Product digitization and digital product passports: The only way to go

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by Simen Kjellberg

Save the Forest

Product digitization and traceability will drive verifiable sustainability through transparency, supply chain visibility, and digital product passports.

As the idea of a circular economy makes the rounds, questions inevitably arise about how consumers and businesses alike can move toward greater circularity. After all, finite resources are being used as though they are infinite – at accelerating rates. A circular economy demands the reuse of products, careful waste management, and better stewardship over remaining raw natural resources.

Circular sustainability: The only way through is around (and around)

The only way society can achieve this level of sustainability is through a traceable supply chain and underlying product digitization and traceability technology. 

Traceability is a start, as it facilitates product tracking, but achieving full circularity – as well as the sustainability goals set forth in the European Union’s European Green Deal – will require more than just a traceability system. Regulatory mandates will go hand in hand with making this change make a difference.

Digital product passports: From the EU to the world and back

To this end, the European Union’s plan includes a requirement for every product subject to the regulation to have a digital product passport (DPP). The DPP will contain standardized data about the product, which will support its circular journey and make it easier for consumers to repair or recycle items.

While the DPP may be an exclusively European initiative today, the regulation will require that any brand wishing to sell its products within the EU must supply digital product passports for its goods. In this sense, the DPP is global in its reach. 

In addition, at least in the US, consumers are hungry for sustainable products and services, and are willing to pay for this reassurance – a similar endeavor cannot be far behind.

Why product digitization and traceability are the future

Kezzler’s CEO, Christine C. Akselsen recently participated in a Q&A with the Advertising Specialty Institute, during which she spoke about supply chain and sustainability challenges and how traceability technology and digital product passports will mitigate them
In the discussion, Christine explained that traceability is visibility, and shared in detail what the DPP is and what it aims to accomplish, why traceability is key to a sustainable supply chain, and how traceability and product digitization are critical not just to enabling tools like the DPP but also to meeting the challenges of counterfeit goods, gray-market and product diversion, better consumer engagement, supply chain visibility, and product innovation, and more.

Read the full Q&A with Advertising Specialty Institute here.

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Simen Kjellberg
Simen Kjellberg

VP Strategy