Aligned with the orientation of the recent EU regulations, Authtrail has developed a Digital Product Passport solution to address the issues of quality product data management.
Case in point – data in waste management
The way the world economy functions has become too wasteful to keep up. No matter how we try to justify the way products are made, it is still very straightforward: we take a finite number of resources, use them to create something new, and eventually, when their life cycle ends, we dispose of them.
Producing an average smartphone generates
85 kg of waste and 55 kg of carbon emissions.
Linear production comes with massive pollution, health hazards, and drainage of natural resources – before a product even finds its way to users. To make things worse, consumer products, such as smartphones, get thrown away fast due to rapid technological advancement.
From “throw it away” to “there is no away”
Mere awareness about producing too much waste is not cutting it anymore.
Linear economy only creates value by producing and selling as many products as possible that, sooner or later, inevitably get discarded. However, the circular economy the EU is striving for is all about reducing waste in the first place.
The concept of circular economy follows the 3R approach: reduce, reuse and recycle. Companies should strive to reduce resource use in the first place, reuse the products or their parts, and recycle any raw materials to a high standard.
But in order to achieve the 3Rs, every product should provide a trustworthy and transparent flow of information about its content and recycling potential. Too often, the product data is either dispersed, incomplete or nonexistent, which makes a transition to a circular production mode very difficult.
The recent EU regulations are kick-starting a new order – enforcing a circular economy model backed by Digital Product Passport (DPP) technology. Authtrail brings it to another level.
What is DPP?
The DPP closes the information gap between a product and its users. For example, from a waste management standpoint, it contains all pertinent information about a product’s lifecycle, materials used and their provenance, repairs, and potential recycling instructions. This way, it allows a transparent data flow through value chain cycles, and between companies and customers.
DPP functions as a centralized database that offers a systematic way of recording data, its digital storage, and easy access to it.
Thanks to its reliability and accessibility, it also makes a good compliance and audit tool, since all the needed information, such as environmental footprints and regulation compliance, is highly trustworthy and only a few clicks away for anyone with assigned access.
DPP in real economy
Much like a personal passport, a DPP works as an authorized document or a set of essential and identifiable details that designate a product.
In the real economy, DPP provides its holders and users with the following benefits:
- Increased transparency: With a clear overview of product data in the value chain, DPP builds trust in stakeholders (horizontally) and consumers (vertically).
- Improved operations and product handling practices: DPP supports optimized use, prolonged lifecycle, and higher value for the end-user.
- One-stop-shop for data: A standardized, centralized and trustworthy DPP system opens up equal opportunities for all stakeholders in a supply chain.
Blockchain-based Authtrail DPP
As we are often smitten by ever new products and the features they provide, the enterprises that create them are still reluctant to introduce innovation to the organization. Internally, legacy data management systems have trouble upgrading to newer technologies without spending extra money and human resources. And externally, different supply chain databases face the lack of interoperability – they were not made to operate with one another, but to provide a value for its native organization.
This is where Authtrail comes in. It addresses both layers of the data integrity challenge – internal and external.
By implementing blockchain technology, it supports data sealing and traceability, which boosts the value of internal enterprise operations and product quality. On the other hand, it allows easy sharing and implementation so that different organizations can get access and insight into essential data and its history.
Authtrail addresses the key challenges of DPP implementation:
- It’s inclusive: an organization’s existing apps and databases can be attached as a simple add-on, minimizing integration efforts and costs for its legacy systems.
- It offers a distributed database location: all stakeholders in the supply chain can check data veracity without third-party interference.
- It’s flexible: enterprises can simply manage data sources included in the integrity and verification processes of DPPs.
- It’s GDPR-compliant: the platform complies with strict security requirements for protecting data access and integrity.
DPP – the future standard of data-driven industries
Successful implementation of digital product passport to the economic circle could be immense. It would optimize production processes, benefit the environment, support consumer responsibility, and encourage more accountable business conduct.
But for a DPP to really deliver the value, it would also need to provide easy access to all information to businesses and consumers, and guarantee high integrity of compiled data. And Authtrail proves to be such a tool.
Want to know more?
This is the first article in the Digital product passport blog post series. During the next weeks, we will present a more technical approach to the DPP and some of its most interesting use cases.