SMX Continental break through deal ensures ethical sourcing and sustainability in rubber tyre supply chain
Security Matters’ (ASX:SMX) and global automotive giant Continental have, for the first time, successfully created a marker substance for natural rubber in a tyres ensuring ethical sourcing and sustainability throughout the entire production process.
SMX’s innovative tech platform specializes in digital tracking using unalterable chemical-based barcodes. Through its collaboration with Continental, it can now enable the invisible marking of natural rubber with information on its geographical origin and quality.
This means that responsibly sourced natural rubber and its origin can be verified at every stage of the supply chain all the way to the customer.
Head of Sustainability at Continental Tires Claus Petschick said the company sees huge potential in marker technology.
“In the future, it will help us to ensure that the natural rubber we use in our tires is grown and sourced entirely responsibly,” he said.
With Security Matters, we have an innovative partner for the development and trialing of marker technology by our side.”
SMX founder and CEO Haggai Alon said the deal would ensure marker, reader and digital technology would further improve the transparency of the natural rubber supply chain and enable sustainability and circularity.”
Continental is further strengthening its pioneering role in its commitment to greater transparency along its supply chain and by 2050 (at the latest) plans for all materials in its tyre production process to originate from responsible sources.
“Over the long term, we believe that marker technology could help to make the sometimes highly complex processes in our supply chains more transparent and verifiable,” Claus Petschick said.
In the successfully completed field test, the marker substance underwent and passed a real test of resilience when it was added to responsibly grown latex during harvesting.
The substance not only withstood the intensive preparations involved in the production of natural rubber but also the tire manufacturing process itself.
In the manufactured tyre, the data was retrieved using special, purpose-built software and a reader, and correctly interpreted – and the appearance and performance of a bicycle tyre containing the invisible marker remained unchanged.
Plus, local smallholders in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan where the rubber originated were taught how the marker substances work and in what concentration they need to be added to the latex.
Now that the technology has passed its first test of resilience, Continental is planning to use the new marker technology on a larger scale in the future during the process of sourcing its rubber and to integrate it in other rubber products.
As part of the industrialization of this technology, SMX says it’s conceivable to link the markers with blockchain technology, which is particularly tamper-proof.
“This could provide additional support for tamper-free monitoring of compliance with quality standards and quality criteria along the complex supply chain of natural rubber,” the company said.
This article was developed in collaboration with Security Matters Limited, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.