Cultivating sustainable practices within the supply chain is easier for some processes and technologies than others. Advancements in RFID and blockchain have given brands more options for traceability and transparency, but even deploying those technologies leaves a carbon footprint. As retailers continue to see the value in RFID-enabled tools, suppliers producing these technologies are working to create and integrate their products in a sustainable way.
Dutch company Smartrac is one market leader that will be emphasizing sustainability in its RFID products going forward. In January, the company announced a Green Tag Program at the NRF Big Show. The tags will be subject to strict materials and production criteria that must hold up under close life cycle assessment scrutiny.
According to a statement from the company, Smartrac’s Green Tag products will be plastic-free and use fully recyclable or compostable paper as a substrate. Antennas will not use heavy metals, and aluminum antennas will have no chemical etching, to ensure that aluminum residues are recyclable, too. Printable antennas will only use Graphene ink and be printed directly on compostable or recyclable cardboard. In the interest of transparency, a life cycle assessment study according to ISO14040/44 for every Green Tag product must be made available.
Smartrac has been making strides toward Green Tag certification standards for some time now, already cultivating more sustainable production practices and removing halogen from their tags. The brand’s January announcement and subsequent sample presentation mark the first time the full specifications for Green Tag products have been announced.
The company also said it will be moving rapidly to create a comprehensive array of Green Tag RAIN RFID and NFC offerings at competitive prices. To do so, Smartrac is implementing new and innovative manufacturing techniques in close cooperation with its technology partners.
“I am convinced that our Green Tag Program will fairly and squarely lead the RFID industry in terms of environmental sustainability,” said Christian Uhl, CEO at Smartrac, in the company press release. “We are doing this because it is important for all of us and our planet, as well as being in accordance with the wishes of our global customer base, who will soon be able to receive real, sustainable Green Tag products.”