UPM Raflatac has designed a product passport prototype (PPP), an environmental declaration, based on existing standards and norms, the company has announced. The development gives the company a head start on when it comes to complying with soon-to-be introduced legislation on digital product passports throughout the EU.
Last year, on 30 March, the EU launched the Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI), as part of a new circular economy legislative package, setting the stage for the wide-scale introduction of the digital product passport, commonly called a DPP. Digital product passports are seen as an essential element to achieve transparency in a circular economic system. As the new regulation states, ‘the product passport means a set of data specific to a product that includes the information (specified in the delegated act) and that is accessible via electronic means through a data carrier’.
Among others, what this means is that the new DPP will both enable key product-related information regarding a product’s sustainability and circularity to be shared across all the relevant economic actors, as well as helping consumers make sustainable choices. It will also make it possible for the authorities to verify compliance with all legal obligations. DDPs will become mandatory from the year 2025, with implementation starting with products that use the most resources and those with the highest potential for circularity. The first product groups are batteries and textiles, soon to be followed by building materials and electrical appliances.
UPM Raflatac’s product passport prototype is generated by the company’s newly validated Label Life service. Label Life is a comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) tool for label materials developed by the company. Over the 10 years since its introduction, Label Life has continually evolved, keeping pace with the new product developments at UPM Raflatac and offering customers and brands both cradle-to-gate and tailored cradle-to-grave calculations. UPM Raflatac is the first label materials company committed to going Beyond Fossils and is continuously developing new products that enable customers to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging
The product passport prototype enables UPM Raflatac’s customers and brands to communicate their labeling’s potential environmental impact. It includes a wide range of metrics that are broken down into life cycle stages: cradle-to-gate, transport-to-customer, printing, and end of life.
“With global regulations increasingly targeting environmental reporting, credibility and transparency are vital to any company with sustainability on their agenda. We wanted to be industry frontrunners and ahead of the regulations with our new product passport prototype,” explained Flora D’Souza, sustainability manager for Label Life at UPM Raflatac. “We wanted to make sure that the product passport prototypes include all relevant environmental information, and that the declaration stands up to scrutiny. That’s why we brought DEKRA on board to ensure that we are delivering the highest quality.”
“The validation found the process for generating Life Cycle Impact Assessment results appropriate for the intended goals and approved the quality checks put in place to ensure consistent and reliable results consistent with the relevant International Standards ISO 14040 and ISO 14044,” confirmed Peter Paul Ruschin, head of sustainability services at DEKRA Assurance Services GmbH. The validation report further concluded that the methods and inventory modelling applied in the tool are scientifically and technically valid, following methodological approaches of industry norms and standards PEF/EN 15804 and ISO 14067.