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What's behind the digital product passport

With the Green Deal, the EU wants to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. The digital product passport plays a crucial role in this by enabling companies and consumers to make sustainable choices. By accurately tracking environmental impacts and promoting transparency, the Digital Product Passport reduces resource waste and encourages environmentally friendly practices.


The EU Ecodesign Regulation is a Green Deal initiative. It includes the digital product passport as an essential component. The directive specifies which requirements are to be implemented in relation to the digital product passport. The Digital Product Passport comprises the DPP system and the DPP information.

DPP system

The DPP system is the technical system used to implement the DPP concept. The system stores and retrieves data in the DPP. Eight areas of the system have already been identified in the ecodesign requirement, which are to be harmonised through standards.


DPP information

In addition to the system, there is also the DPP information. This information contains all the data about a product that is contributed by various stakeholders throughout the entire life cycle of the product. This information is diverse and can vary depending on the product. It can include details on use, disposal and other information. The Ecodesign Regulation describes this data on a cross-sector basis, while future regulations will contain product group-specific information.


Everyone involved in the product life cycle is given access to the digital product passport. Raw material suppliers initiate the DPP process, followed by forwarding and use by manufacturing companies, sellers, end users, repair shops, market surveillance and waste management.  Companies should view implementation not only as a legal requirement, but also as an opportunity to drive the company forward digitally. With its comprehensive recording of information, the digital product passport can help to fulfil not only the DPP obligations, but also other requirements.


CIRPASS project

The EU Commission has launched the CIRPASS project. The aim of the project is to develop prototypes for digital product passports that fulfil the legal requirements. The project shows companies further possibilities of the DPP, such as reporting. According to a survey by PWC, 76 per cent of the companies surveyed are overwhelmed by the reporting obligation. The collection of information can contribute to complete and correct reporting.

Furthermore, end consumers are an important factor in the implementation of the circular economy, as they are responsible for sustainable product design, product recycling, environmental awareness and changing consumption habits. To strengthen these factors, the digital product passport is to be made available. The DPP provides end consumers with information that helps them to make more sustainable purchasing decisions and extend the lifespan of products.


Current status

The concept of the digital product passport has not yet been finalised. From 2026, every battery with a capacity of over 2 kWh will require a digital product passport. After that, more and more products will gradually receive a digital product passport. Initially, products with high energy consumption will be affected.

There are various concepts for a digital product passport, including DPP4.0, which was developed by the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI).  This digital product passport is based on the principles of Industry 4.0, such as the administration shell and the digital nameplate (DNP4.0). A prototype that can automatically calculate the product carbon footprint was already shown at the Hannover Messe.

There are options for expanding the administration shell of the DPP4.0 concept to map all the required product information. As a result, it will gradually be possible to introduce DPP4.0 in every industry and fulfil the legal requirements.

About the author


Amy Simpson is currently studying Business Informatics at Furtwangen University. She is writing her bachelor's thesis on the Digital Product Passport at M&M. She is focussing on the DPP 4.0 and in her thesis she is looking in particular at the creation of administration shells and the political framework conditions of the DPP.

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