EU Digital Product Passport

EU Digital Product Passport: from theory to practice

WHAT IS THE DPP – DIGITAL PRODUCT PASSPORT

In recent years, the European Commission has shown a growing interest in emerging technologies to support the so-called ‘twin’ transitions, green and digital, and in particular in the development of a Digital Product Passport (DPP). The Digital Product Passport initiative is part of the proposed Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) and is one of the key actions of the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP).

The idea of a digital passport, in particular, comes from the Commission’s desire to create a tool capable of accelerating the transition towards a more circular and sustainable economy. A project with a clear objective shared by consumers, authorities and actors of the supply chain: to facilitate the conservation and extraction of the circular value of products and to guarantee their origin and authenticity.

THE ADVANTAGES OF THE DIGITAL PRODUCT PASSPORT

  • Trace the extraction/production of raw materials, supporting due diligence efforts;
  • Enable manufacturers to create digital twins of products, incorporating all necessary information;
  • Trace the life history of a product, enabling services related to its remanufacturing, repairability, reuse/resale/second life, recyclability, new business models;
  • Benefit market supervisors and customs authorities by making available the information they would need to perform their tasks;
  • Make reliable information available to public authorities and policy makers. Allow incentives to be linked to sustainability performance;
  • Enable citizens to access relevant and verified information on the characteristics of the products they own or are considering buying/leasing.

THE DPP IN PRACTICE: HOW THE PASSPORT WILL WORK

More specifically, the draft of the Ecodesign of Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) defines the DPP as a set of information and data related to a product, accessible electronically by reading a data carrier, such as QR codes or barcodes. Each product, in particular, will be associated with a specific identifier – Unique Product Identifier – through the scanning of which it will be possible to get indications on how to repair, recycle, remanufacture or dispose of most consumer goods.

The data requirements for digital product passports, in particular, will be established for each individual product category on the basis of a consultation process with relevant industry stakeholders.

Within the same proposal, however, some of the general and technical requirements for the creation, access and sharing of digital product passports have already been outlined, including the fulfilment of certain conditions including:

  • the DPP must be linked, via a data support or data carrier, to a unique product identifier;
  • the data support shall be physically present on the product, its packaging or the documentation accompanying the product;
  • the data support and the unique product identifier shall comply with the standard (“ISO/IEC”) 15459:2015;
  • all information included in the product passport shall be based on open standards, developed in an interoperable, machine-readable, structured and searchable format.

A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR COMPANIES

Currently still under discussion, the adoption of the digital product passport could offer good opportunities for companies: such tools can be used to add value to their offer and build closer relationships with consumers. Traceability of all information on the origin and development of a product is now a pillar for building trust between producer and consumers.

The Digital Product Passport (DPP), as an example of digital innovation that can provide services and tools that lead to circular models and sustainable products, could also lead to renewed transparency in many of the sectors where consumer products have the highest counterfeit rate.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT A DIGITAL PRODUCT PASSPORT SYSTEM?

Starting in 2023, the DPP should be introduced gradually with an initial focus on the electronics, battery and textile sectors. In order not to be unprepared, you need to choose the right partner. lab-go offers its customers the possibility to deploy a unique, easy and intuitive technology with which they can guarantee to end consumers, in real-time via QR code scanning, the Unique Authenticity Certification of purchased products. Would you like to learn more about lab-go’s Brand Protection and Authenticity Certification service?

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19 / 05 / 2023

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