Is Traceability Part of your Circularity Toolkit?
Due to the tightening of environmental regulation in the European Union (EU), a shift in consumer attitudes towards sustainable products and the moral imperative to protect the planet, the foam and adhesives supply chains are looking for ways to implement green initiatives. Life-cycle analysis plays an integral role in calculating a product’s carbon footprint or implementing circular economy. Without clarity on a product’s origins, it becomes challenging to substantiate any claim about its status as responsibly sourced.
The challenge arises in the logistics of being able to account for a product’s journey and the accumulated carbon output. How can a product be accurately traced back to its source in a time-efficient way? This is where traceability comes in.
Traceability refers to the transparency of a supply chain and being able to log transportation, manufacturing processes and content for a particular product. This data can be collected and used to determine the precise carbon footprint of a product. When supply chains are complex (which has increasingly been the case due to a disruptive three years) it can be easier said than done to accurately record this data. With last-minute cancellations or working with new suppliers to meet production quotas, traceability requires innovative thinking.
Once the data has been successfully captured, it can be used to validate claims for the environmentally conscious consumer. The European market is trending towards a concern for the environmental impact of products which puts pressure on manufacturers to be as transparent as possible.
Traceability will also be driven by regulation in Germany as soon as 2023 when companies with over 3,000 attendees will be legally required to account for the origins of their products. Measures are scheduled to follow for small to medium size businesses in Germany whilst the EU have suggested regulation could come into place for all member states in the near future.
Traceability is achievable in several ways, yet they all require software, time, resources, attention to detail and above all, collaboration. Environmental consciousness can bring people together for a common purpose and that should not be ignored.