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Now is the time to get serious about sustainability, digitalisation and data transparency.

If you're not yet serious about sustainability, digitalisation, and data transparency, now is the time for change. With the introduction of digital product passports, you will no longer have the choice not to take those topics seriously.


Sustainability is where it begins

The main purpose of introducing regulation about digital product passports (DPP) to accompany products sold in the European Union is sustainability through facilitating responsible consumption. To comply with the regulation, retailers, distributors, and producers will need to identify, document, verify, and track a wide range of environmental impacts of products, from cradle to grave (or "rebirth" through re-use or recycling). This propagates back through the supply chain, all the way to the production or extraction of raw materials.

DPP is part of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), in turn a key part of the EU Green Deal. The intention by the EU regulators is, obviously, that the ease of access to this kind of information will impact consumer behaviour and preferences which, in turn through the market forces will impact producers to make their products and production processes more eco-friendly.


DPP results in a digitalisation of products, production and the entire supply chain

Digital product passports are not only a matter of extracting data on environmental impact of your products from production or distribution processes, designs, and sub suppliers. It's a matter of providing this information reliably, consistently, and always up-to-date, in defined and agreed formats, easily accessibly but simultaneously with access control for defined groups of users. It's not a one-off effort. It's a marathon.

Compliant consistency necessitates building a parallel digital supply chain. As products gradually develop from raw materials, via processing, several stages of assembly of gradually more complex components to final assembly, through distribution and retail, and all logistics involved in-between, DPP data will need to be "extracted" and "assembled" in parallel, gradually building a dynamic digital twin of the physical product.

How else will you be able to know the full environmental impact "from cradle to grave"? For each item!

This parallel digital supply chain needs to be secure, data needs to be maintained and constantly verified as to authenticity and continued validity.


Data transparency: necessary for efficiency and agility

Looking closer at that parallel digital supply chain, it quickly becomes obvious that, for it to work smoothly and efficiently, you can't rely on data being sent "in spreadsheets attached to emails" or fed into some kind of colossal, monolithic database.

Another issue is that, to the small extent that this data is currently available, it usually resides in proprietary systems (ERP, PIM or similar), in other locked systems or in spreadsheets on someones hard drive. And, in no way, in any kind of uniform formats or adhering to any established standards.

For such a data supply chain, all data needs to be in standardised formats and parameters, and provided transparently – but still securely and with easily verifiable authenticity.

If not, we are likely to end up with a bureaucracy that would have made Franz Kafka faint.


The best you can do is to get serious and to get started

We hope this short piece has been clear enough about why there's no time to lose in getting serious about sustainability, digitalisation, and data transparency.

All details about the digital product passport regulations might not yet be carved out, but there's definitely enough for you to work on to keep you busy until it is.

Why not start by reaching out to us for a personal introduction to digital product passports?


DPP is part of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR), in turn a key part of the EU Green Deal. The intention by the EU regulators is, obviously, that the ease of access to this kind of information will impact consumer behaviour and preferences which, in turn through the market forces will impact producers to make their products and production processes more eco-friendly.
Digital Product Passports – digitalisation for sustainability

Image by pcess609 on iStock

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