18th January 2023
Global Battery Alliance Launches World’s First Battery Passport Proof of Concept
The Global Battery Alliance (“GBA”), the world’s largest multi-stakeholder organisation to establish a sustainable battery value chain by 2030, today launched the proof of concept for its Battery Passport at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.
The Battery Passport is key to facilitating the rapid scaling of sustainable, circular and responsible battery value chains to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement through electrification of the transport and power sectors. It has been developed over three years by the GBA’s members, who span the global battery value chain from the mine to recycling, including Audi, BASF, CATL, Eurasian Resources Group, Glencore, LG Energy Solution, Umicore, Tesla, Volkswagen AG, and IT solution providers as well as leading non-governmental and international organisations including IndustriALL Global Union, Pact, Transport & Environment, UNEP, UNICEF and many others, with the support of government institutions like the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and Natural Resources Canada.
Batteries are the key to unlocking the energy transition. At the same time, batteries are material- and resource-intensive with inevitable social and environmental impacts throughout the value chain. This includes greenhouse gas emissions during material sourcing, processing and manufacturing of batteries and issues of child labour and human rights violations. Bringing transparency to battery value chains through the introduction of the battery passport is a critical step towards establishing sustainable battery value chains in a rapidly growing industry.
The Battery Passport is the GBA’s flagship initiative, establishing a digital twin of a physical battery that conveys information about all applicable sustainability and lifecycle requirements based on a comprehensive definition of a sustainable battery. It will 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 to implement 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 by stakeholders from industry, academia, non-governmental organisations and government.
For the first time, the GBA has unveiled the illustrative results of its Battery Passport proof of concept at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. Publicly available on the Global Battery Alliance’s website, the prototype battery passports include example data from Audi and Tesla and their value chains partners relating to the battery’s technical specifications, material provenance, and reporting against key sustainability performance indicators (please note the disclaimer at the end of this release). This includes partial reporting of the battery’s carbon footprint, and child labour and human rights performance, according to rulebooks developed by members of the Global Battery Alliance for select materials, as well as information on the data collection across different steps of the value chains. By establishing this proof of concept, the Global Battery Alliance and its members are demonstrating how, by putting this data in the hands of end-users, the Passport will enable customers to make more informed purchasing decisions and drive sustainable sourcing, processing and manufacturing practices in the industry in the future.
Building on the ground-breaking efforts of the Global Battery Alliance, the concept of a Battery Passport has already been endorsed at the 2021 G7 Leaders’ Meeting, in the EU Battery Regulation and by the Canadian and U.S. administrations. A Battery Passport will become a mandatory requirement in the EU by 2026 with other regions likely to follow, which makes the launch of the GBA’s Battery Passport more important than ever to provide a globally harmonized framework for sustainability performance in the future.
Following the successful launch of the proof of concept, the GBA will continue evolving the battery passport architecture, including the development of a comprehensive and streamlined indicator framework. The members of the GBA will work jointly on developing rules and mechanisms for performance scoring, data governance, assurance and verification, including of IT instruments. Once completed, this will allow for batteries to be benchmarked against the GBA’s verifiable definition of a sustainable and responsible battery in the future, identifying those that are best and worst in class and tracking progress in the industry through the issuance of a GBA quality seal for batteries.
Inga Petersen, Executive Director of the Global Battery Alliance, said: “We are delighted to unveil our Battery Passport proof of concept, which is the result of many months of collaborative work with our members – ranging from automotive producers, mining corporations and technology companies, to NGOs, governmental bodies and other international organisations. This proof of concept is an important step towards giving investors, end-consumers and other stakeholders greater confidence in the responsible and sustainable production of EV batteries and the commitment to recycling and circularity.”
Voices from our members:
“To achieve the Paris Climate Agreement multiple stakeholders like governments, industry, academia, and NGO’s need to work hand in hand. The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) brings together these actors to foster a sustainable, responsible and circular battery economy. The GBA targets to safeguard the environment, respect human rights, and economic development in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The battery passport represents a very important achievement in this regard. It demonstrates how the GBA collaboration provides transparency for optimizing operations across the battery ecosystem. At BASF, sustainability is firmly anchored in our corporate strategy. Therefore, we are proud to be a founding partner of the GBA. We are supporting the GBA and the battery passport to stay frontrunners in sustainability in the automotive industry.” Martin Brudermüller, CEO BASF.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, said: “The Government of Canada welcomes this milestone achievement for the Global Battery Alliance’s Battery Passport. We support strong multi-stakeholder efforts that promote responsible and sustainable global battery supply chains, including membership in the Sustainable Critical Mineral Alliance launched by Canada last month. Canada looks forward to continued collaboration with the GBA and its partners.”
Benedikt Sobotka, Co-Chair of the Global Battery Alliance and CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, founding member of the GBA, said: “The launch of the Battery Passport proof of concept is a major milestone on the road to creating a truly verifiable digital twin of a battery. The GBA’s Battery Passport is the first and only passport to be developed by stakeholders spanning the entire battery value chain, making it the standard bearer for battery transparency. Our attention will now turn to benchmarking Battery Passport data and issuing quality seals based on sustainability performance to provide a trusted source of data to end consumers, guiding purchasing decisions and triggering improvement actions across the value chain.”
Dr. Robert Habeck, German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, said: “The Battery Passport proof-of-concept presented today is a very impressive first tangible result of the GBA, which my ministry has been supporting since 2019. The Battery Passport is a pivotal embodiment of the digital and green “twin transition” – it utilises the digital world to facilitate the decarbonisation of the real world and to promote circularity. We believe that global progress in green technologies is most efficient when we rely on globally compatible standards and a level playing field to minimize frictions between different markets in the industries we need to transform. Therefore, GBA’s work as an international actor is so important.”
“More sustainable batteries are vital to our efforts to responsibly and successfully shape the shift towards e-mobility,” says Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, which represents Volkswagen AG as lead brand in the project. “We have been committed to the development of the Battery Passport from the very beginning in 2017. Now, the proof of concept shows that even complex value chains can become transparent – an important step in making battery production more environmentally and socially compatible and strengthening the circular economy. Going forward, we hope many other organizations, regulators and industry players will join to make the Battery Passport a real shared global standard.”
“The Battery Passport will raise standards to achieve truly clean e-mobility. For Umicore, its proof-of-concept launch at the World Economic Forum in Davos is a milestone towards creating traceability and accountability at each EV battery supply chain stage. As an industrial pioneer in rechargeable battery materials and battery recycling and as a founding member of the Global Battery Alliance, Umicore is one of the staunchest drivers and co-developers of the Battery Passport. Transparency on a battery’s lifecycle enables consumers, companies and regulators to make well-informed choices, propelling decarbonized electric driving. This makes the Battery Passport key to reducing climate change," said Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore, Founding Member of the GBA.
“As a cleantech leader, Canada supports the Global Battery Alliance’s Battery Passport in contributing to a cleaner and greener economy. Today’s announcement sets a positive path forward in the growth of the cleantech sector, which will benefit businesses and people around the world. As we transition to a net-zero future and strive to limit the carbon output of our supply chains, Canada will work with industry on a global scale to advance the sustainable and responsible production of EV batteries and vehicle manufacturing.” - Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.
“The battery supply chain is complex and we welcome the indices as a means to ensure that violations of human rights don’t go undetected. The rights of the workers along this increasingly important value chain need to be respected. Workers’ rights are human rights.” Atle Høie, IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary.
“Tesla piloted the Battery Passport and collected the relevant environmental and social data points on our cobalt supply chain. While a lot more work needs to be done to cover all relevant areas across battery mineral supply chains, standard reporting across a level playing field certainly has a role to play in the transition towards sustainable energy.” Ferdinand Maubrey, Head of Responsible Sourcing, Battery Supply Chain & Battery Minerals, Tesla.
“The exponential growth in the demand for rechargeable batteries and interdependence across global battery value chain stresses the urgent need for greater transparency and assurance in the battery value chain. By providing end-users with key information about a battery’s material provenance, manufacturing history and ESG performance, the Battery Passport will serve as an important instrument for improving sustainability of business. Committed to creating a sustainable battery ecosystem and paving the “Sustainable Way,” LG Energy Solution welcomes more opportunities to leverage the convening power of the Global Battery Alliance and to work with multi-stakeholders to make a rigorous and standardized framework to trace and measure the progress across global battery value chain.” Mr. Bangsoo Lee, President / Chief Risk Officer of LG Energy Solution.
“The GBA provides a unique platform which will enables industrials players, governments, and NGOs from all around the world to discuss and implement measures to ensure ESG compliance along the entire battery value chain. As the Government of Québec is aiming to produce the world’s greenest battery materials, components and cells, building on access to clean energy and responsible mining, we see the GBA’s Battery Passport initiative as a very promising one in order to enable a sustainable energy transition at a world scale.” Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Quebec.
“Batteries are the new oil, but to avoid the mistakes of the oil age we must ensure batteries are produced sustainably, their materials sourced responsibly, and the entire supply chain is circular. Transport & Environment has supported GBA’s work from the outset to cement sustainability and responsible sourcing into the global battery industry. The launch of the Battery Passport marks a key milestone on that journey. It will enable transparent disclosure of key sustainability and human rights data, thus improving transparency and trust across the supply chain.” Julia Poliscanova, T&E's Senior Director for E-mobility.
“FREYR Battery congratulates the Global Battery Alliance for making the digital passport for batteries a reality. This will change the game by enabling a transparent value chain that documents the environmental and social footprint of the batteries, from mining to gate, through use and recycling,” said Co-founder and CEO Tom Jensen, FREYR Battery. “FREYR sees the Battery Passport as fundamental for our industry and to ensure that sustainable conduct simply is the nature of our business worldwide.”
“The Green Finance Institute welcomes the launch of the Global Battery Alliance’s Battery Passport proof-of-concept. For the green transition to be successful, it is essential for investors to have transparency on the sustainability of supply chains. By allowing a record to be kept of an individual battery’s constituent parts, battery passports make it possible for financiers to verify their investments in the supply chain as being ESG compliant, mitigating the risk of greenwashing. The Green Finance Institute is delighted to be supporting the important and innovative work of the Global Battery Alliance, to bring battery passports to market.” Dr. Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, CEO of the Green Finance Institute.
“The Cobalt Institute - the non-profit trade association composed of producers, users, recyclers, and traders of cobalt - is proud to have invested time and effort in the Global Battery Alliance over the past two years. We believe the Battery Passport is an important tool for addressing the environmental, social and governance challenges in the global battery value chain by bringing greater transparency to the market.” Susannah McLaren, Head of Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability, Cobalt Institute.
“The circular economy requires pre-competitive partnerships at an unprecedented level. Rather than being led solely by one single brand, company or industry, the battery passport demonstrates how the multistakeholder approach can be utilised to share data across a complete value chain, from extraction to consumers providing better traceability of materials used. This ground-breaking approach is paving the way for future digital passports to enhance transparency in value chains, not only improving environmental outcomes, but also ensuring the ethical sourcing of materials, increasing resilience of value chains and prolonging the longevity of our resources. The World Economic Forum is proud to have been part of this journey and will continue to support stakeholders to drive forward the circular transformation of industries.” Kristin Hughes, Resource Circularity Pillar, Global Plastic Action Partnership, Executive Committee World Economic Forum.
“Clarios a founding member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance (GBA) is pleased to support the standardization efforts of the digital battery passport to boost the circular economy and ensure that all batteries, regardless of chemistry, are properly managed across their life cycle. We supported the aim to connect and scale efforts to ensure the battery value chain is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable”. Dr. Christian Rosenkranz, Vice President Industry and Governmental Relations EMEA.
“GBA’s battery passport offers the opportunity to build trust in the marketplace in critical claims such as GHG footprint and human rights. Built through the core strength of GBA – its multistakeholder process – it lays the groundwork for authentically driving to a net zero and just climate transition.” Mathy V. Stanislaus, Vice-Provost and Executive Director of The Environmental Collaboratory at Drexel University.
“EUROBAT believes that the digital battery passport will boost the circular economy by maximizing the sustainability potential of batteries, cells and secondary materials throughout their life-cycle. The digital battery passport will help create sustainable batteries that contribute to the green transition in the energy and e-mobility sectors while protecting intellectual property rights and privacy of the different actors in the markets.” Rene Schroeder, Executive Director Eurobat (Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers).
“As a GBA member and a participant of the working groups, we are proud to achieve this concrete milestone of proof-of-concept. GBA as an organization and the GBA members have collectively made significant efforts in the development. We are now one step closer to be able to measure, track and improve battery value chain performance with common global rules and guidelines.” Matti Hietanen, CEO of Finnish Minerals Group.
“Faced with the acceleration of the energy transition and the necessary increase in demand for associated minerals including mica, the Responsible Mica Initiative can only welcome the launch of the Battery Passport by the GBA. The energy transition cannot be achieved at the expense of the populations associated with the extraction of the minerals that make batteries nor of the environment. Equipping end-use industries and other involved stakeholders with robust tools to develop and implement responsible sourcing and transformation practices has become a must have.” Fanny Frémont, Executive Director of the Responsible Mica Initiative.
“Batteries are a key tenet of the energy transition, but equally as important are the metals and minerals from which they are manufactured. As one of the world’s largest producers/recyclers of energy transition metals, we want to provide our customers with the confidence that the raw materials/minerals for their batteries have been responsibly produced. To be able to effectively and credibly provide this transparency, we need to work collaboratively between the upstream, the downstream and non-industry stakeholders. We do this through the ReSource consortium’s traceability technology platform, of which Glencore is a founder, and through the pioneering work of the GBA. With the introduction of the Battery Passport proof of concept, we now have the umbrella framework for a powerful tool for transparency in the battery supply chain.“ Jyothish George, Marketing Head of Copper, Cobalt and Zinc metals, Glencore.
“Being part of this pilot has been a valuable experience that has demonstrated that to achieve the battery passport requires both technology and investment into governance that builds trusted networks between parties. Significant work remains on developing and harmonising environmental and social reporting and benchmarking standards across the battery supply chain. RCS Global’s work in 2023 will focus on further developing strong technical collaborations such as the GBA battery passport to achieve a truly responsible battery.” Harrison Mitchell, RCS Global Group, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer.
“Battery passports create a whole-of-society opportunity to build a responsible, sustainable, and increasingly circular battery ecosystem” said Douglas Johnson-Poensgen, CEO of Circulor. “Working alongside pioneers to create this proof-of-concept Battery Passport marks the next milestone in supply chain transparency and sends an important message—the future of the industry requires proof and collaboration.”
Elisa Tonda, Chief, Resources and Markets Branch, Economy Division, United Nations Environment Programme said: “The demand for the critical minerals and metals needed for the energy and green transition is expected to grow exponentially over the next two decades. This needs to become an opportunity to build more sustainable, circular, and responsible value chains for all those products which are essential to the transition. UNEP welcomes the launch of the Battery Passport proof of concept, which will be instrumental in increasing our capacity to understand and manage climate, pollution, biodiversity, and social impacts along the full lifecycle of the battery”.
“The proof-of-concept pilot for the GBA’s Battery Passport is an important milestone. The RBA is pleased to have participated in the standards benchmarking and to support implementation of the Battery Passport through due diligence and assessment standards of raw materials and supply chains to support human rights and environmental best practices.” – Rob Lederer, CEO of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).
“After over 5 years of persevered work by the volunteers from different players of the battery value chain, GBA fulfills its prime milestone with the publication of the results of the battery passport pilot: The credibility tool for the demonstration of batteries driving the sustainable energy transition.” Guy Éthier. Past Chairman of the Board of Directors.
“Euro Manganese is very proud to support the action-focused collaborative approach championed by the GBA in its efforts to deliver sustainable, responsible, and circular battery value chains. Like the GBA, we believe transparency and a level playing field are essential to achieving this aspiration, both of which will be promoted by the proof-of-concept Battery Passport, which will allow objective evaluation and differentiation between different batteries and their components across a range of criteria, helping incentivize improvement and adoption of best practice. We look forward to working with other members of the GBA to further develop and refine this critical tool over the coming months. Dr. James Fraser, Vice President Commercial Euro Manganese.
“The Battery Passport is an important stepping stone towards fully sustainable supply chains. Transparency about where battery inputs come from not only helps to inform customers but more importantly improves working conditions in developing countries. GIZ strongly supports this aim and is therefore also a strong supporter of the GBA”. Katja Suhr, Head of Global Program on Circular Economy, GIZ GmbH.
“The battery passport is an important project for establishing electro mobility by considering sustainability. The TÜV-Organizations support the Global Battery Alliance with their expertise in particular in conformity assessment procedures, in order to increase the value and feasibility of the passport.” Dr. Joachim Bühler, CEO TÜV-Verband e.V.
“The Battery Passport provides a springboard for the adoption of cleantech that truly promote decarbonization and a just transition at every stage of their value chain. By informing GBA’s traceability efforts, committing to responsible mining practices, partnering on battery recycling and embedding carbon neutrality into our business model, Nouveau Monde Graphite proudly supports the advancement of a transparent, sustainable and circular battery industry.” – Eric Desaulniers, Founder, President & CEO, Nouveau Monde Graphite.
About the Global Battery Alliance:
The GBA brings together over 130 leading international organisations, NGOs, industry actors, academics and governments to align collectively in a pre-competitive approach, in order to drive systemic change across the battery value chain. Incubated by the World Economic Forum in 2017 until its incorporation as a not-for-profit organisation in 2022, members of the GBA collaborate to achieve the goals set out in the GBA 2030 Vision and agree to the Ten GBA Guiding Principles. The GBA’s multi-stakeholder governance structure aims to ensure inclusivity in decision-making and strategic focus. Its Action Partnerships provide a collaborative platform for members to pool their expertise and achieve the shared goals of circularity, environmental protection and sustainable development.
About the Battery Passport Indicators:
To establish a globally harmonised framework for sustainability performance expectations for batteries, the GBA has recently launched several key performance indicators – the Greenhouse Gas Rulebook, Child Labour Index and Human Rights Index – which provide reporting frameworks for the Battery Passport and other passport solutions. The Greenhouse Gas Rulebook is a comprehensive framework for industry actors to calculate and track the GHG footprint of EV batteries. In doing so, it facilitates the collection of standardised, auditable, and comparable GHG data for batteries. The Child Labour and Human Rights Indices are the world’s first frameworks to measure and score the efforts of any company or product specific to the battery value chain towards supporting the elimination of child labour and respecting human rights.
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Audi and Tesla agreed to publish the results of the battery passport proof of concept to demonstrate the feasibility of collecting sustainability performance data, integrated with material provenance data and technical data, according to the GBA’s rulebooks and templates from every point of at least one supply chain. Given the pioneering nature of these efforts, the quality of the data presented in the proof-of-concept battery passports has not been fully verified and was partially complemented with reasonable data estimates and data from ongoing ESG efforts. To establish the proof of concept, Audi and Tesla and their value chain partners piloted the GBA tools only on select raw material supply chains, not all battery inputs. Therefore, the data presented within the battery passports represents exemplary data and does not purport to provide a full representation of the ESG performance of Audi or Tesla’s full battery supply chain. Accordingly, Audi and Tesla will not be held liable for any errors or omissions contained in the data provided and no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made regarding accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the data. The data may be subject to change without notice.