Awareness-raising and capacity-building is vital to successfully implementing a Digital Product Passport  

The objective of digital product passport (DPPs) type solutions is to enhance circularity and sustainability. This relies critically on all stakeholders involved in the supply chain being knowledgeable about the benefits, challenges and needs for implementation posed by DPPs. Conducting awareness-raising and knowledge-sharing initiatives on topics related to DPPs is therefore key for its successful roll-out.  

Our task at dss+ was to run activities to raise awareness and build capacity on some of the critical subjects related to the project for all partners of the Cirthread consortium, who vary in expertise and specialisms.  

Firstly, we held four workshops over this year and last (both virtually and in person) which delivered trainings and learning sessions to partners in the following areas:  

Standardisation workshops

Figure 1. Standardisation workflow (left) and brochure on standardisation (right)

During CircThread’s 2nd General Assembly held in Valladolid in June 2022, UNI organized a workshop to teach the consortium about the pillars of the standardisation world.  They also used the opportunity to identify the most relevant needs that were relevant to underpin the standardization and legislative landscape scans for the project. This brochure was produced to summarise the topics covered in the workshop and is publicly available to anyone via the project website. 

At the 3rd General Assembly of the CircThread project in Milan in November 2022, UNI presented the first version of an online Standardization Toolkit.  The toolkit supports the research over a dataset of about 70 regulations that can be linked to the CircThread project as well as access to a database of over 200 standards related to the field of appliance reuse.

This CircThread standardization toolkit provides a first comprehensive mapping of the regulations and standards relevant for exchanging information about products across their life cycle (from manufacturing to use, collection, repair to disassembly and recycling). The toolkit offers the user a quick overview of the current and upcoming EU regulations and global standards to be aware of, especially if you work in the field of circular economy on digital solutions.

The Standardisation Toolkit V1 (T9.1 result) was introduced via a workshop which trained the consortium on how to use it and offered a preliminary validation of the tool. You can find the toolkit here.

Policy updates 

Topic 1: The EU’s Digital Product Passport – policy update as of January 2023

Given the proximity of CircThread’s work to the EU’s digital product passport work, the project closely monitors any policy updates regarding the Commission’s work on the DPP (as well as other relevant EU initiatives.  This ensures our work is aligned and enables us to assess where results from CircThread can feed into the DPP to help achieve its sustainability objectives. 

This online dss+ workshop held in January 2023 provided consortium members with an update on where the EU’s DPP stands in the policy process, including an estimated timeline of expected developments according to key Commission policymakers. You can find a full brief on the policy update here. 

  Figure 2. Online webinar conducted by dss+ on the EU’s DPP.

Topic 2: Exchanging product data across the value chain: a practical approach

In parallel with the ongoing high-level initiatives on product passport regulations, there is a need to explore data exchange solutions at a practical level. This second online workshop led by Sistrade proposed a concrete approach to this challenge.  This was done by exploiting a set of widely used standards to leverage the product sustainability through enhanced information interoperability throughout its life cycle. The aim was to discuss and outline possible paths for fostering the exchange of product data across the value chain to improve product sustainability.

The first half of the workshop was a presentation, followed by an interactive session to gain the perspectives from attendees of different backgrounds including manufacturers, end-of-life operators, tech-providers, and researchers. You can find a link to the recording of the training here.

Figure 3. Online workshop conducted by Sistrade.

These workshops and information sharing sessions are essential to ensure all stakeholders involved in DPP solutions are fully equipped with relevant knowledge for its successful roll-out. Stay tuned for updates on our forthcoming CircThread workshops that will enable you to learn more about DPPs and their role in achieving circularity!