Introduction of traceability management platform to Asia for building a circular economy

On 8 February 2021, Marubeni Corporation entered into a business collaboration agreement with Circularise, a Netherlands-based blockchain technology scaleup, to introduce a Traceability Management Platform developed by Circularise to the Japanese and Asian chemicals and plastics markets. Marubeni will conduct demonstration projects for this service, together with its domestic clients. After the demonstration, both organisations will investigate the benefits of a joint venture in Japan to commercialise Circularise’s service.

Recently, the circular economy is in the spotlight due to a shortage of resources and energy triggered by mass-production, mass-consumption and mass-disposal. This is widely regarded as an important environmental and social issue. However, for building a circular economy, it is necessary to mutually share traceability-related information on materials and services provided by each stakeholder in the circular supply chain.

This is achieved with the platform developed by Circularise, which consists of proprietary “Smart Questioning Technology” based on blockchain and zero-knowledge proofs. It enables brands, OEMs and manufacturers to selectively disclose traceability-related information like recipes, specifications and processing conditions for raw materials; recycling history; environmental indicators like carbon footprints and resource-efficient data; and information on the company’s compliance with the UN SDGs and third-party certifications towards customers and regulators. The platform does all of this while still maintaining confidentiality, thus making more transparent and sustainable supply chains.

Marubeni will invite customers in the chemicals and plastics sectors to participate in the demonstration of the platform to confirm its feasibility and identify functions to be improved. At the time of commercialisation, Marubeni will explore a joint venture agreement to provide the platform in Japan and Asia. Utilising mutual resources, Marubeni and Circularise will contribute to a sustainable society.

Supporting transparency and traceability for a circular economy

EIT RawMaterials supported Circularise with EUR 180 000 funding to scale-up their business in the post-economic crisis, as part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative.

It is important for all stakeholders in the value chain to communicate with each other and exchange relevant information.

Beant Dijkstra, Business Development Manager at EIT RawMaterials

This is why it was important for EIT RawMaterials to support the further development of Circularise’s data exchange protocol deemed necessary for the circular economy’s overall functioning.

By developing this technology, Circularise is making it possible for manufacturers and customers to start a dialogue. The manufacturer might want to know more about consumer behaviour, while the customer might be interested in getting more information about the product – from user manuals and warranty tracking to additional service offerings.

Beant Dijkstra, Business Development Manager at EIT RawMaterials

Circularise started moving towards full commercial implementation in 2021. The EIT RawMaterials Booster grant was used to develop functionalities required to make Circularise’s system ready to scale.

Full Press Release by Marubeni