Dürr delivers one of biggest paint shops in China to SAIC Volkswagen; AI and big data

Despite all the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Dürr has handed over one of the biggest paint shops in China to SAIC Volkswagen (SVW) on schedule. The new plant in Anting boasts a production capacity twice that of a standard paint shop at 120 bodies per hour, and behind... Read more →


BMW Group, WWF Germany, Volvo Group back moratorium on deep-sea mining

The BMW Group has launched an initiative to protect the deep seas in cooperation with the WWF Germany. In a joint declaration, the BMW Group, WWF and other companies—including the Volvo Group—undertake, as a precautionary measure, not to use deep-ocean minerals or finance deep-sea mining until comprehensive scientific research into... Read more →


To support its accelerated expansion of e-mobility in the coming years, the BMW Group will source lithium from a second leading supplier, US-based Livent. The value of the multi-year contract will total around €285 million. Livent will supply the lithium directly to the BMW Group’s battery cell manufacturers from 2022... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz is expanding its green power portfolio in cooperation with the energy supplier Enovos and the Norwegian energy producer Statkraft. From 2022 onwards, the company will purchase electricity in Germany which comes exclusively from renewable sources. A green power supply contract ensures the purchase of electricity from renewable energy sources... Read more →


As part of a pilot project, Audi is procuring 20-inch wheels for the Audi e-tron GT electric car that are made from low-CO2 emission aluminum supplied by Alcoa to RONAL GROUP, the wheel’s manufacturer. Alcoa is supplying aluminum for Audi’s pilot project from a self-developed, innovative smelting process that emits... Read more →


Deutsche Post DHL Group to invest €7B in climate-neutral logistics until 2030; alternative aviation fuels, e-vehicle fleet and climate-neutral buildings

Deutsche Post DHL Group will invest a total of €7 billion (opex and capex) over the next ten years in measures to reduce its CO2 emissions. The funds will flow in particular into alternative aviation fuels, the expansion of the zero-emission e-vehicle fleet and climate-neutral buildings. For short distances and... Read more →


DOE awards $27.5M to 16 water infrastructure projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $27.5 million to 16 water infrastructure projects. Modern technology has the potential to reduce energy use in aging water infrastructure, particularly in wastewater treatment, which demands up to 2% of domestic electricity use each year. These projects, operating in 13 states, have... Read more →


GM sets new goal to reduce water intensity by 35% by 2035

General Motors plans to reduce water intensity of its operations by 35% by 2035, compared to a 2010 baseline, which could result in enough savings to fill about 4,254 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The automaker has also signed the CEO Water Mandate—a UN Global Compact initiative—joining other global business leaders to... Read more →


BMW Group coming Neue Klasse to set standards in digitization, electrification and sustainability

The BMW Group is preparing for a major realignment of its product range from 2025 onwards, based on the Neue Klasse (New Class). The Neue Klasse will be characterized by three key aspects: a completely redefined IT and software architecture; a new generation of high-performance electric drivetrains and batteries; and... Read more →


BMW Group invests in MOE company Boston Metal; CO2-free steel production

The BMW Group company is investing in an innovative method for CO2-free steel production developed by American startup Boston Metal (earlier post), through its venture capital fund, BMW i Ventures. Boston Metal is commercializing molten oxide electrolysis (MOE), a patented tonnage metals production platform. Over the coming years, Boston Metal... Read more →


SEC creates enforcement task force focused on climate and ESG issues

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has created a Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement. The task force will be led by Kelly L. Gibson, the Acting Deputy Director of Enforcement, who will oversee a Division-wide effort, with 22 members drawn from the SEC’s headquarters, regional... Read more →


The Volkswagen Group’s Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen brands are using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify sustainability risks such as environmental pollution, human rights abuses and corruption at an early stage—not only among direct business partners but also at the lower levels of their supply chain. The basis for this monitoring... Read more →


Finnish electrofuels research project gets €3.3M funding boost; VTT, Neste and partners

A two-year Finnish electrofuels (E-fuel) research project aims to integrate hydrogen production through high-temperature electrolysis using a solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) with carbon dioxide sequestration and Fischer-Tropsch fuel synthesis. Coordinated by VTT, the E-fuel research project, which is connected with the Neste Veturi Ecosystem, received €3.3 million in funding... Read more →


Ford first US automaker to join Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA)

Ford has become the first US automaker to join the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), marking an expansion of the company’s commitment to safeguard human rights, communities where such work is done, and the broader environment.The BMW Group is also an IRMA member. Ford has also committed to lead... Read more →


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is expected to be the source for approximately 69% of mined cobalt in 2020—i.e., a significant quantity of the world’s supply originates from areas ranking poorly in terms of corruption and working conditions, notes critical materials supply chain intelligence company Roskill. Cobalt producers within... Read more →


Organizations release Joint Due Diligence Standard for copper, lead, nickel and zinc

Five organizations representing their metal industries —The Copper Mark, the International Lead Association (ILA), the International Zinc Association (IZA), the Nickel Institute and the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI)—have released the Joint Due Diligence Standard for Copper, Lead, Nickel and Zinc. The Standard takes into account the risk profile of copper,... Read more →


Rio Tinto has launched START, a sustainability label for aluminum based on blockchain technology. START will help customers meet the demand from consumers for transparency on where and how the products they purchase are made. It aims to empower end-users to make informed choices about the products they buy, enabling... Read more →


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has set the goal to achieve carbon neutrality across the company’s operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050. “Life cycle” includes raw material extraction, manufacturing, use, and the recycling or reuse of end-of-life vehicles. As part of this effort, by the early 2030s... Read more →


Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has released a new roadmap on key strategies for creating jobs and reclaiming billions in economic value from plastic, glass, paper and tires currently going into landfill. The National Circular Economy Roadmap found innovation is crucial to realizing Australia’s largest economic gains, which will come... Read more →


Constellium SE is leading a new R&D initiative in France, Project ISA3 (Intégration de Solutions Aluminium pour Alléger les Automobiles (Integration of Aluminium Solutions to Lightweight Automotive vehicles)). In partnership with Groupe Renault, ESI Group, Institut de Soudure (Welding Institute), and the University of Lorraine, this ~€7 million project will... Read more →


Bridgestone Corporation has developed an optimization system for Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) plantations. The system utilizes big data to contribute to higher yield at these rubber farms. The natural rubber currently used to produce tires is sourced from the Pará rubber tree, which primarily grows in Southeast Asia. Natural... Read more →


Study: Energy sorghum may combine best of annual, perennial bioenergy crops

Large perennial grasses such as miscanthus are a primary target for use as bioenergy crops because of their sustainability advantages, but they take several years to establish and aren’t ideal for crop rotation. Maize and other annual crops are easier to manage with traditional farming, but they are tougher on... Read more →


AUDI AG is the first automobile maker to be awarded the Chain of Custody certificate of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI). This certifies that Audi can comply with the materials flow chain for sustainably produced aluminum in accordance with the ASI standard and can also input correspondingly certified material to... Read more →


Earth-abundant electrocatalysts for the reduction of CO2 to CO

A team led by researchers form Temple University has developed earth-abundant electrocatalysts—Mo2C and Ti3C2 MXenes—for the electroreduction of CO2 to CO. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal ChemComm, the researchers report that Mo2C and Ti3C2 exhibited Faradaic efficiencies of 90% (250 mV overpotential) and 65% (650 mV overpotential),... Read more →


ABB leads electrification and automation innovation as part of Sustainable Underground Mining future mine project

ABB electrification and automation knowledge and solutions have been employed in a pioneering mine of the future project, which has ultimate ambitions to demonstrate zero carbon dioxide emissions and productivity increases of 50%. ABB has provided electrification, connected control and operations management systems, high-visualization and mobile operator workplaces as part... Read more →


BMW Group commissions study on sustainable lithium extraction

The BMW Group has commissioned two US universities to conduct a scientific analysis of water consumption in the lithium extraction process. The aim of the University of Alaska-Anchorage and University of Massachusetts-Amherst study will be to investigate the impacts of lithium extraction on the hydrologic environment in Latin America. BASF... Read more →


Rio Tinto and Nippon Steel Corporation to cooperate on low-carbon emission steel value chain

Rio Tinto, a leading global mining and metals company, and Nippon Steel Corporation, Japan’s largest steel producer, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) jointly to explore, develop and demonstrate technologies to transition to a low-carbon emission steel value chain. The purpose of the partnership is to explore a breadth... Read more →


BASF and global mining and metallurgy group Eramet will jointly assess the development of a state-of-the-art nickel and cobalt hydrometallurgical refining complex. Such a development would include a High-Pressure Acid Leaching (HPAL) plant and a Base Metal Refinery (BMR). The HPAL would be located in Weda Bay, Indonesia, while the... Read more →


Cyient, a global engineering, manufacturing, and digital transformation and technology solutions company, signed an MoU with Decipher, a Perth-based company that provides a cloud monitoring and governance platform for tailing storage facilities. Cyient will support Decipher with the global rollout of its cloud mining platform for tailings and rehabilitation monitoring.... Read more →


EC proposes modernizing EU legislation on batteries to enhance sustainability and safety

The European Commission is proposing modernizing EU legislation on batteries; this would be the first initiative delivered among the actions announced in the new Circular Economy Action Plan. Batteries that are more sustainable throughout their life cycle are key for the goals of the European Green Deal and contribute to... Read more →


7 companies launch Green Hydrogen Catapult to increase green H2 production 50-fold over next 6 years

World’s green hydrogen leaders unite to drive 50-fold scale-up in six years. World’s biggest green hydrogen project developers and partners come together to launch Green Hydrogen Catapult initiative New initiative aims to drive down costs to below $2 per kilogram, to transform energy across most carbon intensive industries, accelerating race... Read more →


The Urban Taraxagum bicycle tire from Continental has won the German Sustainability Award 2021 in the category “Responsible Design”. The tire is the first series-built bicycle tire made of dandelion rubber. Series production of a tire made of dandelion rubber is an important milestone in Continental’s sustainability strategy. The dandelion... Read more →


Volkswagen Group Logistics will be using certified fuel from vegetable residues for certain new car shipments via marine routes. The fuel is produced from materials such as used oil from restaurants and the food industry. The first car freighter was refueled for the first time with this oil in mid-November... Read more →


Groupe Renault is creating the REFACTORY in Flins, the first European circular economy site dedicated to mobility. By 2030, it will employ more than 3,000 people in dedicated professions. The implementation of this industrial and commercial ecosystem will take place gradually between 2021 and 2024, replacing the production of new... Read more →


Global automotive Tier 1 manufacturer Motherson Group is collaborating with Israeli cleantech company UBQ Materials. The companies are joining efforts to implement the carbon-negative UBQ thermoplastic (earlier post) into auto parts manufactured by Motherson Group for the automotive industry. UBQ is a patented material converted from 100% unsorted household waste,... Read more →


EGC enters trading agreement with Trafigura with the aim to transform the ASM cobalt mining sector in DRC

Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC) signed a trading agreement with Trafigura Pte Ltd. The trading agreement includes the provision of finance by Trafigura to fund the creation of strictly controlled artisanal mining zones, the installation of ore purchasing stations and costs related to the transparent and traceable delivery of cobalt... Read more →


A large number of components in automobiles are made from plastics; these have to meet exacting safety, heat-resistance and quality requirements. That is why, so far, only petroleum-based materials have been suitable for manufacturing plastic components in automobiles that are subjected to particularly intensive wear. Such materials are not recyclable... Read more →


Volkswagen joins “Cobalt for Development” initiative

Volkswagen says that it is actively engaging in improving artisanal cobalt mining conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as the living conditions for people in the surrounding communities. Cobalt is an important raw material for the production of electric vehicle batteries. Artisanal mining involves risks to... Read more →


Gruppo Maip, Eastman partner on sustainable polymer automotive materials; bio-based and recycled

Eastman and Gruppo Maip, a leading international plastics formulator and compound producer based in Turin, Italy, will partner to formulate new sustainable polymer solutions for automotive interior applications. This will enable an exclusive portfolio of formulations based on Eastman’s Advanced Circular Recycling technology, offering a range of both bio-based and... Read more →


The Mercedes-Benz electric offensive is a key component of its “Ambition2039” strategic focus and a prerequisite on the way to carbon neutrality. Responsibly mined and processed raw materials provide the foundation for a sustainable Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle fleet. Respect and protection of human rights and of the environment, all the... Read more →


SEAT highlights Ku-Fizz foam and Oryzite rice husk project for more sustainable materials

SEAT held the second edition of its Innovation Day—an event focused on identifying and encouraging the spirit of innovation among the company’s own employees. Among the ideas, visions and projects presented by SEAT during the event is Ku-Fizz, a physical foam technology that reduces the weight of plastic parts, improving... Read more →


“Cobalt for Development” project started trainings for mining cooperatives in DRC

The cross-industry initiative “Cobalt for Development” has started trainings for twelve artisanal mining cooperatives in October in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). The trainings cover major environmental, social and governance aspects for responsible mining practices. This includes mine site management and legal compliance, human rights, health and safety... Read more →


Cambridge study finds globalized economy making water, energy and land insecurity worse

The first large-scale study of the risks that countries face from dependence on water, energy and land resources has found that globalization may be decreasing, rather than increasing, the security of global supply chains. Countries meet their needs for goods and services through domestic production and international trade. As a... Read more →


Milestone in the strategic cooperation of Neste, Borealis and Covestro for the use of alternative raw materials

As part of a strategic collaboration, Covestro received a first delivery of 1,000 tons of renewable phenol from Borealis, produced with renewable hydrocarbons from Neste. Neste produces these ISCC Plus certified hydrocarbons (ISCC: International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) entirely from renewable raw materials. The hydrocarbons are then converted into ISCC... Read more →


Bridgestone focusing on sustainable procurement of natural rubber as part of sustainability campaign

Japan-based Bridgestone, the world’s largest tire manufacturer, has launched “A Layered Journey”—a new global campaign highlighting the company’s efforts to incorporate sustainability in its value chain with a focus on the sustainable procurement of natural rubber. The campaign travels from the forest where rubber trees are tapped for latex, continuing... Read more →


AFWERX extends submission deadline of Reimagining Energy Challenge for Air Force, DoD

AFWERX, the US Air Force’s innovation catalyst (earlier post), is seeking solutions from public and private industries; commercial sectors; government; and academia for the Department of Defense (DoD) Reimagining Energy Challenge to modernize and create the future of resilient energy production, transmission, utilization and storage for the US Air Force.... Read more →


State-owned Indonesia Battery Holding to help build integrated EV industry in Indonesia; role of nickel

In Indonesia, state miners MIND ID (Mining Industry Indonesia) and Aneka Tambang (ANTAM); state utility Perusahan Listrik Negara (PLN); and state oil company Pertamina have agreed to form a new venture: Indonesia Battery Holding. Indonesia Battery aims to be involved in the whole battery value chain, including producing battery minerals... Read more →


The Government of Canada is awarding $1.2 million to GreenNano Technologies Inc. (GNT), a company based in Toronto, to scale up production of a new lightweight wood-fiber–based composite material to create automotive parts using an innovative process. Cam covers made at GNT. The project will combine wood pulp with polymers... Read more →


Neste, Recycling Technologies and Unilever combine expertise to test and validate systems to recycle waste plastics chemically

Recycling Technologies, a specialist plastic recycling technology provider; Neste, the leading provider of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and a forerunner in drop-in renewable and circular chemical solutions; and Unilever, the consumer goods manufacturer, will collaborate to develop further and to harness chemical recycling to recover and to reuse plastic... Read more →


DOE to award more than $27M to 12 plastics recycling R&D projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $27 million in funding for 12 projects that will support the development of advanced plastics recycling technologies and new plastics that are recyclable-by-design. As part of DOE’s Plastics Innovation Challenge, these projects will also help improve existing recycling processes that break... Read more →