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Polestar embraces blockchain to double down on climate transparency goals

The Volvo spinoff will use the technology to give its supply chain full transparency as it attempts to build a climate-neutral vehicle.

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Polestar's serious about transparency.

Polestar

Polestar is on a mission to build a climate-neutral car by the end of this decade, and it's also keen to show the world how it's taking the steps to get there. Its latest step involves enlisting blockchain to highlight transparency in its supply chain. The Swedish brand on Tuesday said it inked a partnership with blockchain provider Circulor to track CO2 emissions from mine to production line.

A blockchain is a digital ledger to record information across an entire system. The way a blockchain records the information makes it nearly impossible to hack, and even more difficult to change. Once something's on the blockchain, it's staying there. Polestar hopes this helps with supply-chain transparency so the public, and customers, can see where every bit of material comes from to build its future electric cars. The company already enlists a blockchain system through Circulor for the cobalt the 2 uses in its battery, but today's announcement takes things another to another level.

Aside from customer transparency, Polestar hopes the initiative can help other companies make similar climate-friendly steps to decarbonize industries. In 2018, IBM launched a blockchain network designed to track how companies or other entities buy and sell carbon credits. If you've heard of how much energy Bitcoin, the blockchain-based cryptocurrency, uses, this might seem counterintuitive, but it's the "mining" of cryptocurrencies that uses the energy, not the blockchain technology itself.

If and when you find yourself shopping for a future Polestar EV, the company plans to be as forthcoming as possible with what goes into building its cars, sort of like calorie counting at restaurant menus. When shopping online or stopping into a Polestar retail space, customers will find the carbon-footprint "receipt" showing the emissions created when building a Polestar. By 2030, the brand wants the figure to be totally neutral without carbon-offset projects.

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