In 2019 the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) published ‘A vision for a sustainable battery value chain 2030’ outlining the need to rapidly scale sustainable, responsible, and circular battery value chains as a major driver to meet the Paris Agreement targets. The recently published update to this report ‘Battery 2030: Resilient, sustainable and circular’ in collaboration with McKinsey, highlights staggering growth forecasts, projecting that the entire lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery chain, from mining through recycling, could grow by over 30 percent annually from 2022 to 2030, when it would reach a value of more than $400 billion and a market size of 4.7 TWh. To manage the rapidly growing industry's environmental, social, and governance impacts, transparency and collective multistakeholder are vitally important. With that in mind, the GBA conceptualized the Battery Passport as a framework to increase transparency across the battery value chain. The battery passport establishes a digital twin of the physical battery that conveys information about all applicable sustainability and lifecycle requirements based on a comprehensive definition of a sustainable battery. It aims to bring new levels of transparency to the global battery value chain by collecting, exchanging, collating, and reporting trusted data among all lifecycle stakeholders on the material provenance, the battery’s chemical make-up and manufacturing history, and its sustainability performance. The GBA’s Battery Passport is unique as it is a key instrument for implementing a global vision of sustainable, responsible, and circular battery value chains based on data that is standardized, comparable, and auditable. Its ultimate goal is to provide end-users with a quality seal based on the battery’s sustainability performance, according to reporting rules agreed upon by stakeholders from industry, academia, non-governmental organisations and government.
To demonstrate the practical feasibility of the battery passport, the GBA mobilized members in 2022, covering the entire value chain from mine to the vehicle manufacturer, to jointly establish a proof of concept. In addition to reporting the technical parameters of the battery, this included the tracking and tracing of materials flows for select value chains, integrated with consistent reporting against the GBA’s Greenhouse Gas rulebook to establish the battery carbon footprint and the Child Labour and Human Rights Indices.
The GBA believes that highly globalized battery value chains demand a truly global multi-stakeholder approach to help collectively shape the battery passport instrument. To design a fully scalable and global battery passport infrastructure requires an ecosystem approach connecting and engaging businesses, IT solution providers, regulators, auditors, public, and international and non-governmental organizations. The vision for this ecosystem and the roadmap to build were captured by the GBA in 2020.
The launch of the world’s first battery passport proof-of-concept presents an important milestone demonstrating that our vision is feasible, but it is only the beginning of the battery passport journey. This paper outlines how the pilots were configured, the learnings obtained during pilot implementation, and an outlook for the next steps.
The Battery Passport Action Partnership is managed operationally by a Project Management Office. A Steering Committee guides strategic decision-making made up of GBA members representing a balance of industry, civil society, governments, and academia.
Project Management Office: