Stahl, the world leader in the specialty chemistry of coatings, processing and treatments, has engaged leading blockchain group Finboot to supply its blockchain middleware solution MARCO to improve the way it shares and verifies its products’ sustainability credentials with brands that use materials treated with Stahl chemicals.
Stahl specialises in the production of surface treatment and coating solutions for flexible surfaces, such as leather, synthetics and fabrics. Its direct customers are tanneries and other small manufacturers that supply their materials to brands predominantly in the fashion and automotive industries. Leading brands require that their suppliers only use chemicals from approved providers and so Stahl works closely with them to share relevant data about its products’ sustainability properties.
In the first blockchain implementation of its kind for the flexible surface chemical industry, MARCO creates immutable digital assets of Stahl’s products to deliver transparency and traceability within Stahl’s supply chain in a way that no other digital technology can. This means that the end-brands have direct and easy access to accurate and verified information about the overall properties of Stahl’s products so that they too can verify the sustainability credentials of their own supply chains. These properties include documentation such as bill of materials, bill of substances and the provenance of the raw materials.
Stahl’s adoption of MARCO is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to focus on improving the environmental sustainability of its products in order to further solidify its position as the global leader in its sector. As part of this, the company has sought to increase the amount of renewable raw materials used in its manufacturing processes. The revolutionary transparency provided by blockchain will play a key role in substantiating Stahl’s move away from petrochemicals to new, more sustainable raw materials.
Following successful implementation and scaling of the solution, Stahl could potentially connect with brands’ existing blockchain ecosystems in the future, or alternatively the brands could plug into this new ecosystem developed by Stahl and Finboot. Further down the line, there is also scope to provide end-to-end traceability along the entire supply chain for the full manufacturing process of the flexible surfaces that use Stahl products. This means that brands will eventually be able to provide end-to-end visibility on the entire manufacturing process and supply chain behind the creation of their goods (for example, a leather handbag), down to the raw materials that make up the chemicals used during production.
John Fletcher, Chief Innovation Officer at Stahl, said: “Providing customers with transparency of our sustainability and supply chain due diligence efforts is extremely important to us as we further cement Stahl’s position as an ESG leader in our sector. By integrating Finboot’s MARCO middleware & application suite into our digital ecosystem, we are able to demonstrate that we are actively seeking to drive positive change in our industrial processes. This is not just for the benefit of the brands which use materials that have been treated by our chemicals but their customers too, who are becoming increasingly conscious about the provenance and sustainability credentials of the products they are buying”.
Nish Kotecha, Chairman and Co-founder of Finboot, added: “Industrial businesses are facing increasing pressure from regulators, investors and consumers to adopt more sustainable practices. Empty claims are no longer tolerated, which means companies are now obliged to provide reliable and transparent data that verifies the changes they are making to their supply chains. Brands are even backlisting suppliers that are not providing sufficient data, and this requirement is only expected to become more rigorous. We are delighted to be partnering with Stahl to help the company deliver on its strategy of improving the sustainability of the chemicals it uses. MARCO’s ability to securely record and verify data along the entirety of manufacturing supply chains brings further trust and transparency to the work that Stahl is doing and we look forward to working closely with the team to help the business remain the preferred choice for many of the world’s leading luxury brands”.