What are Digital Product Passports?
Digital Product Passports, often referred to as Digital IDs or ItemIDs, are linked to a scannable label on the physical product such as a QR code or NFC tag that enables customers to access product information to inform their purchase decisions and help prolong the lifespan of their products and manufacturing processes. Their intention is to promote industry-wide circular economies, and to support after-sale services and such as repair, resale, and recycling.
Will Digital Product Passports will be mandatory?
Yes. Digital Product Passports (DPPs) are a key component of the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR). The adoption of this policy will take place January 1st, 2024, when requirements for DPPs across various sections are confirmed. Sectors such as Batteries and Textiles are prioritizing DPP implementation alongside finalizing requirements.
The EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, released in March 2022, calls for DPPs to be mandatory on a number of items from varying industries including EV batteries, consumer electronics, furniture, chemicals, and more - with an immediate spotlight on textiles and apparel.
Will my company be required to comply?
Yes. All companies putting products into market within the EU fall under the scope of the ESPR. Fines for non-compliance may include up to 5% of global revenue and repeated non-compliance may expand to prohibiting operations within the EU.
What are the requirements of a Digital Product Passport?
The proposed requirements for Digital Product Passports include the following:
• It is required to be connected through a data carrier to a unique product identifier (QR Code, RFID, NFC)
• The data carrier shall be physically present on the product, its packaging or on documentation accompanying the product.
• The data carrier and the unique product identifier shall comply with standard (‘ISO/IEC’) 15459:2015
• All information included in the DPP shall be based on open standards, developed with an interoperable format and shall be machine-readable, structured, and searchable
• The information included in the DPP shall refer to the product model, batch or item
Here are some of the potential information requirements that have been prioritized for DPP compliance:
• Proof-of-origin of all materials used in the manufacturing of the item, including packaging
• Proof-of-origin of manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors that collectively make up the complete supply chain
• How to manage the item at the end of its lifetime
• Possible lifetime of the item
• How to care for the product to avoid its premature substitution/replacement (or of its components)
Why should I invest in Digital Product Passports now?
Eventually, all brands selling in Europe will need to have Digital Product Passports implemented - and there will be a deadline to do so. If brands are not prepared, they could run into supply chain challenges, face significant fines and regulatory audits, and miss out on revenue.
It's important to begin adoption early to optimize consumer experience, supply chain integrations, and GTM strategies. Now is the time to learn and optimize - and align with the right DPP partners.
Brands that get ahead of this policy will have the opportunity to engage customers and deliver critical insights - at a level never accessed before. Additionally, brands can unlock new after-sale services and business models such as resale, rental and recycling, and increase operational efficiency.