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A side effect of DPP – purging rogue businesses?

While the purpose of introducing Digital Product Passports (DPP) is to reduce the negative environmental products, we strongly suspect that there will be positive side effects:

  • A purge of rogue businesses

  • A professionalisation of industries

Why would that be, you might ask.

Because it isn't easy to do, is our answer.


DPP compliance will not be easy

Anyone can do easy. Getting DPP compliant will take commitment and effort.

To begin with, the kind of data needed for DPP's is data few companies have ever thought of calculating or request from their suppliers. DPP will make it compulsory to provide it. It will be hard work to find it, either in your designs, production processes or from your sub-suppliers.

Next you will have to manage that data in ways that comply with standards and formats and to maintain and update it continually. And obtain the systems needed for that. Systems that we expect will contain checks and balances to prevent counterfeiters to piggyback on the data of legitimate manufacturers.


Counterfeiters entire business is about taking shortcuts.

The entire business idea of counterfeiters is about taking the route of least resistance. Shortcutting by stealing designs created by others, using the cheapest possible materials, processes and labour, with no care for safety, environment, or quality of products beyond getting them sold.

Fortune seekers follow the same logic, except - possibly - staying on the right side of the law.

Still, they look for easy solutions with little to no motivation to "search for excellence".

Doing the effort to extract the data needed for digital product passports does not fit with their mindset and business model. They'll look for pastures easily grazed.


A professionalisation of industries

With DPP, physical products without accompanying DPP will be impossible to sell. DPP-data will become part of the extended product just as much, or even more, as warranties, manuals, assembly instructions, or tables of contents (but more complicated to provide than most of those - or all).

The consistency and reliability of DPP-data will become another component of quality for the extended product. One more component to control and administrate.

Many producers and retailers will have to up their game, work in more professional ways, to be able to comply, at least on a continuous basis.


But what about artisanal and small-scale production?

Quite naturally, big corporations will be better equipped to deal with the effort and technology of DPP's than small-scale producers or artisans. But, looking at the set-up of the similar deforestation directive that is a few years ahead of DPP, has special conditions for "micro and small enterprises". We would expect something similar to come with the DPP regulation.


With DPP, physical products without accompanying DPP will be impossible to sell. DPP-data will become part of the extended product just as much, or even more, as warranties, manuals, assembly instructions or tables of contents (but more complicated to provide than most of those - or all). The consistency and reliability of DPP-data will become another component of quality for the extended product. One more component to control and administrate. Many producers and retailers will have to up their game, work in more professional ways, to be able to comply, at least on a continuous basis.
With Digital Product Passports, small businesses will need to get more professional too.

Image by BrianAJackson on iStock

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