A region of the central Pacific—the Clarion Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ)—is estimated to contain vast reserves of polymetallic nodules that are rich in nickel and cobalt—minerals that are commonly mined on land for the production of lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, laptops, and mobile phones. Deep-sea-mining schemes propose sending down... Read more →


BHP to supply nickel to Tesla; focus on supply chain sustainability

BHP will supply Tesla Inc. with nickel from BHP’s Nickel West asset in Western Australia; BHP says that Nickel West is one of the most sustainable and lowest carbon emission nickel producers in the world. Nickel is a key metal used in Tesla’s battery technology. Demand for nickel in batteries... Read more →


A new study from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and WWF finds that nearly 20% of tropical Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs) overlap with concessions for extractive industries such as mining, oil and gas. The total area of overlap is 376,449 square miles (975,000 square kilometers), about the size of Egypt. The... Read more →


In an open-access study published in the journal Sustainable Cities and Society, Francesco Orsi, of the Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning Group, Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands, suggests that widespread adoption of electric vehicles may have a negative impact on land use. Electric vehicles (EVs) are widely regarded as... Read more →


BMW i Ventures has invested in Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. (NFW), a creator of all-natural, plastic-free alternatives to animal- or petrochemical-based materials such as leathers, foams, and textiles. The financing round will enable the company to scale from the batch processing of materials to commercial roll-to-roll production. NFW has developed... Read more →


BASF, Daimler, Fairphone & Volkswagen Group funding partnership for sustainable lithium mining in Chile

Several companies have initiated a “Responsible Lithium Partnership” aiming to work towards responsible natural resource management, including lithium, in Chile’s Salar de Atacama. This cross-industry partnership is funded at its inception by BASF, Daimler AG, Fairphone, and Volkswagen Group. The partnership intends to foster a dialogue among local stakeholders, generating—and... Read more →


Europe’s demand for biodiesel for cars and trucks has likely wiped out forests the size of the Netherlands since the introduction of the EU’s green fuels law in 2010, according to a new study by Transport & Environment (T&E). T&E is calling on the EU to end support to palm... Read more →


Nature editorial: environmental and human costs of Li-ion technology must be addressed quickly

An editorial in the journal Nature calls on policy makers, industry leaders and researchers to mitigate quickly the environmental and human costs of Li-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries currently are the indispensable enabling technology for electric vehicles and the electric grid, the latter due to the need to store energy from... Read more →


Porsche calls for suppliers to switch to green energy

Porsche is making further efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions in its supply chain: the sports car manufacturer is calling for its around 1,300 series suppliers to use exclusively renewable energy in the manufacture of Porsche components as of July 2021. It applies to any contracts awarded for providing production material... Read more →


Ford, Ford Fund to support, promote responsible mineral sourcing pilot to empower, assist women; DRC copper & cobalt

Ford is working with its international nonprofit and grantmaking partners to support and promote a pilot program that will empower women working in the copper and cobalt supply chains in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The region has emerged as a key resource for critical metals that have become... Read more →


The BMW Group has created a closed-loop material cycle for tungsten used in drill and milling bits for industrial machinery used in producing cars; the company is collecting old drill and milling bits at its plants in Germany and Austria for recycling. The secondary tungsten obtained in this way will... Read more →


Fisker targets delivery of climate-neutral vehicle by 2027

Fisker aims to produce a climate-neutral vehicle by 2027. In line with its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy announced in May, Fisker will not purchase offsets to achieve this goal. The company seeks to utilize only climate-neutral materials in products and use only climate-neutral services to support the business.... Read more →


Report: total investment of $8.1T in nature required over next 3 decades; tripling current investments needed by 2030

A total investment of $8.1 trillion in nature is required over the next three decades to successfully tackle the climate, biodiversity, and land degradation crises, according to the State of Finance for Nature report released by the World Economic Forum, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Economics of Land Degradation... Read more →


The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is awarding Alcoa of Australia $8.8 million (A$11.3 million) toward testing the potential use of renewable energy in a Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR) process for alumina refining. Total project cost is US$21.9 million (A$28.2 million). The development project has the potential to reduce carbon... Read more →


EV supply chain majors pilot Re|Source blockchain solution for end-to-end cobalt traceability

Major metals and mining companies CMOC, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and Glencore, in collaboration with battery material supplier Umicore, are piloting Re|Source, a solution to trace responsibly produced cobalt from the mine to the electric car. A global EV pioneer and one of the world’s leading battery makers are also... Read more →


The BMW Group is stepping up its activities in the field of sustainability, becoming the first automotive manufacturer worldwide to equip its cars with tires using certified sustainable natural rubber and rayon, a wood-based material used to strengthen the tires. The company will source 22-inch tires in the first instance... Read more →


Continental extends commitment to sustainability in natural rubber supply chain in Indonesia

Continental is extending its commitment to sustainability in the natural rubber supply chain. The tire manufacturer and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have agreed on a significant expansion of their project to ensure full traceability of the natural rubber supply chain in the Indonesian province... Read more →


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 →