GEN – 1108.00. The European Commission has signed the contract with a consortium composed of Viegand Maagøe, VHK and Öko Recherche on 25 March 2020. The project website is now live. Even though the contract runs for nine months until November, it is the intention to have it available preferably by September. Of note is that the project website refers to the March 2020 EU Circular Economy Action Plan.
Some elements considered in the future Working Plan
The Working Plan will assess the existing regulations and if there is scope for new products to be added. It will also analyse why some preparatory studies failed to result in regulations and if ongoing studies would need to remain. It is realised that the energy saving potential of new product ranges would be limited.
EU Circular Economy Action Plan
The political choice to include the aspects of circular economy into the tender have already been taken up in the project website with the reference to the EU Circular Economy Plan that fits within the EU Green Deal announced last December. The inclusion of the Green Deal would be part of the EU COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
his will mean that new preparatory and review studies will need to take into account aspects of material efficiency, durability, reparability and to consider product that could be placed on the second-hand market. In the tended it is mentioned that for future regulations product-specific material efficiency standards would need to be developed. For repairability reference would be made to the newly published series of EN 45554 standards.
Complex Products that comprise elements from two or more Ecodesign product groups would be studied too. It is worth noting that during a stakeholder workshop in 2017 the idea was presented to determine the performance of complex products based on some of their components.
Possibilities for Ecodesign/Energy Labelling of ICT products would be considered in an ICT Taskforce
The Policy Officer in charge is Michael Bennett (DG GROW).
The review of the methodology is not included in the Working Plan. It is not yet certain if and to whom it would be outsourced. It would seem that the Commission would hand this task to the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Seville. This activity would start before the summer break.
Life cycle assessment methods
The assessment methods are expected to be considered. It is not clear if this would be part of the Working Plan or if it would be covered under the revision of the MEErP. It is estimated that past exercises on Product Environmental Footprints would be reactivated and extended to products subject to Ecodesign. This is already ongoing for the lot on batteries.
Remark on timing
The Commission would wish to have the study finalised timely so that studies on new or continuation of existing studies can be announced timely and start in 2021. This means that already by the first stakeholder meeting in July the core orientations would be outlined. It is therefore quite possible that there would be limited scope to modify these orientations by the second and last stakeholder meeting scheduled for October or November.
The contract for the preparatory study ends on 25 December and therefore the study should be finalised by December.
The Commission has responded to stakeholders, including Eurovent, that the coronavirus outbreak would not postpone the work on the Working Plan.
Associations and manufacturers that wish to be informed directly on the progress on the Working Plan are recommended to register on the Project Website.
Members and Product Groups are encouraged to consider if they wish to bring products to the attention of the consortium as possible subjects for future regulations. This should be done preferably by mid to late-June.
Related documents and links
All related documents and articles can be found in the respective sections in the right sidebar.
- Project website: https://www.ecodesignworkingplan20-24.eu/
- EU Circular Economy Plan: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm
- GEN – 1103.00 – Previous update with link to Working Plan specifications
- Reparability project website: http://susproc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ScoringSystemOnReparability/index.html
- Circularity project website: http://susproc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/E4C/index.html
- Circular Economy Action Pack: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm
- Commission Staff Working Document, 2019-03-04 Sustainable Products in a Circular Economy – Towards an EU Product Policy Framework contributing to the Circular Economy: https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/10102/2019/EN/SWD-2019-91-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-1.PDF
- Product Environmental Footprint: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/smgp/ef_pilots.htm