RFIDs — A Green Path to Sustainability
One of the most prolonged lingering effects of the global pandemic will be a renewed focus on the supply chain. From empty store shelves to sparse car dealer lots, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers are feeling the pinch. Consumers are not usually aware of how far back in the supply chain the problem started, and, unfortunately, some manufacturers face the same problem. The pandemic was the additional stressor that is now compelling companies to invest in technologies that provide the necessary supply chain traceability. However, questions of inventory are not the only thing driving the need for supply chain transparency.
Growing Sustainability Pressure
At the same time, manufacturers and retailers are facing growing pressure from consumers and governments to embrace more sustainable products and processes. According to the RFID Journal the pandemic has only strengthened the consumers’ need for more sustainable shopping, with over 45% valuing this above cost, product and location. The conscious shopper wants insight into the sustainability of retail supply chains. According to a study by Deloitte, consumers are beginning to consider sustainability when making choices about the products and services they purchase. In fact, one in three surveyed consumers in the UK reported purposefully choosing brands that have environmentally sustainable practices and values within the last 12 months. Many large retailers have also signed onto the Paris Agreement and face a limited timeframe to meet or exceed 2030 sustainability goals.
As demand for sustainable practices both from consumers and governments continues to grow, it is clear that technology will have a central role in both making this possible and demonstrable. To ensure and prove sustainability, manufacturers will need to track their supply chain and report results to both consumers and regulators. Fortunately, when it comes to sustainability, RFID is already proven to be the right technology.
RFIDs Leading the Way to Sustainability
A survey of Chief Procurement Officers by McKinsey and Company shows that RFID technology continues to lead the way in the fashion industry. According to the study, by 2019, 13% of respondents reported their companies had already adopted RFID, and 58% expected to use the technology in the coming years. The fashion industry is an important sector to watch as sustainability will continue to be a central issue in the years ahead. That is because the sector consumes more energy than the shipping and aviation industries combined. Due to a long supply chain and energy-intensive manufacturing processes, fashion production contributes about 10% of the total greenhouse gas emissions globally.
Transparency is Key to Answering Consumer Concerns
NFCs will enable brands to offer consumers a new level of transparency regarding every aspect of the sourcing and manufacturing of products. For example, Italian fashion house Prada has already incorporated NFC tagging across its supply chain and manufacturing process. Not only is it helping Prada with tracking products through the production process, but it will also soon give consumers a complete view of what they are purchasing.
According to Prada’s industrial director Massimo Vian, NFCs will enable consumers to;
“establish the connection with the product, that the product was made in a specific place and, of course, trustability in sustainable materials is important and will be more and more important.” — Massimo Vian, Industrial Director Prada
Thanks to NFCs, customers will understand where the materials came from and, eventually, how much CO2 was emitted to produce the finished product. 65% of retailers expect to achieve full traceability from fiber to store by 2025.
The Green Choice for RFID
In today’s retail environment, RFID’s applications have never been more important. While RFIDs are a key toward a more sustainable manufacturing and supply chain future, it is critical to ensure that the chips themselves are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Many RFIDs are produced in China since the manufacturing process requires harmful chemicals prohibited in the United States and Europe. However, Talkin’ Things, a Polish scale-up is the only RFID company using an eco antenna process. By using a clean, mechanical method, with no harmful chemicals involved, they can be produced in Europe without the negative environmental impact. Local production also reduces the carbon footprint. Also, with Talkin’ Things’ eco antenna process, the waste product is fully recyclable.
Talkin’ Things offers access to the RFID technology needed to help any organization increase supply chain transparency and meet the sustainability demands of policy makers and consumers. With 100% in-house production with state-of-the-art machines, advanced technical design and the eco antenna process, you can count on Talkin’ Things for quality and sustainability ensuring manufacturers are doing all they can to reach their sustainability goals.