Strengthening ecodesign: launch of preparatory study for the Working Plan to 2024

Sustainable and environmentally responsible consumption

Electrical and electronic appliances, lighting products, heating and air conditioning – many products must meet energy efficiency and, increasingly, material efficiency and reparability requirements in order to be sold in the EU. These rules are laid down in the Ecodesign Directive and will be progressively extended to new products by 2024.

In a study which will run to the end of the year, the Oeko-Institut is developing proposals to identify which other product groups should be included in the European Commission’s Working Plan. The researchers are working closely with consultancies Viegand Maagøe in Denmark, which is leading the study, and Van Holsteijn en Kemna (VHK) in the Netherlands.

The website provides information about the work on the study. Over the course of the year, all documents prepared as part of the study will be available through this website, along with information about significant dates. Contributions to stakeholder consultations can also be submitted via the website.

In focus: resource aspects

Until 2016, the main objective of the Ecodesign Directive was to improve the energy efficiency of electrical appliances. Since then, in order to mitigate the potentially negative impacts of consumption on the environment, the European Commission has broadened the focus to include other aspects, particularly those of relevance to the circular economy, such as durability, reparability, recyclability and recycled content. They are key elements of the recently published Circular Economy Action Plan, which forms part of the European Green Deal, and should therefore be given particular weight in the selection of product groups for the new Working Plan.

As a first step, the experts are analysing which other products should be considered in the Ecodesign Directive in future. Product groups with the potential to cut carbon emissions and improve resource efficiency include, in particular, interconnected products and systems in the IT and telecommunications sector. The potential offered by these and other proposed products to make a positive environmental and climate contribution will be identified and prioritised accordingly. As part of this process, consultations will be conducted with stakeholders from business and society in order to provide a comprehensive view.

The contract for the study was awarded by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW). The final report will be available towards the end of 2020.

Website: Preparatory study for the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Working Plan 2020-2024 by Viegand Maagøe, Oeko-Institut and Van Holsteijn en Kemna