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Digital product passport: Why it needs to be more than just a passport for sustainable products.

Digitaler Produktpass is "the next big thing" in regulatory terms

Two years ago, the word "digital product passport" would have made me think of yawning technical documentation. Of new DIN regulations or, even better, of the unbelievably entertaining quality management.

Well, I would not have been so wrong with my associations. The concept of the product passport is old. Even the old, analog version was supposed to store information about a product. But somehow it was only relevant to the nichiest of nichy professionals.

That has changed dramatically - the product passport is now going through the roof: hailed as a "policy concept" and "key to sustainability," as a digital master tool against greenwashing and the decisive guide for business to its healthy cycle. The Digital Product Passport can do an insane amount to help a product finally become sustainable.

Because just like a passport, the Digital Product Passport gets its stamps across the entire supply chain the respective certificates of all the stations the product and its pre-products have passed through. But let's be honest ...

Isn't that just from the wall to the wallpaper?

I mean, take your average organic label from the supermarket: that alone already overwhelms us. Hardly anyone can navigate through the jungle of labels and seals or knows the true conditions of product production. Or how do you recognize good olive oil? The organic seal - really? Labels and seals have lost a lot of trust.

And now imagine that we get really serious about the European Supply Chain Act and cheerfully put all the relevant data about a product's supply chain into the Digital Product Passport. So imagine that you fill out the Digital Product Passport with all the information that a product provides in the course of its development and life history - who is supposed to (and wants to) read that? Except the authorities, who are tempted to check. But your customers?

No, it is not enough to plan a digital product passport and completely disregard the fact that the information must also be palatable to the end recipient. But what could that mean?

Think Digitaler Product Passport for Consumers

Tell the background story of the product, and still have fun while we continue to shop, such as products that match the product I just bought? Here you go:


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