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Transforming Chemical Supply Chains with Digital Product Passports

| By Juan Miguel Perez, Finboot

Accurately tracking and tracing data across the supply chain can help manufacturers and consumers alike understand the sustainability of products and processes

The chemical process industries (CPI) face increasing pressure across the globe to operate sustainably at every level of the supply chain, from upstream petrochemical producers to downstream industrial and domestic chemical manufacturers. Customers, regulators, employees, communities near production plants and investors are all demanding that manufacturing firms accelerate their journey to net-zero carbon emissions and shift to more sustainable models and, crucially, that these groups can demonstrate this with verifiable and reliable data.

This is the challenge of the age, a challenge further aggravated by the climate emergency. The CPI must invest to shift to a more sustainable way of producing the vital chemicals society needs. But this alone will not be enough — in a global business landscape where “greenwashing” is rife, the manufacturing companies need proof points to demonstrate the shift to sustainability. Firms need to find ways to collect, verify and share reliable and immutable data. They also must find new and improved methods for recordkeeping and accountability. This new recordkeeping needs to be scalable to be applicable at industrial levels and not merely used in pilot programs.

As CPI companies increase their use of renewable feedstocks, these processes become more complex than the old processes that used fossil fuels.

Finboot Ltd. (Barcelona, Spain; is working with leading industry players to provide solutions related to the lack of immutable, verifiable and trusted data to provide evidence of the circularity in the supply chain.

Finboot’s blockchain-powered solution, MARCO Track & Trace, can create digital product passports (DPP; Figure 1) that provide process engineers, managers, regulators and consumers alike with information about a product’s origin, production process and sustainability credentials, helping them make informed choices. From raw-material suppliers, manufacturers and distributors to retailers, each step of the supply chain can be tracked and traced digitally. In addition, this transparency helps identify any inefficiencies, high-carbon-emission “pinch points,” delays and other issues in the production process.

FIGURE 1. Digital track-and-trace platforms can help to verify product and raw-material sustainability across the full supply chain


Industry example

Finboot has been working with Cepsa Química S.A. (Madrid, Spain; — a global energy company with a diverse portfolio spanning oil-and-gas and petrochemicals — since the start of 2023. Cepsa’s homecare industry portfolio is the world’s largest producer of linear alkylbenzene (LAB), a key material used in the production of detergents. Cepsa Química has developed NextLab, a LAB product produced from renewable raw materials, including crude palm-kernel oil and coconut oil. This, in turn, enables production of sustainable and biodegradable detergents.

Palm and coconut oils are versatile vegetable oils, but they are also contentious raw materials often linked to deforestation and unethical farming. As such, Cepsa wanted to instill traceability throughout its supply chain and track the raw materials’ journey from sustainable plantations to bio-refineries and, eventually, to their production facility for ethically sourced sustainable chemicals.

The continuous nature of Cepsa’s production process requires maintaining a mass-balance record for all sustainable products. As production scales up, the data-management requirements increase in complexity, particularly because production facilities are not exclusively set up for more circular chemical production. Currently, NextLab is often blended with fossil-fuel-derived LAB.

Finboot’s MARCO Track & Trace platform has allowed Cepsa to implement digital traceability systems for tracking each batch of vegetable oil from its origin to its use in biodegradable surfactant production, in addition to automating book-keeping tasks and determining what percentage of output is from renewable and circular inputs.

Cepsa currently has three NextLab plants located in Brazil, Canada and Spain. All three plants trace production using Finboot’s digital product passport, providing a quick snapshot of the entire supply chain of that product, and all requisite certificates of analysis. Because MARCO is fully configurable, the version used is bespoke to Cepsa, including multilingual functionality — in Cepsa’s case, using Portuguese, French and Spanish.

As David Liras, director of Cepsa Chemicals explains: “We partnered with Finboot because it is an experienced and innovative company in its sector. Finboot’s product enabled us to rapidly implement a digital traceability ecosystem powered by blockchain technology, which ensures that every step of our supply chain is securely recorded, enhancing our credibility and accountability. This innovation will help us to maintain our clients’ trust in our renewable chemicals.”


Preparing for the future now

Cepsa’s experience demonstrates the advantages for companies in the chemical industry in using blockchain-based digital product passports to address current industry-wide challenges.

The first clear advantage to using a digital product passport is the significant operational efficiency it provides when gathering data at large scale over the course of complex production processes. Keeping track of such complex data trails in a spreadsheet is no longer sufficiently robust to satisfy stakeholders. Any company genuinely committed to scaling up sustainable solutions needs to back up their claims with accurate record-keeping.

The second advantage is that customers are subject to the same increasing pressure and ethical concerns from stakeholders as suppliers, and are similarly calling for transparency and supply-chain visibility in a more granular format. By utilizing digital product passports, companies like Cepsa gain this possibility in an accessible solution, improving customer satisfaction.

In an industry that has historically struggled to maintain a positive image in the face of accusations of pollution and environmental harm, for large manufacturing organizations, there is a great deal of value to be gained from protecting its reputation by enhancing visibility over their supply chain and backing up its sustainable credentials with hard evidence.

Finally, and perhaps most critically, Cepsa is now well ahead of the anticipated E.U. regulation resulting from the European Commission’s amended Ecodesign Directive, which will require fully traceable accounting for products, as provided in Finboot’s Digital Product Passports, and impose new duties and rights across most industries, including chemical manufacturers. This legislation is expected to come into effect beginning in 2026, and there is a clear commercial imperative for leading CPI players to get ahead of the curve.

As the chemical industry is now operating in an era of heightened environmental awareness, scrutiny and accountability, Digital Product Passports are not just a “nice to have” option but are rather a “must have” benefit for survival and growth. digital product passports enhance operational transparency, meet customer and stakeholder expectations, enhance reputational integrity and ensure regulatory compliance. Ignoring them until forced to comply will result in competitive disadvantage and diminished stakeholder trust. n

Edited by Mary Page Bailey



Juan Miguel Perez is the CEO and co-founder of Finboot Ltd. (Email: [email protected]), a technology company enabling digital traceability ecosystems for large industrial companies to help them gather and share supply chain and product data. Perez is an engineer with a Ph.D. in photonics and a strong focus on design and development of technology-enabled products. He has a successful track record on applying digital technologies to a wide range of sectors, including oil-and-gas, chemicals, consumer goods, water management and healthcare.