On March 30, 2022, the European Commission published a draft of a new Ecodesign Regulation (see link below) to replace the previous Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC). This follows the trend of issuing harmonization acts in the form of regulations directly applicable in the member states. Even though concrete implementing regulations for specific product groups will continue to be used, there are some environmental aspects that are already to be regulated in a binding manner throughout the EU within the framework of the Ecodesign Regulation.
Of particular note is the expanded scope of the regulation. This is no longer limited to energy-related products, but will in future cover all physical goods, including components and intermediate products (whereas the other harmonization legislation basically only covers end products).
In addition, new product aspects are included:
- Durability and reliability,
- Reusability, retrofittability, repairability, maintainability, overhaulability,
- Presence of substances of concern,
- Energy and resource efficiency,
- Percentage of recycled materials in the product,
- Possibility of remanufacturing and recycling,
- carbon footprint and ecological footprint, and
- expected waste generation.
The focus of the draft Ecodesign Regulation is on the extensive information requirements (Art. 7). These include, among other things, information on substances of concern (which thereby go far beyond the information requirements under Art. 33 REACH Regulation!) and information on installation, use and repair.
The way in which information is communicated (regulated in Art. 8 ff.), for example via the digital product passport, represents a significant innovation. In the future, products must have such a digital product passport to ensure that the actors along the value chain have access to the product information relevant to them. This will make it easier to repair or recycle products and trace substances of concern along the supply chain. It is also intended to facilitate conformity checks by national authorities. The specific requirements can be regulated in implementing measures.
In summary, the draft Ecodesign Regulation has a clear environmental policy direction and includes and promotes the promotion of a true circular economy and resource efficiency.
We recommend every (manufacturing) company to familiarize themselves with the new challenges at an early stage. A good start could be our webinar "Circular Economy & Eco-Design – Status Quo in the EU", which will take place in German language on 04.05.2022 (link see below).
If you have any questions or need to talk, please feel free to contact us!