The EU Commission has published on November 30, 2016 the new Ecodesign Working Plan 2016 to 2019. It sets out the Commission’s working priorities under the ecodesign and energy labelling framework. The new Ecodesign Working Plan also contributes to the Commission’s new initiative on Circular Economy and the further improvement of resource efficiency.
According to the new Working Plan, ecodesign should make a much more significant contribution to the circular economy in the future, for example by more systematically tackling material efficiency issues such as durability and recyclability. Also the possibility to repair, remanufacture or recycle a product and its components and materials depends in large part on the initial design of the product.
Besides the review of existing Regulations, the Commission will be launching dedicated studies for those products that have the largest savings potentials. In this context, the Commission had launched a study to identify any further energy-related product groups that had significant savings potential and had not been included in the transitional period or in the previous working plans. Additionally, from a circular economy perspective, a qualitative assessment of other environmental impacts mentioned in the Ecodesign Directive was made. Product groups in scope of further preparatory studies are:
• Building Automation and Control Systems
• Electric kettles
• Hand dryers
• Solar panels and inverters
• Refrigerated containers
• High-pressure cleaners
Given their specificity, a separate track is proposed for ICT products (not included in the product groups above), that will also fully take into account their circular economy potential, which is particularly relevant in the case of mobile/smart phones. The following ICT products might be included in the Ecodesign Working Plan:
• Gateways (home network equipment)
• Mobile/smart phones