Ecodesign rules to ensure sustainable products on EU market

The EU wants to introduce minimum standards to make nearly all products on its market sustainable, durable and eco-friendly.

Illustration image of the energy efficiency rating labels promoting low consumption and efficient products to reduce carbon footprint.
Energy efficiency rating labels encourage low consumption and efficient products

Long lasting, safe, and recyclable products that are less harmful to the environment should become the norm in the EU. But how? The answer might lie in new ecodesign rules.

Read how the EU wants to achieve a circular economy by 2050

What is ecodesign?

Ecodesign entails the integration of environmental considerations into product development, aiming to create goods with the lowest possible environmental impact throughout their life cycle.

EU manufacturers already have to align with ecodesign rules for energy-related products, such as heaters, refrigerators, vacuum cleaners or computers, reducing energy consumption and negative environmental effects in the design stage. The EU now wants to go a step further and introduce ecodesign rules for almost every product.


Annual energy consumption savings by ecodesign products in 2021

New rules for eco-friendly products

In March 2022, the European Commission proposed a new ecodesign regulation that would significantly broaden the scope of products it applies to. It would also introduce additional requirements and minimum standards for durability, reparability, energy efficiency and recycling.

A Digital Product Passport should accompany products, providing consumers with all the relevant information needed to help them make informed decisions.

Digital Product Passport

  • providing information on performance, traceability, technical documentation, harmful chemicals, user manuals etc.
  • providing information on the environmental impact of the purchase
  • making products easier to repair or recycle

In addition, the new rules aim to stop the destruction of unsold products, promote green public procurement and provide incentives, like eco vouchers or green taxation, to encourage people to buy eco-friendly products.

Parliament’s position on the ecodesign rules

MEPs welcomed the proposal, but also want:

- to forbid manufactures from limiting the durability of products and making them prematurely obsolete

- to prioritise ecodesign requirements for some products (iron, steel, aluminium, textiles, furniture, tyres, detergents, paints, chemicals...)

- to ban the destruction of unsold textiles and footwear, and electrical and electronic equipment

- to set up a public online platform to compare information from the product passports

Next steps

Parliament adopted its negotiation position in July 2023 and now is ready for talks on the legislation with EU governments.

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