Businesses and consumers alike are increasingly looking to make sustainable purchase choices. But with data gaps across supply chains obscuring the footprint of products, how do you make an informed decision? Soon, this task might become much less complicated, thanks to the Digital Product Passport (DPP).
As a tool to create transparency and unlock circularity, the European Commission (EC) proposes Digital Product Passports (DPPs) that share product information across the entire value chain, including data on raw material extraction, production, recycling, etc. The data can be accessed via, e.g., QR codes once the DPP has been created at any point upstream or latest with product entry into the EU market.
The upcoming EU regulation for the DPP will change information and data flows for most products sold within the EU. WBCSD and BCG have assessed the implications of these EU regulations and launched three publications about the EU DPP. These analyze the upcoming EU regulation and how companies will be impacted, propose actions for companies to start preparing today and illustrate key implications for electronics value chain actors.
As regulatory first mover the EU expects to cover first product groups with specific DPP regulation coming into effect by 2026/7 with most products covered by 2030. The EU DPP is expected to impact value chains globally given that all products placed on the EU market will be affected. Many elements of the EU DPP still remain open across scope, tech setup and data in the current regulation. The key to unlock positive impact on circularity is for regulators to provide clear guidance early to allow companies to prepare and involve themselves in the regulatory process. In “Enabling circularity through transparency: Introducing the EU Digital Product Passport,” WBCSD and BCG provide details about the regulation and current uncertainties, analyze the different options that could shape the regulation and identify key implications.
The EU DPP will impact most companies in the coming years. Companies can benefit from taking early action now as they can influence the regulation, improve compliance and resilience, unlock investment synergies, increase transparency, help achieve circularity ambitions and unlock growth opportunities. To help companies achieve these benefits, WBCSD and BCG provide clear, actionable steps on how to prepare now as a company in “Navigating uncertainties of the EU Digital Product Passport: How to prepare now as a company”.
The overarching report “The EU Digital Product Passport shapes the future of value chains: What it is and how to prepare” summarizes the policy perspective and corporate guidance and illustrates what a potential DPP scenario could look like for actors along the electronics value chain.
While the DPP implementation is crucial in enabling transparency, it is important to keep eco-design and circularity considerations in mind. Companies can use the obtained transparency as an enabler to create more circular products and reduce waste and resource consumption. The EC can incentivize circularity across the EU by linking performance requirements to the DPP data. Leveraging the transparency that the DPP can create for improving circularity will not only open up additional value potential for companies but also enable utilizing already extracted resources more efficiently to achieve less wasteful consumption within planetary boundaries.
For questions or further actions on the EU DPP, reach out to the lead authors from WBCSD and BCG:
- Maayke Aimée Damen, Director, Circular Economy, WBCSD, Damen@wbcsd.org
- Lonne Van Doorne, Associate, Products & Materials, WBCSD, email@example.com
- Merle Stepke-Müller, Project Leader, Circular Economy, BCG, Stepke.Merle@bcg.com
- Alexander Meyer zum Felde, Partner and Associate Director, Global Lead Circular Economy, BCG, Meyer.zum.Felde.Alexander@bcg.com
- Holger Rubel, Senior Partner and Managing Director, Sustainability & Circular Economy, BCG, Rubel.Holger@bcg.com