Product Passports & Trust Registries: The Benefits of a Decentralized Ecosystem

A Step in the Right Direction

A product passport is a tool that manufacturers can use to improve the sustainability of products and make it easier for consumers to make informed choices about the products they buy. Product passports provide information about a product’s environmental and social impacts and ingredients and the ethical and sustainable standards to which the product has been certified. This information helps consumers to make more informed choices about the products they buy and allows them to avoid products with a high environmental or social impact.

Product passports increase transparency in the supply chain and ensure that products are produced sustainably and ethically. They can also be valuable marketing tools, allowing companies to show their products are sustainable and ethical. Ultimately, they can improve the sustainability of the consumer goods industry. While product passports are a step in the right direction, current centralized or paper-based ecosystems impose limitations and can produce inaccurate information.

Current Limitations

Keeping track of the data associated with a product can take time and effort. This data can be spread across multiple departments and locations within an organization; as a result, making it hard to track and manage. Additionally, centralizing data can make it more susceptible to security breaches. If one central location is breached, all the data stored there can be compromised. Centralizing data can also make it difficult to update or change information. Once data has been entered into the system, it can take time to make changes or updates. This can lead to inaccurate information being stored in the system, which can, in turn, lead to problems down the road. Finally, centralizing data can be costly. Keeping data in one central location requires specific infrastructure, which can be a significant expense, particularly for small businesses. These inefficiencies can lead to problems with product passports and their validity. Moreover, Inaccurate data, security breaches, and high costs can all hinder the effectiveness of these systems. 

Decentralized Identity Ecosystems present a solution. 

Product passports can be integrated into decentralized trust-based ecosystems to help increase transparency and make information available to more users, decrease waste and make the supply chain more efficient. When all the information about a product is in one place, anyone can locate the information they need more quickly, reducing the risk of lost data. When a product’s lifecycle information is readily available, companies can make informed decisions about whether to repair, recycle or dispose of a product. As a result, improved efficiencies make finding new business opportunities and developing partnerships easier.

Decentralized technologies make it possible to ensure end-to-end verifiability of product data across the entire value chain.

The Benefits

In a decentralized system, there is no central governing body for the flow of information. No matter the industry, there will always be different players who don’t trust each other, so decentralization and its governance methods are reliable tools for building this trust. In order to build this trust, a decentralized system is maintained and linked to a Trust Registry. The Trust Registry fosters trust within the ecosystem via decentralized identifiers (DIDs), so anyone can exchange product information without worrying about its authenticity.

There are many benefits to having a product passport anchored to a Trust Registry. These benefits include: 

  • Increased trust: A Trust Registry helps create the conditions for trust to emerge amongst everyone in the ecosystem. Trust is essential within any functioning ecosystem. Decentralized ecosystems can generate exceptionally high levels of trust as there aren’t organizations holding inordinate control. 
  • Enhanced transparency: A product passport anchored to trust-based ecosystems creates a more transparent supply chain by having all current and relevant information about the product, including where it was made, when it was made, and what materials were used. 
  • Improved efficiencies: A product passport anchored to a Trust Registry can help to reduce waste and improve efficiencies in the supply chain. By having all the relevant information about a product in one place, anyone can more easily find the information they need. 

Create a more transparent and secure supply chain

The benefits of integrating product passports into a trust-based decentralized ecosystem are varied. They include improved security, increased trust, and enhanced transparency, which are essential in a decentralized ecosystem. Product passports anchored to Trust Registries can help to create a more transparent and secure supply chain, and they can also help to reduce waste and improve efficiencies.

In our next two posts, we will discuss some solutions in action and how our Trust Continuum™ methodology can bring clarity to your digital transformation. If you are curious about how these technologies could benefit your organization, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to discuss your organization’s specific situation.

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