Mar 19, 2024

NFC & the Digital Product Passport: key webinar takeaways

Recently NFC Forum hosted a webinar to discuss how NFC technologies can play a role in the future of the Digital Product Passport (DPP) initiative, which is due to transform the way we reuse, remanufacture, and recycle products. Panelists from CIRPASS, the Global Battery Alliance, EM Microelectronic, PositiveImpaKT, and Infineon Technologies came together to discuss how different ecosystem players can collaborate to ensure a successful DPP rollout.

This blog summarizes the key takeaways from the webinar and shares insights into what the industry expects to happen as we move towards the implementation of the new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) EU regulation in 2027.

1. Overcome the data-sharing obstacle

European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has instilled a new approach in many businesses to question how and why personal data is shared. The desire to be cautious of data sharing is further compounded by wanting to retain business intelligence. Yet, the DPP relies on open data sharing.

Businesses need to embrace the value and benefit of the circular economy and understand their ethical responsibility, not just align to legal obligations. A paradigm shift is needed when it comes to data sharing. Success will be achieved by promoting new opportunities generated through the DPP initiative such as enhancing sustainable production, extending product lifetimes, reducing counterfeit products, helping consumers make sustainable choices, and benefitting from operational savings by re-using valuable materials.

2. Embrace standardization

A standardized approach is key to establishing a stable data-sharing infrastructure and achieving widespread deployment of the DPP. This not only needs to be an accessible, common, global language that reflects today’s global manufacturing industry but also one that can be implemented affordably.

There are a variety of work streams across most notably ISO and CENELEC that the NFC community is tracking and where possible contributing to common data formats and methods. This work is ongoing. Additionally, NFC Forum is keen to focus on normalized standards and not prescriptive solutions that limit innovation and cost savings.

3. Expect challenges

Without doubt there’s a tendency to strive for perfection, yet the DPP will take time to finesse. Businesses need to implement and start experiencing DDP systems to enable them to evolve and develop.

While the technology itself is trusted, understanding its ‘real-world’ usage is one anticipated challenge. For example, end users and sorters / recyclers who, up until now, may not have been exposed to the technology, will need to effectively extract materials using DPP information. Education is fundamental around how the technology can be used for individual use cases.

4. Get ready for the rollout

Following the initial focus on electric vehicle (EV) batteries, mandatory DPP implementation is expected in the textile and consumer electronics sectors. Here are five top tips:

  • Engage with your industry - get involved with relevant sector standards bodies to understand what approach is being taken by your community / peers to ensure you align and can easily track market best practices.

  • Understand the technology – what formats and data carriers align to your business brand and operations? NFC and QR Codes are both viable and support different use cases.

  • Invest in due diligence – make sure you understand the carbon footprint of your product and your supply change. What upcoming regulation is on the horizon and what impact will it have?

  • Go beyond compliance – understand the opportunities presented by the DPP to enhance trust and develop a transparent and accessible chain of custody throughout a product’s lifecycle, differentiating between authentic and counterfeit products.

  • Start exploring – start collecting data and exploring the open-source technology to understand the opportunities the DPP can have for your business / products.

The NFC community is collaborating to define a standard that supports the regulatory requirements of the DPP, which supports the sustainability of materials and encourages a global approach to the circular economy.

Find out more about the role NFC technology can play in defining the information system of the circular economy by downloading our eBook – ‘NFC: Shaping the Future of the Digital Product Passport’ now.

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