IBM Blockchain Tracks Supply Chain for Covalent’s AirCarbon Products


Hancock sunglasses by Covalent
Image: Covalent

Hancock sunglasses by Covalent Image: Covalent

As of Thursday, January 14, 2021

From its basic stages to the stockroom, Covalent AirCarbon material from Huntington Beach, Calif.’s Newlight Technologies is now traceable along the supply chain using IBM Blockchain. Through this new offering, consumers who are shopping the Covalent brand’s AirCarbon products are able to utilize IBM Blockchain on IBM LinuxONE to trace the goods’ carbon footprint. This partnership aligns with the foundations of the more-sustainable AirCarbon, a fiber, plastic and leather alternative biomaterial created by microorganisms. Carbon Trust has certified AirCarbon as carbon negative due to its production process, which relies on renewable power.

“Our goal was to give people the information they need to decide what kind of impact they want to make,” Newlight Chief Executive Officer Mark Herrema said. “With IBM Blockchain and LinuxONE technology, we can now provide visibility into not only the steps used to make each Covalent product but also the carbon impact that each specific product has on the environment. For us, that's important because it helps make tangible the unique pathway that led to the creation of that product.”

The announcement follows the publication of IBM’s study “Meet the 2020 consumers driving change: Why brands must deliver on omnipresence, agility and sustainability,” which found that 57 percent of surveyed consumers would make a shopping-habit shift to protect the environment. One of the most-valued aspects of shopping for ecologically sound products is consumers’ ability to trace the origin of items and the materials with which they are made along the supply chain. AirCarbon products include a unique 12-digit identifier printed on each piece. Shoppers can enter the number into the Covalent website, affording a clear picture of how the product was created.

“Blockchain's ability to foster trust gives Covalent's customers a better understanding of how their products were made,” Alistair Rennie, general manager of IBM Blockchain, said. “In turn, Covalent can create a better customer experience and a better opportunity for consumers to understand how their choices impact the environment. This is another great example of how blockchain is supporting our mission of using technology for good.”