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Preparing for the Digital Product Passport (DPP)

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1 July 2024 | Natalia Łukaszewicz, CENSIS

Natalia Łukaszewicz, Business Development Manager at CENSIS, looks at new EU regulations for the management of sustainable products, and what this means for UK industry

In mid-July 2024, a significant piece of EU legislation, the Ecodesign for Sustainable Product Regulation (ESPR), will come into effect, paving the way for the introduction of the Digital Product Passport (DPP) 2027.

The DPP will be a digital record that will collect and share information about products to improve sustainability, environmental impact, and recycling – a regulatory framework designed to help meet net zero targets and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Published on 28 June 2024 in the Official Journal of the European Union, the ESPR sets out requirements for the management of sustainable products and is regarded as a critical step toward product circularity and sustainability within the EU market. This new regulation replaces the existing Ecodesign Directive – you’ll be familiar with this legislation from the energy labels (A, A++ etc.) you find on home appliances – and enlarges its scope in terms of the product groups and ecodesign criteria.

The regulation will apply to all kinds of goods manufactured or imported for EU markets – from textiles to televisions – taking best practices far beyond energy and resource efficiency to embrace things like durability; reuse; upgrade and repair; circularity; remanufacturing and recycling; carbon, and environmental footprints.

Despite various sustainable actions taken so far, we urgently need to do more. The current data paints a grim picture: more than 50 million metric tonnes of electronic waste, or ‘e-waste’, is generated every year – equivalent to an average of around seven kilograms per capita. In 2022, the UK produced the second highest amount of e-waste at 23.9 kilograms per capita. While there was no specific figure for Scotland, we will no doubt have accounted for our fair share, underlining why we need a more sustainable way forward – especially as the number of devices grows with the increased adoption of IoT.

Another concern is the destruction of unsold products, e.g., up to 9% of all textile products put on the market in Europe are destroyed before use, amounting to between 264,000 and 594,000 tonnes of waste annually. The ESPR tackles this by prohibiting the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear and mandating online disclosure of information about discarded products, including the reasons for destruction and their quantity and weight.

At CENSIS, we’re closely monitoring the development of the DPP framework While this tool will apply to products sold within the EU, it will also be significant for UK companies exporting to the EU. Additionally, the DPP framework is already drawing international interest, with some non-EU countries considering adopting a similar approach for their domestic organisations.

While we recognise that the DPP will create new business opportunities, it will also present its own challenges. These relate equally to the technical side of DPP implementation and various operational aspects such as data collection of mandatory requirements, internal procurement processes, and more.

UK-based companies exporting products to the EU market will need to integrate the DPP framework into their operations. There will be a phased introduction beginning in 2027 (the textile sector will be first), however it is expected that most UK companies trading with the EU will need to comply with DPP requirements by 2030.

At CENSIS, we’re working to create a network of stakeholders committed to helping UK companies embrace sustainable design and integrate the DPP into their operations. Earlier this year, we ran an event dedicated to the DPP that included speakers from the EU Commission. Last year we delivered a workshop on sustainable electronics that looked at design, prototyping and fabrication, manufacturing for energy and materials-efficiency, product lifecycles including end of life and the circular economy

In this DPP ‘preparatory’ period (2024-2027) we will also be looking at opportunities to create DPP pilots with UK companies and DPP solution providers. This will give the companies the necessary business advantage once the DPP is introduced. If your company might be interested in getting involved, we’d like to hear from you. In the first instance, you can reach out to me at