June 29, 2022

How to reduce emissions during the production process – TechCrunch

Paid by Polestar

Electrification of the transport industry has long been considered essential in the pursuit of a carbon neutral future. Currently, the transportation industry is one of the largest contributors to harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike gas-powered vehicles, however, electric vehicles release very little (if any) tailpipe emissions, which minimizes carbon pollution.

But even as electric vehicles reach the mainstream, their use is only part of an incredibly complex, multi-pronged effort to achieve carbon neutrality.

While carbon neutrality has become the goal of many companies, manufacturers like Polestar, a brand of performance electric cars, are showing that just looking at the finished product is not enough. Instead, carbon neutrality requires transparency, cooperation and innovation, from product design to market launch. This is how carbon neutrality begins, even before the production process.

Neutrality starts with transparency
Today, green businesses can plant trees as a strategy to help offset harmful emissions produced by manufacturing. But what if an entire supply chain and production process were redesigned to minimize damage to the planet? It’s a business that requires taking stock of all aspects of the supply chain, including assessing raw materials and considering the impact of product life on the planet. Not only does this audit give consumers a clear perspective of the impact of their choices on the planet, it identifies opportunities for innovation.

But it starts with transparency. For example, Polestar has committed to publishing the lifetime carbon footprint of all new vehicles. Starting with the Polestar 2 launched in 2019, Polestar has created a Life cycle assessment of the vehicle, taking into account a series of factors in the life cycle of the car, from procurement to manufacturing and recycling. This impact is then summarized into an overall figure. Polestar is calling on the rest of the auto industry to do the same to open a global conversation about transparency in the manufacturing process.

Supply chain sustainability starts with blockchain
Technological advances can create ripple effects across industries. Take for example blockchain technology, the technology that decentralizes data storage. Unlike storage that exists on specific platforms, data is stored in a ledger system – the blockchain – which cannot be created or destroyed. When applied to supply chain monitoring, this ultra-transparent data management system is revolutionary.

Instead of working across multiple platforms, blockchain can help a manufacturer trace materials from their origin to the factory, no matter how many points they may hit along the way. This allows for full transparency regarding the source of the original materials and can highlight potentially problematic areas along the material path in terms of environmental or human rights impact.

For example, Polestar has started using blockchain technology to trace cobalt, a material used in the car battery, as part of its supply chain strategy for the Polestar 2. Cobalt can be a potentially problematic source material. due to the extraction methods used in the supply, which may have an impact on the environment. But Polestar aims to extend that reach to trace nickel, mica, manganese, graphite, lithium, and more. Being able to trace source materials can provide transparency as to the origin of materials from the point of extraction. Raw material traceability can help all manufacturers make informed decisions, from mine to manufacturer, moving towards mines that are rooted in sustainable practices that prioritize human rights and have minimal impact on the environment.

A shift in consumer perspective
While technology is here to lead the world to a carbon neutral future, consumer behavior is a barrier across industries.

“The things that we humans do here on Earth add up and can have a big global impact – both positive and negative,” says Karen Nyberg, a retired American astronaut who appeared in Polestar’s latest brand campaign. As an astronaut who spent 180 days in orbit, she experienced what astronauts often refer to as the “big picture effect,” the feeling of gazing at Earth and realizing the juxtaposition of the relative vulnerability of planet in relation to the strength and spirit of humanity as a whole.

Nyberg realized that sharing her experience of what the Overview Effect means to her could also inspire others to make a change. “My hope and desire would be for people to feel compassion and empathy for our beautiful planet and feel inspired to want to make a positive change. Understanding that if each of us takes small steps to do better and be more aware, it will result in positive change for the Earth and future generations,” she says.

As carbon neutrality becomes a rallying cry in the public and private sectors, a holistic approach towards a greener planet becomes essential. By focusing on every aspect of a vehicle’s lifecycle – from sourcing raw materials to expanding a customer base – Polestar is creating a new framework for approaching sustainability that requires the adoption of new technologies , expansion of existing technologies and imagination.

From Polestar:

Polestar is committed to improving the society we live in, using design and technology to accelerate the shift to sustainable electric mobility. With a minimalist design, innovative technology and materials and a hybrid powertrain, it offers a unique driving experience. To learn more about Polestar, Click here.