Global Battery Alliance brings circularity to EVs at Davos

The Global Battery Alliance, comprised of many leading industry players, shared the future of EV industry sustainability through the Battery Passport

The Paris Agreement is the target that most businesses are talking about in 2023, especially when countries have some catching up to do following the most trying period of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The onus is on authorities and businesses to ensure that their supply chains are not only sustainable now, but encourage long-term circularity in the future, which is what the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) is looking to bring to the EV sector. 

At the World Economic Forum’s annual Davos meeting, the organisation showcases the idea of the Battery Passport, which is a key component of the overall circular economy of batteries—particularly lithium-ion batteries. 

“The launch of the Battery Passport proof of concept is a major milestone on the road to creating a truly verifiable digital twin of a battery. The GBA’s Battery Passport is the first and only passport to be developed by stakeholders spanning the entire battery value chain, making it the standard bearer for battery transparency,” says Bendikt Sobotka, Co-Chair and founding member of the GBA and CEO of Eurasian Resources.

“Our attention will now turn to benchmarking Battery Passport data and issuing quality seals based on sustainability performance to provide a trusted source of data to end consumers, guiding purchasing decisions and triggering improvement actions across the value chain.” 

A major global event pays attention to EVs

It seems that, as the UAE President declared, 2023 is the ‘Year of Sustainability’, but much of the focus will be centred around—if not impacting—the adoption of EVs across the globe. 

With many countries still lagging behind in electrification, sustainability solutions adopted across more developed economies will hopefully have been blueprinted by major organisations to ensure a fast-paced transition.

The Battery Passport is a key initiative to enable sustainable growth of the EV industry, by ensuring that organisations with the supply chain network are compliant with certain emissions requirements. 

Members of the GBA, including Audi, BASF, CATL, Eurasian Resources Group, Glencore, LG Energy Solutions, Umicore, Tesla, Volkswagen AG, and many others, having been working on the project over the past three years to improve the conditions and emissions affiliated with battery production. 

The prototypes of the Battery Passport used sample data from Audi and Tesla to analyse their value chains, looking at technical specifications, material provenance, and other sustainability KPIs

With more emphasis on EVs, important organisational representatives also backed the project to bring in the Battery Passport. 

Tesla piloted the Battery Passport and collected the relevant environmental and social data points on our cobalt supply chain. While a lot more work needs to be done to cover all relevant areas across battery mineral supply chains, standard reporting across a level playing field certainly has a role to play in the transition towards sustainable energy,” says Ferdinand Maubrey, Head of Responsible Sourcing, Battery Supply Chain & Battery Minerals, Tesla

The Senior Director for E-Mobility at Transport and Environment, Julia Poliscanova also bypassed the phrase ‘data is the new gold’ to suggest battery technology and management holds as high regard in the eyes of businesses and global leaders. 

“Batteries are the new oil, but to avoid the mistakes of the oil age we must ensure batteries are produced sustainably, their materials sourced responsibly, and the entire supply chain is circular,” says Poliscanova.

“Transport & Environment has supported GBA’s work from the outset to cement sustainability and responsible sourcing into the global battery industry. The launch of the Battery Passport marks a key milestone on that journey. It will enable transparent disclosure of key sustainability and human rights data, thus improving transparency and trust across the supply chain.”

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