Orgalim Policy Exchange: The Sustainable Products Initiative and EU Digital Product Passport
30 June 2021
The upcoming Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI) – aiming to make products fit for a climate neutral, circular economy whilst enhancing their overall performance in terms of sustainability – will have a massive impact on European manufacturing businesses. It will increase information requirements and establish a Digital Product Passport (DPP) that gathers data on a product along its value chain.
To better understand the main opportunities and challenges ahead, Orgalim brought together a group of experts from the European Commission and industry for a policy exchange.
Paola Zanetti, Senior Expert – Legal Officer and Michele Galatola, Policy Officer provided an overview of the European Commission’s approach to SPI and DPP. The DG GROW representatives explained the environmental and economic benefits for European businesses and emphasised the working principles of the DPP: "The file is shaped based on comments coming from industry, NGOs and member states. The DPP is an internal market tool that will make it easier to develop and sell products on the European market".
The DPP will make it easier to develop and sell products on the European market
Louise Bünemann, Vice-Chair Orgalim Environmental Sustainability Working Group, Senior Adviser at Danish Industries highlighted that industry stands ready to support policymakers along the process: "Europe’s Technology Industries welcome the SPI - it is a win-win opportunity for the environment and the economy".
Jesper Jerlang, Standardization Manager at Danfoss Drives A/S remarked that the DPP is an opportunity to increase transparency as it allows the provision of useful information along the value chain. He echoed the European Commission’s viewpoint that the DPP will enable more efficient international cooperation. Dr. Benedikt Brenken, Director of the R-Cycle Initiative added that collecting data during the production phase will strengthen the overall functioning of the EU’s circular economy as "precise knowledge of the components is necessary to spread awareness of recycling possibilities". Kati Palomaa, Manager Sustainability and Analytics at Konecranes Global Corporation agreed that sharing relevant product information will enhance re-usability, but emphasised that "it is crucial to regulate who has access to the data as confidential information must remain protected".
Prof. Dr. Dieter Wegener, VP and Head of External Cooperation at Siemens Technology and Chairman of ZVEI Industrie 4.0 Management Circle pointed out that the SPI and DPP proposals are "measures we have to take now for the freedom of future generations".
Orgalim’s Stéphanie Mittelham, Manager Energy and Environment, called for continued discussions and encouraged close cooperation between policymakers and industry moving forward: "Orgalim experts stand ready to support Commission representatives in developing the SPI and DPP proposals to make sure they work in practice".
In case you missed this debate, you can watch a replay of the session below or by clicking here.