KPMG backs Circulor ‘digital passport’

‘Many companies are seeking closer control over opaque supply chains’

Global accounting firm KPMG will promote UK-based Circulor’s “digital battery passport” blockchain offering under an alliance announced this week.

“Full traceability of raw materials is the key to building sustainable and circular battery value chains, to securing scarce supplies and winning the race to net zero,” KPMG Sweden sustainability advisory director Tim Gore said.

“The lessons learned in batteries can be applied to every other industrial sector facing sustainability challenges and rising competition for raw materials.”

Circulor’s commodity value chain traceability software allows users to securely track battery raw material and other industrial value chains from extraction to the end of a product’s “first life” and beyond. The technology is said to be designed to comply with EU Battery Regulation requirements, due to come into force this year, and “can also support the automotive industry in proving the requirements of the US Clean Vehicle Tax Credit”.

The privately-owned company, which has raised about US$45 million of venture funding in the past two years, was founded by Veera Johnson and Douglas Johnson-Poensgen in 2017.

Johnson-Poensgen said supply chain transparency was a “business imperative”.

“Consumers and regulators increasingly want to know that products are sourced responsibly and sustainably,” he said.

“By harnessing the dual strengths of KPMG and Circulor companies can accelerate progress toward their sourcing goals, mitigate risks, build trust among stakeholders and create clear differentiation to win in the market, today and in the future.”

The two companies said global competition for critical raw materials such as lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite was increasing.

“These materials, which are crucial components in digital and low carbon technologies, are linked to social and environmental concerns during extraction and processing,” they said.

“With global demand rising, many companies are seeking closer control over opaque supply chains and to boost recycling efforts to secure supplies and deliver on sustainability goals.”

KPMG Sweden partner Andreas Halvarsson said the firm would offer Circulor’s product as part of its “wider sustainability and value chain advisory portfolio”.

“KPMG will be the key point of contact for our clients, supporting them in implementing the Circulor platform and analysing their granular supply chain data to gain strategic foresight and operational value,” he said.

The KPMG and Circulor alliance would expand beyond batteries to digital product passports and identifiers, supporting users to demonstrate responsible production, the companies said.


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