As a part of its sustainability efforts, Continental Tire Japan plans to make use of the PROJECT TREE blockchain initiative to make sure a few of its AllSeasonContact tires use responsibly sourced pure rubber. PROJECT TREE is an initiative of Japanese conglomerate ITOCHU, which owns a rubber processing firm in Sumatra, Indonesia and the UK’s Kwik Match, a serious community of tire fitters and automotive upkeep. ITOCHU formally launched this sustainability initiative in December 2021.
PROJECT TREE tires are offered at a premium, and cash is funneled again to the farm smallholders by offering them with farm instruments, fertilizer and coaching. The Indonesian rubber firm makes use of blockchain throughout the procurement course of to report the placement of the place the rubber was sourced to trace which tires use rubber from PROJECT TREE and hint it from the uncooked materials by way of to the retail sale.
Virtually 60% of the world’s rubber comes from Thailand and Indonesia. In keeping with Continental, 70% of the world’s pure rubber is used for tire manufacturing, and 85% of manufacturing relies on plantation agriculture.
Kwik Match initially ran a four-month trial with tires from Pirelli however later added Continental and South Korean tire producer Hankook. Clients have been knowledgeable of a small value premium for the PROJET TREE initiative, and Kwik Match discovered that gross sales exceeded expectations. It now expects to promote 150,000 PROJECT TREE tires this 12 months.
The academic side is an important a part of the venture. When the demand for rubber will increase, extra land is commonly cleared to plant new timber, in some instances illegally and at a substantial environmental price. As a result of it takes as much as six years for rubber timber to supply usable latex, demand has typically subsided by that point. As a substitute, the coaching helps farmers to extend yields from current land and broaden manufacturing with out planting new timber.
Continental has beforehand engaged in blockchain initiatives to share data with autonomous vehicles and a money market pilot with Commerzbank. In the meantime, SAP developed a blockchain prototype to maintain monitor of tire retread actions.
ITOCHU backed one other blockchain sustainability initiative by investing in espresso traceability startup Farmer Connect.