Russia's NorNickel adopts blockchain for supply chain management

Russia's NorNickel adopts blockchain for supply chain management
We look forward to Norilsk Nickel's contributions to help advance the assurance for responsible sourcing and the group’s sustainability goals
By Vladimir Kozlov in Moscow January 25, 2021

As more and more global companies adopt corporate blockchain solutions, Norilsk Nickel (NorNickel), the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, has announced it is joining the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), a network aimed at supporting responsible sourcing and production practices from mine to market.

According to NorNickel, the move to join RSBN follows the announcement of the company's broader strategy to utilise sophisticated digital technologies to create a customer-centric supply chain. The strategy would encompass metal-backed tokens on the global Atomyze platform, a tokenisation platform that represents physical assets in digital form. Both the Atomyze and RSBN platforms were developed by leveraging Hyperledger technology, with the participation of IBM.

"As one of the largest industry groups globally and the producer of the minerals essential for the transition to a carbon-free world, NorNickel is well aware of its responsibility to make the metals supply chains sustainable and highly transparent," Anton Berlin, NorNickel’s vice-president for sales and distribution, said in a press release. "We believe that the digital technologies of RSBN and Atomyze will create the path for NorNickel and its partners to participate in a circular value chain, tracing commodity flows in near real time as well as replacing cumbersome paperwork."

"Norilsk Nickel is an important addition to the Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network and we look forward to their contributions to help advance the assurance for responsible sourcing and the group’s sustainability goals that have a direct impact on successful and accountable development for entire industries," added Manish Chawla, IBM's global managing director for chemicals, petroleum & industrial products.

With NorNickel joining the RSBN, a series of its supply chains will be audited annually against key responsible sourcing requirements by RCS Global. The audits cover each stage of the company’s vertically integrated operations, from Russian mines to refineries in Finland and Russia.

According to NorNickel, integration with RSBN is yet another step for the company towards achieving greater business sustainability by creating a permanent record of minerals on the blockchain. At a later development stage, NorNickel also plans to track other data, such as upstream carbon intensity and other ESG attributes.

Built on IBM Blockchain technology and powered by the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric, the RSBN platform aims to improve transparency in the mineral supply chain by providing a highly secure and immutable record that can be shared with specified members of the network.

In addition, RCS Global Group assesses each participating entity both initially and annually against responsible sourcing requirements set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and those enshrined by key industry bodies, including the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI).

RSBN is designed to be adopted across industries by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in automotive, electronics, aerospace and defence, as well as their supply chain partners such as mining companies and battery manufacturers.

Atomyze LLC is the US branch of a global fintech platform that digitises and modernises the trading experience for products, assets and commodities by enabling investors to directly and safely invest in the actual underlying commodity.

Using technology powered by blockchain, Atomyze provides a marketplace for investors to buy digitised assets of any kind, including commodities, for issuers to trade their assets on blockchain, and for the management of supply chain contracts between issuers and commercial users.

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This article is part of bne IntelliNews coverage of technology, blockchain, fintech, cryptocurrencies and the new economy. Sign up for the free monthly newsletter bneTech here, or read more tech stories on the website here.

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This article is part of bne IntelliNews coverage of technology, blockchain, fintech, cryptocurrencies and the new economy. Sign up for the free monthly newsletter bneTech here, or read more tech stories on the website here.

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