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Due diligence

Coverguard x Trace For Good

Marie Petitalot
Marie Petitalot
Market intelligence analyst
Coverguard x Trace For Good Case Study
Published on
March 19, 2024

Building complex traceability chains adapted to the technicality of PPE articles.

Traceability leads at Coverguard:

Claire Wagret - Corporate CSR Manager
Juanita Toro Giraldo - Product CSR Manager

Introduction: A PPE Producer Undergoing Transformation

As a major player in the global Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) market, COVERGUARD® distributes a wide range of products to protect men and women from head to toe in their workplace.

As part of its CSR approach, the brand decided in 2023 to implement an advanced traceability process for its products and to become a pioneer in the PPE industry.

While eco-design is limited in PPE due to stringent quality and safety constraints, Coverguard positions itself as an innovative designer by integrating certified materials (Oeko-Tex or GRS/RCS) into its products or reducing the impact of packaging used.

More generally, Coverguard is implementing its CSR roadmap, including decarbonization actions, a responsible purchasing policy, and dialogue with its stakeholders.

To learn more, please visit the Engagements page and download the Coverguard CSR report from their website.

Challenges of a Traceability Project Specific to PPE

To understand the traceability project undertaken at Coverguard with the Trace For Good tool, several key challenges must be kept in mind.

Coverguard's product range encompasses different levels of complexity that need to be integrated into the data model.

  • A wide range of products, corresponding to various traceability chains: for example, some products in the glove range (cut and sewn, coated) may undergo a single or double coating step (Latex, Nitrile/Neoprene, Polyurethane, PVC).
  • Complex products to model (complex composition, multi-material, PPE characteristics): for example, the new CLAW FLEX safety shoe, certified RCS Blended, was a pilot model at Coverguard (new PPE standard ISO 20345:2022 with S1PS FO SR ESD performance). To meet technical constraints, it includes more than 6 main traceable materials and 7 complex components such as the toe cap and anti-perforation sole.

Another consequence of the diversity of Coverguard's products is the wide range of regulations that apply, and thus different regulatory compliance challenges to consider: AGEC law for products in the TLC sector, European anti-deforestation regulation for latex-coated articles, MACEF for metal carabiners.

In addition to this overview: a supplier network spread across several countries that is crucial to involve in the project.

Objectives of Coverguard's Traceability Project

Here are the 4 key objectives of Coverguard's collaboration with Trace For Good:

  1. Achieve multi-component traceability, adapted to the complexity and technicality of Coverguard's products.
  2. Enrich data specific to regulations applicable to the brand and collect information to serve as specific input data for Carbonfact to conduct life cycle assessments (LCAs) on products.
  3. Automate the management of certificates, indicators, and social, environmental, and ethical audits of factories.
  4. Share product CSR data with customers, in accordance with regulations, via the communication module of Trace For Good.

Approach Deployed by Trace For Good

The challenge is to define traceability chains adapted to the complexity of PPE but standardized by product type (e.g., technical shoes, high-temperature gloves, helmets...).

Why is this important? Because to collect the right information from the right stakeholders and simplify the supplier experience on the platform, it is necessary to know the components to be traced and the production chains associated with each component.

To achieve this, Trace For Good collaborates with Coverguard's industry experts to define traceability chains tailored to each type of PPE product.

This collaboration enables the tracing of complex products such as gloves, safety shoes, fall protection products, and high-visibility clothing by matching standardized traceability chains with the brand's product data.

AGEC law compliance is automated for the relevant products, and the collection of evidence (invoices, bills of lading, etc.) allows going beyond mere declaration.

The specific data collected by the tool is automatically transmitted to Carbonfact, which can conduct precise life cycle assessments on all products in the catalog: Trace For Good combines its expertise with that of its partners to deliver the highest level of market excellence across a wide range of services.

Focus on Trace For Good's Supplier Onboarding - a Key to Capital Success

Supplier engagement on the platform is an indispensable key to the success of any traceability project. They are onboarded by the Trace For Good team for effective platform adoption and a clear understanding of the project's challenges.

To best tailor the onboarding process to the needs of suppliers, Coverguard's closest partners were integrated first. This allows potential bottlenecks to be identified in advance. Other production partners are then onboarded in 3 waves, by categories of suppliers.

Trace For Good enables all stakeholders to reduce data entry time and ensures the quality of shared data by offering pre-filling, choice lists, bulk data entry actions to replicate across multiple products, and intelligent collection of certificates and documents.

We also provide all necessary guarantees to reassure users about the security of their data, thanks to privacy features and secure connection via magic link.

→ Read more about the impact calculation part of the project: Coverguard x Carbonfact: Carbon Management for the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Market

Download our full case study
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