The Ecodesign Working Plan is part of EC's new Clean Energy package, which was released on 30 November 2016.
This Working Plan 2016-2019 contributes to the Commission's new initiative on the Circular Economy, which promotes a transition towards a more circular economy in the EU through a series of measures covering the whole lifecycle of products and materials. There is an increasing need, and political priority, to improve resource efficiency in the EU. Product design is a key aspect in this respect, as it can have significant impacts across the product life cycle e.g. in making a product more durable, easier to repair, reuse or recycle. The Ecodesign directive already covers all significant environmental impacts along the life-cycle of products, but the focus so far has been on energy efficiency improvements. In future, Ecodesign should make a much more significant contribution to the circular economy, for example by more systematically tackling material efficiency issues such as durability and recyclability.
This Working Plan sets out the Commission's working priorities under the ecodesign and energy labelling framework for 2016-2019. Building on work undertaken on the basis of the first two Working Plans, the new Working Plan presents ongoing work and upcoming reviews of existing product-specific measures; it identifies additional product groups to be further examined (through studies, stakeholder consultation and impact assessment) with a view to inform possible Commission proposals for ecodesign and/or energy labelling requirements; and it sets out how ecodesign will contribute better to circular economy objectives. Taken together, fresh measures from new products in this Ecodesign Working Plan, in addition to reviews of existing measures, have an estimated potential to deliver a total in excess of 600 TWh (or 50 Mtoe) of annual primary energy savings in 2030. This is comparable to the annual primary energy consumption of Sweden, and is also equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 100 million tonnes per year in 2030.
The Commission plans to work on the following priorities in the coming years:
- Finalise ongoing regulatory work on products identified in previous working plans
- Undertake the review of existing measures identified in chapter 3
- Start preparatory studies for the product groups identified in chapter 4
- Strengthen the contribution of the Ecodesign Directive to a more circular economy
- Facilitate enhanced cooperation between Member States on market surveillance to achieve a better enforcement of existing Regulations
- Strengthen cooperation with international partners to facilitate further convergence of test and measurement methods, and, if possible, minimum energy performance requirements.
For further information or to download the document, please visit the relevant European Commission webpages at the links below.