Japanese conglomerate Marubeni announced today that it is partnering with Dutch blockchain startup Circularize to track down materials in the chemicals and plastics supply chain. The ultimate purpose is to validate sustainability. Circularise recently received a grant from the EU fund “Horizon 2020” and can look back on many years of experience with big names such as Porsche.

“Circularize’s digital technology has the potential to create transparency and enable better decisions about sustainable raw material sourcing,” said Terumasa Watanabe, senior operating officer, head of the plastics business at Marubeni.

Initially, Circularize will conduct demonstrations with Marubeni’s Japanese customers. After that, the companies can consider a Japanese joint venture.

The transparency made possible by Circularize is brought into harmony with privacy. A key aspect of supply chain traceability is the need to know the data provided by your supplier’s subcontractor. And sometimes your supplier may not want you to know the identity of their suppliers.

Therefore, Circularize has developed a Smart Questioning technology that can be used to ask whether a product contains mercury or another material. When access to data is restricted, the answer can be a simple yes or no with no need to share the names of all subcontractors.

The data provided by the Circularize platform includes carbon footprints, sustainable development goals compliance and certifications.

The use of blockchain is increasing to prove the sustainability of materials. Just last week Rio Tinto launched a solution for aluminum. For plastics, BASF has its ReciChain, which also aims to improve circularity in the supply chain. The aim is to identify the source of the recycled materials used in recycled plastics.