Published on 18. November 2022

Updated on 25. January 2023


Design for Recycling

Table of contents
  1. Why is more product transparency important?
  2. How does the Digital Product Passport work?
  3. What is the European Green Deal?

More transparency through the digital product passport

Reading time: 3 Minutes, 18 Seconds

Digital product passport

Consumers are becoming increasingly inquisitive. Not only do they want to know what’s in the products they buy. But they also want to know where products come from, how packaging materials are made up, and how products can be disposed of. The EU Commission has decided on another measure that is very much in line with this desire for greater product transparency: The digital product passport. From January 2026, for example, industrial and electric vehicle batteries will be assigned a specific electronic file (“battery passport”) linked to information on essential characteristics of the battery. This is only the first step on the way to a Digital Product Passport.

Why is more product transparency important?

84% of European consumers and 89% of German consumers value the quality of regional products. In addition, there is a certain set of values that they associate with local products. In fact, consumption of regional products is good for the environment for 63% of European respondents and 66% of German respondents. This data comes from the consumer barometer “Think globally, act regionally” by Consors Finance (2019).

Especially in the current politically and economically very tense situation, the socio-economic effects of regional production are becoming even more important. Besides strengthening the regional economy, they also secure jobs.

This perception is also reflected in the motives that make consumers reach for regional products. 49% prefer regional products because they support the local economy, and 43% want to safeguard employment. The quality of the products plays a role for 35%, and 25% act out of ecological motives. The argument of job protection is slightly less strong in Germany (33%), but the effects on domestic companies (52%) and environmental concerns play a greater role (35%).

In other words, consumers’ purchasing decisions can be positively influenced if they are given reliable information about whether their consumption is doing something good for themselves, the local economy and/or the environment.

How does the Digital Product Passport work?

Building on this insight, the EU is currently preparing a digital product passport as part of the European Green Deal, which will make the origin, composition, environmental data, repair and disassembly options, and end-of-life handling of a product transparent.

The aim of this Digital Product Passport (DPP) is to further promote an environmentally responsible circular economy. Consumers can make even more conscious purchasing decisions based on the DPP, which is to be created as a freely accessible database.

Key elements of the DPP are …

  • the clear and at least over the period of use robust product/material labeling
  • the correspondingly necessary identification technologies
  • the data stored in a database (e.g., date of manufacture, batch number, digital twin)
  • the protocol for transferring the data.


The detailed information that is useful to include depends on the product. Establishing a DPP for complex products (e.g., electrical devices, vehicles) is significantly more complex than for simpler products such as packaging. The EU Commission has already made a concrete impact regarding the requirements for batteries and their disposal. The current Battery Directive (2006/66/EC) has been fundamentally revised and includes some new requirements for battery manufacturers. The first draft includes the specification of a product passport. From January 2026, for example, industrial and electric vehicle batteries placed on the market with a capacity of more than 2 kWh will be assigned a specific electronic file (“battery passport”), which will be linked to information on essential characteristics of the battery. This is a new approach in the regulatory area of extended producer responsibility.

What is the European Green Deal?

Climate change and environmental degradation are existential threats to Europe and the world. The European Green Deal aims to ensure the transition to a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy. The agreement’s biggest goal is to have zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The European Green Deal is also intended to lead Europe out of the Corona crisis: One-third of the investments from the “NextGenerationEU” construction package and the EU’s seven-year budget with a total amount of EUR 1.8 trillion will be directed to the agreement.



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