Driven by the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy, the “Circularity Dataset Standardization Initiative” aims at establishing an official standard for communicating data on the circular economy properties of products, in consultation with other standards organizations.
Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy launched the Circularity Dataset Initiative in 2018 aiming at developing an industry standard that provides a regulated framework for circular data on products throughout the whole value chain, from raw materials to finished products, from the use phase to recycling.
The Product Circularity Data Sheet (PCDS) is the solution to address the challenge to link data and circularity. It can be used to establish how circular a product is and inform about the circular path it was designed and manufactured for. The PCDS offers a standardized format with trustful data without scoring or ranking of these aspects.
For each product, an international accepted dataset will describe its circular properties and include an auditable international industry standard.
“We appreciate the effort of this PCDS initiative to create an unified and transparent information exchange system and will play our role to support the success of the standard. This system should prove to be extremely helpful to consumers wishing to more deeply understand product circularity features, while supporting companies ongoing efforts to create sustainable circular business models.
Kevin C.H. Yang, Deputy Executive Director
Sustainable Development Project Office, Wistron Corporation
Since the inception of the initiative, more than 50 companies from 12 countries including some global industry leaders have joined the initiative. In 2022, the leading technology service provider Wistron Corporation has also joined the initiative by establishing the first PCDS pilot for Taiwan. It shows also Wistron’s strong commitment to the pursuit of environmental sustainability.
Check out the video and find out how PCDS works!
More info: www.pcds.lu
WHAT IS THE PCDS EXACTLY?
Business depends on digitization to improve performance for just about everything and for manufacturers there’s one important part.
Digital twins are a common way to digitally represent physical products, they’ll tell you everything about a product if the right data is there.
These days everybody adds environmental features to digital twins and gives them names like digital passports. That’s good but there are problems.
Digital data often gets lost along the supply chain and it is expensive to get data from suppliers and add it to different forms. Moreover, the systems that have this information don’t share the same digital language.
That’s causing problems for manufacturers, because while many countries are passing circular economy laws and the international organization for standardization is working on a standard, digital twins are missing data required to conform with those.
There’s also a hidden problem, being green doesn’t always mean being circular it often doesn’t tell you how much recycled or recyclable material is in your product, how to reuse it or how to take it apart.
What’s needed is an easy, standardized way of sharing basic data about those circular values.
The PCDS does exactly that.
It contains a list of statements describing the qualities in a user-friendly yes / no format.
It has guidance for each statement it doesn’t require confidential data. It’s machine readable, it automatically assembles a lot of the data.
The PCDS has five basic sections:
- General Information: ID number and the profile of manufacturer.
- Composition: This part includes the amount and type of recycled content or if the product does or doesn’t contain substances of very high concern (SVHC).
- Designed for better use: Can it be maintained or repaired by untrained personnel where it’s used?
- Designed for disassembly: Can it be dismantled to component material level or de-mounted with reversible connectors?
- Designed for reuse: Can it be released into the environment with minimal modification or for composting in a composter?
The PCDS has many functions and benefits.
It uses standardized terms and formats, it’s open source and auditable, it’s based on global standards, it has secured trustable data, it’s interoperable between data platforms and systems. This saves time and costs.
It also lets suppliers know how to design their products for the circular economy.
The PCDS works as follows:
- Download the form with a unique ID attached to it.
- Fill in the product identification.
- Reply to the statements with a YES or NO.
- Publish the PCDS on your website.
From there it’s available to everyone in a secure format. The PCDS also fits into existing supply chain systems and circular economy data platforms. Everyone across the product supply network can access it.
A supplier can issue a PCDS, a producer can use multiple PCDS from suppliers to produce its own PCDS for a combined product. This information is used by product databases distributors, customers and eventually recyclers.
The company that created it will not lose control over their data.
A digital fingerprint for circular qualities of products, develops for everybody globally by the Ministry of the Economy of Luxembourg in collaboration with major industrial players, platforms and non-governmental organizations.