and ambition that aims to entail a range of raw materials, focusing on those with identified risks in either environmental and/or human rights, such as nickel, mica, manganese, graphite and lithium, amongst others.
5. CMA: What is your vision for the future of mining and recycling in terms of ESG and traceability?
Veera: Circulor has the vision and mission to solve the urgent, environmental & societal challenge which is at a tipping point; the need for transparent supply chains to reduce the impact of climate change. I believe that Circulor’s journey has only just started and that we have so much more to achieve globally.
Whilst we all know that transparency is a key driver for climate action, our vision would be that in the next two years more and more organisations that are involved in mining, manufacturing and recycling of materials embrace the need for transparency and, adopt solutions like Circulor to support the energy transition away from fossil fuels and dynamically measure the impact they’re having on the environment and society.
6. CMA: Why did you decide to join the CMA?
Veera: The CMA has a shared vision and blueprint for the future. It is passionate about the origin of critical materials and their retention in the UK following their first use. It was therefore an obvious choice to get involved to raise Circulor’s profile and demonstrate its commitment to transparency in supply chains and our ability to put the UK on the map globally to demonstrate best practice for how companies can achieve SDG in a dynamic way.
Thanks Veera! Learn more about Circulor and their work here: https://www.circulor.com/
To contact the team, email email@example.com